Desktop/Notebook Support

Need help with your desktop or notebook computer? Browse through the self-help and troubleshooting articles below.

If your problem needs to be escalated, scroll down to the footer at the bottom of the page to log a ticket with the IT Service Centre.

Hardware Procurement

To purchase new equipment please use our IT Hardware Purchasing Process.

Self Help Guides

Tips to prevent your laptop from overheating:

  • Laptops should be used on a hard, flat, clean surface. The rubber feet on your laptop should elevate it, allowing air flow around. The air vents should be free of obstruction.
  • Do not use your laptops on a carpet, blanket, pillow, or any other type of surface that may cover the vents and reduce airflow.
  • Do not use your laptop directly on your lap. Skin irritation could result from prolonged contact to the system chassis. If you must, use a laptop pad that allows proper airflow.
  • Regularly check and clean the air-vents on your laptop for accumulated dust, hair, etc which may interfere with airflow.
  • If you are unable to clear this yourself, please contact the Service Centre on 9385 1333
  • Make sure to always switch off your laptop before putting it in a bag.
  • For the recommended laptop set-up refer to  Ergonomic Equipment | Work Health & Safety ( or if you want an overall workstation assessment refer to Workstations | Work Health & Safety ( 

Laptops can become warm to the touch during usage, particularly if there is high or intensive usage such as:

  • Extensive use of internal drives (eg. moving large volumes of data to/from the HDD, watching a DVD, reading/writing to large databases)
  • Playing games, local or online
  • Video streaming (eg. YouTube or Netflix)
  • Using your laptop near a heat source or in a hot environment (such as direct sunlight).

Fan speed can increase significantly in response to the changes in system temperature, this is by design to remove the excess heat.

Symptoms of your system overheating

Symptoms can include:

  • Random rebooting or shutdowns
  • System lock ups or Freezing
  • Tasks and applications can take more time than usual
  • Fans inside the computer become louder as they spin faster to remove excess heat

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms on a regular basis, please contact the Service Centre on 02 9385 1333

Dell Latitude and XPS Laptops – Dell Power Manager

If you are a Dell user and is experiencing the issue, follow this guide from Dell on changing settings to Dell Power Manager (should already be installed in your machine, if not, follow the guide):

HP Laptops – Power Management

Instructions for Power plans in Windows 10 can be found here:

If symptoms persist, please contact the Service Centre on 02 9385 1333.

Why it's important to keep your PCs up to date:  

When you see a message suddenly pops up saying, “a software update is available”, you might be tempted to cancel or postpone it. But you shouldn’t. Here’s why:  

  • System and software updates keep your PC running smoothly. Issues are routinely fixed and applications are fine-tuned during updates 

  • Security updates are also part of the updates. Not installing these puts you at risk for identity theft, loss of data, IP, personal, sensitive information and more. 

All UNSW staff and students are encouraged to install software updates as they released every month (for IT managed devices) Once you receive the notifications please allow your computer to install the updates.  


How to know if there are pending updates?  

  • You will see an icon like this  in this Section  


Best Practices

  • Make sure you are connected via Remote Access (VPN) for student and staff while working from home or outside the campus so software updates can take place  

  • Let the update take place and don’t defer it.  

  • Reboot your device multiple times a week.  


What to do when you have cancelled auto-updates? 

You can trigger the updates manually via these steps: 


For Dell Machines

On Dell computer next to the  Key type “Dell Command Update”  

Dell command update App opens. Double click on the   below screen opens.  

Check on “Check”: This step will identify missing patches and updated from Dell.  





Next Step: Click on Install  


This should download all the critical updates.  


Once installation is complete should present: 



For Dell Machines from the Website

  1. Browse to Dell Drivers & Downloads website. 



  1. Identify your Dell product.  

  • Click Detect Product to auto-detect your Dell product. 
    Follow the on-screen instructions to install the Dell Detect application.  

  • Enter the Service Tag (can be found back of the computer), Express Service Code or Serial number for your Dell product and click Submit. 

  • Select your Dell product manually by clicking View Products (e.g., Latitude 7490)  

  1. Click Drivers & downloads tab on the left. 


  1. You can locate Dell Update using:  

  • Keyword search box - Enter the keyword Dell Update. 

