Using Your Computer

General Guidelines


  • Do not modify Nebula hardware without assistance from Nebula Support.
  • Leave your computer turned on at all times to allow network access for critical updates. You may log off or lock your computer, but please do not power it off.


  • A standard suite of software is installed on Nebula computers, which is patched regularly.
  • If you install your own software, you do so at your own risk. Keep a copy of the installation files, license codes, and any customized settings.
  • If you have a specialized program required by a number of people in your department, Nebula may be able to create a "package" for it for easy installation on a number of computers. Ask us.


  • Use strong passwords. Check your password with Microsoft's online password security tester.
  • Protect your password
    • Do not share your password.
    • Do not leave your machine logged in and unattended (use the Window key and L to lock it).
  • Practice Safe Hex! Be vigilant on the Web and email:
    • Don't click--hover! Hover your mouse over links in email; this displays the actual destination.
    • Don't click or call! If the message or its links ask for any personal information, contact the company directly. Do not use the phone number or email link in the message.
    • If you have entered your UW NetID credentials into a bogus site, you should change your password at the valid UW site. Go to the UW home page and search on change password or type or copy this URL into your browser:
  • Filter spam the right way.

Your Files

  • Save files on H: or I: drives
    • H: drive is for individual use files
    • I: drive is for files shared with your workgroup
    • Files on H: and I: are backed up
  • Don't store files on C: drive (includes Windows desktop)
    • Local drives are not backed up – your work can be lost.
    • Files are not available from another Nebula computer
  • Lost a file? Or has it been changed or damaged beyond repair?
    • You may be able to retrieve a copy using the I:\snapshots folders.
    • Backups are stored at: Your H: drive in I:\snapshots\(selected date)\users\(your UWNetID) Your I: drive in I:\snapshots\(selected date)\groups\(your directory)
    • The files in Snapshots are read-only, and should be copied to your regular directory.
    • If you cannot find your file, contact

Files that should not be placed on Nebula file servers:

  • Confidential data. If you have questions about whether you are handling confidential data, please see your supervisor or contact
  • Windows backup files, disk images, or an entire copy of a hard drive.
  • Non-work related media files (these could also run afoul of ethics rules and state law), such as MP3 files, movie files, and images.
  • Programs, executables and installers. The C: drive is a good alternative for these files.
  • Large files, over 1GB in size. These may require special computing resources not suited to the existing shared file services. Talk with your Nebula support person if you find yourself in this situation.

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Last modified: July 8, 2013