Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

HelpDesk fixes computer problems for students

To an average college student who relies heavily on their computer to complete daily coursework, a computer crash precipitates a major catastrophe.

There is HelpDesk, a service part of the UA Office of Information Technology that fixes computer problems quickly and for a reasonable fee, offering technical support to all students and faculty.

“If we are able to fix a computer problem in approximately fifteen minutes or less, the service is free,” said Whitney Gay, a student assistant who works at the desk. “Most people’s computers can be fixed in this time period. If it takes longer however, we charge a fee of $75 in Bama Cash.”

Students who have used its services said this fee is relatively inexpensive compared to computer companies that perform similar services in the Tuscaloosa area. Sadie Hill, a junior majoring in nursing, said she decided to bring her computer to HelpDesk because it was making a loud screaming noise due to several viruses and would not allow her to access the Internet.

“My friend recommended I take it to somewhere on 15th Street but they were going to charge like $115,” Hill said. “I brought it to the Help Desk and they fixed it in fifteen minutes for no charge and I got free software.”

HelpDesk can also install anti-virus software onto computers to protect against future viruses and also gives students a complimentary anti-virus CD.

Kayla Tamburelli, a freshman majoring in communicative disorders, said she thought she visited an insecure Web site and her computer became infected due to her virus protection software being out of date.

“A lot of pop ups would completely shut down my Internet every time they came up. It was hard to do much of anything before I brought it to the help desk,” Tamburelli said.

The help desk also gave Tamburelli a free anti-virus disc to eradicate the viruses so that her Internet now functions normally again.

Many faculty members also find the helpdesk useful in fixing computer issues that prevent them from doing their work. Jamie Glass, a professor in the math department, contracted a computer virus that completely prevented her from working on her computer.

“All I could do was surf the Internet, and I was not able to access my executable files,” Glass said. “Every time I have a problem I call the HelpDesk. I have always been satisfied with their help.”

Glass said her machine was repaired in three days, whereas the typical turnaround time is three to five business days. HelpDesk can restore a computer that has anywhere from a single virus to the current record of 300,000 viruses. The only technical issue that the desk does not deal with is hardware problems.

HelpDesk is located in Room 125 of Gordon Palmer Hall and is open 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. For more information, call 348-4357 or visit

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