  • Operating System & Category filters - Select the operating system installed on your Dell PC and choose the driver category Application. 

  1. Click the download icon next to the driver of your choice and save the file. 


  1. Using File Explorer (also known as Windows Explorer), browse to the location where the downloaded file was saved. 

  1. Double-click on the .exe driver installation file and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process. 

  1. Reboot your PC. 


For HP Machines 

Look for Symantec Management Agent or CMS  on right hand side corner calls Systems Tray 


To update them with the latest patches and updates best to leave VPN  on while working from home. If VPN is connected- patching is done automatically in the background. To Open Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client on the right-hand side corner  of the computer and find  and hit connect 

To connect to the VPN, you need to use UNSW Zid & Password to log in Remote Access (VPN) for Students and Staff 

On your computer if you see  meaning updates are pending. Just need to double click on it so computer can start the patching process. It is highly recommended to leave VPN on and running. When patching is being in progress. Once you click on  (found on the right-hand bottom side of the computer screen) below screen comes up to let you know updates are happening.  


How to Run Windows Update  

There are a number of ways you can care for your peripherals to make sure that they are well maintained and germ free. Start with a gentle shake to knock loose any debris from your keyboard or mouse and move on to wiping them down with disinfectant wipes. Avoid using harsh cleaning chemicals or any type of bleach, as you might damage the finish of your peripherals. Keyboards and mice aren't usually waterproofed in the same way that phones are, so keep moisture to a minimum and make sure you properly dry everything off.

If you're cleaning a whole laptop you can use a microfiber cloth, and a very small amount of water where necessary. Once again, make sure you are keeping moisture to a minimum as too much liquid can cause irreversible damage to your equipment. According to Dell, alcohol wipes can be used on the screens attached to its computers, applied from a damp cloth, but go carefully. Once again, don’t use sprays or any harsher chemicals, no matter how rough the mess as this may lead to damaging the equipment.

PC Admin Access Request:

If you are interested in installing Software onto your own device, you will need to request admin access. Admin access, also known as ‘elevated’ or ‘level 3’ access to your Microsoft SOE computer can be granted to you, providing certain conditions are met. Access is gained by logging a request with the IT Service Centre.

  • When requesting admin access, you may be asked for sign-off from your supervisor.

  • If you are an engineering student, you may apply for elevated access directly.

  • If you are using a portable laptop or tablet device, its portability necessitates you having level 3 access by default.

Mac Admin Access Request:

  • All Macs allocated to staff grant users admin privileges. This means there should be very limited restrictions placed on what can be installed or modified on staff Macs.

  • Macs that are in student shared spaces (such as labs, the Library & CATS Rooms), have user rights restricted. This means students and staff logging into these Macs cannot install software or make changes that affect how other users use these systems.

  • If you are a staff member missing admin rights on your Mac, you will need to raise a request to the Digital Support Team. The request will need to contain the following details:

    • Mac Serial Number

    • Your Best Contact Number

  • If you are a staff member or student needing software installed or a modification made to a Mac in a shared space, you will need to raise a request at the bottom of the page to the UNSW Digital Support Team. The request will need to contain the following details:

    • Mac Serial Number

    • Location of the Mac (Building, Level, Room Number, etc)

    • Best Contact number


Please raise a request.


  • You can install Software yourself if you have admin access, otherwise a member of the Digital Support Team can help.


  • Some PC’s limit privileges for security reasons. This will block individuals from installing and/or modifying software themselves.

Digital Support Team Installation:

UNSW Licensed Applications

  • Digital support can schedule an automatic install of software licensed either to UNSW as a whole or your Department/Faculty

    • To begin the process, you will need to raise a request to the Digital Support Team. The request will need to contain the following details:

      • PC Serial Number

      • Best Contact number

      • Name of the Application you wish to have installed

    • You can raise a request by either of the following methods:

      • Call the I.T Service Centre on (02) 9385 1333

      • Raise a request with the Digital Support Team directly at the bottom of the page 


Non-Standard Or Non-UNSW Licensed Software

  • the Digital Support Team can install non-standard or non-UNSW licensed software onto your device. Before doing so, we need to be sure of the Applications safety.

