Information Technology Division
Computing & Communications Center

Extended Leave for Faculty and Staff FAQ

As faculty and staff prepare for an extended leave, they have many questions regarding computing issues. Below is a compilation of answers to common questions posed to the Helpdesk.

General Questions

E-Mail questions

Accessing WPI Resources

General Questions

What if my WINDOWS/ADMIN password is due to expire while I am away?

You are prompted to change your WINDOWS/ADMIN password every 180 days. If it will not be convenient to reset it while away, you can change it prior to leaving using Windows Vista or 7 by pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL and choosing "Change Password." If your Windows password is due to expire several e-mail notifications will be sent to your WPI e-mail address by helpdesk@wpi.edu beginning 15 days prior to the expiration date until the password expires or is reset. See our online Guidelines for Secure Password Creation.

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Do I need to backup data on my hard drive?

It is best to separate personal data from WPI data and store accordingly. WPI data should be stored on a business network share and personal data may be stored on your personal network share. Data in these locations is backed up by ITS (Information Technology Services). Hard drives in office and lab computers are not backed up by ITS, therefore you may want to transfer data to a different location, perform a complete backup, and ensure that software application installation disks are secure prior to taking an extended leave. Details are available in File Storage Services.

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Can I still get help during academic breaks?

Yes, the WPI Helpdesk is open during breaks! The Helpdesk is open during normal business hours (generally 8 AM - 5 PM Monday - Friday). The Helpdesk can be reached by phone from off-campus by dialing (508) 831.5888. Questions can be submitted via e-mail at any time to helpdesk@wpi.edu.

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E-Mail Questions

What is the easiest way to check my e-mail while away?

The easiest way to access your e-mail while away from WPI is via a web-based e-mail client. All of the WPI web e-mail clients can easily be accessed from: http://webmail.wpi.edu.

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I would like to forward my mail to another account while away. How can I do this?

Depending on which server handles your e-mail delivery, choose the option below that applies to you:

  1. WPI e-mail users of the Exchange servers (ADMIN)
    ... should use Outlook rules to setup mail forwarding. Contact the Helpdesk for assistance with setting up rules.
  2. WPI e-mail users of the UNIX server
    ... can choose to forward their e-mail to another account using the E-mail Forwarding Management page.

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I will be unable to access my e-mail. How can I inform people using an automatic response that I am away and will not get their e-mail until I return?

If you are using UNIX e-mail (imap.wpi.edu), you can setup the Vacation feature. This will send an automatic e-mail reply to anyone who e-mails you and inform them that the message has been received, but that you will not be able to read it until you return. This may be done online on the Vacation Message Management page.

If you are using Outlook through an Exchange server (ADMIN), then the Out of Office Assistance feature can be used. For help with creating an Out of Office Assistant rule, see Outlook Help for your version of Outlook. Help for this feature in Outlook can be obtained by:

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What if I reach my email quota while away from WPI?

The Helpdesk recommends reducing your quota prior to taking an extended leave. This can easily be done by deleting unneeded items in the Inbox, Sent Items and other folders, saving file attachments to a location other than email, and emptying Deleted Items. If you reach your quota while away, new message will continue to be delivered to your inbox, but you will no longer be able to send message.

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Accessing WPI Resources

How can I use WPI resources while off-campus?

The Virtual Private Network (VPN) client will provide access to most network resources normally accessible while on-campus. For example, connecting to the VPN from an off-campus computer will allow you to map a network drive and use the Outlook client to access mail via the ADMIN exchange server (exchange.wpi.edu). The VPN can be downloaded and installed from the Network Operations VPN website.

You can also access library databases and electronic journals from off-campus. See "Off Campus Access" on the Library website.

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Can I map to my network drive from my home PC?

Yes. Using the VPN and your home Internet connection, you can map to your WPI network file storage. For directions on mapping a network drive while off-campus, visit the Network Drive Mapping page. Please note that you need to know the full path of the business networks shares in order to map them from off-campus.

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Last modified: Jul 10, 2014, 12:13 EDT
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