    • To begin the process, you will need to raise a request to the Digital Support Team. The request will need to contain the following details:

      • PC Serial Number

      • Best Contact number

      • Name of the Application you wish to have installed

        • Information on the Application

        • URL of the Application/ publisher

        • Applications use/ features


  • On all Macs allocated to individual staff, UNSW & Faculty/Department licensed software is available through the Self-Service Mac App. 

  • All Macs allocated to staff grant users admin privileges. This means that if software is missing from the Self-Service App, you will be able to install it yourself.

If you believe software is missing from the Self-Service App, or you are unable to install an application yourself, a request will need to be raised with the Digital Support Team. The request will need to contain the following details:

  • The Mac's Serial Number

  • Best Contact number

  • Name of the Application you wish to have installed

    • Information on the Application

    • URL of the Application/ publisher

    • Applications use/ features


Please raise a request.


  • PC Imaging is the process of installing the UNSW standardised operating system (Standard Operating Environment) onto your computer.

  • Any computer which has been purchased from the list of UNSW Certified hardware can be SOE imaged or provisioned with UNSW-ready system software. Hardware not purchased from this list cannot run the UNSW SOE.

  • Brand new UNSW certified hardware can be imaged, and machines with a pre-existing SOE can be re-imaged.

  • To get either process underway, contact the IT Service Centre. You’ll need to provide your machine’s serial number. If it’s a new machine, we may also ask you for its MAC address (unique network hardware identifier). If you’re unsure how to find these identifiers, Service Centre staff will help you.

  • If the PC was purchased before 2020, the system will need to be collected for initial setup. If the PC was purchased from 2020, there may be no need to have the system collected. The initial setup can be performed by the system owner. For more information on this refer to the "The New PC SOE" section below.


  • What Is the Mac SOE

    • The Mac SOE (Standardized Operating Environment) allows us to better support you. The SOE image allows us to:

      1. Provide remote support on and off campus

      2. Provide software centrally licensed to UNSW or your Faculty

      3. Provide security through included virus protection

      4. Provide a cloud-based backup service for your data via Crashplan

    • The Mac SOE is lightweight and does not strip control away from the user. Staff maintain admin access and keep the ability to modify most of their Mac experience.

    • Without your Mac having the UNSW SOE image, the level of support we can offer is severely limited.


Which Macs qualify for the SOE?

  • Macs purchased by the UNSW Finance Team from the vendor CompNow

  • Macs purchased within the last 4 years


If my Mac qualifies, what next?

  • To begin the SOE process, you will need to raise a request to the UNSW Digital Support Team. The request will need to contain the following details:
    • Mac Serial Number

    • Your/ the Macs location on campus (Building, Floor, Room Number, ETC)

    • Best Contact number


What if my Mac does not meet these standards?

  • You will need to raise a request with the UNSW Digital Support Team. They will access the circumstances around your device to determine if it can be imaged with our software.


UNSW is moving away from using a more rigid, locked-down image for individual staff Desktops and Notebooks.

This means that now UNSW SOE users will retain more control and self-management of a PC. Digital support will still assist in the setup and use of devices where needed. By default though the following features will be enabled to staff using these new SOE systems:

  • User accounts will be administrators. This means by default staff will be able to install software not provided by UNSW without first seeking permission to do so.
  • UNSW provided software will be available for self-installation through the Company Portal application ( for information on using this, please refer to the Company portal section below ). This means a service request will no longer need to be raised in order to have software licensed and installed onto your PC.
  • Windows devices purchased from 2020 can be self setup/ enrolled in the SOE. This can either be out of the box new or after a device is reset. This can also be done off-campus, not connected to the UNSW network.

As PCs purchased from 2020 can be self setup/ enrolled into the UNSW SOE, below is a guide on how to do so. If you require help setting up your device please contact the I.T Service Centre. They will raise a request so a member of the Digital support team can assist you in setting up your new device.

SOE Self Enrollment/ Setup Process

Once out of the box, all that's required is the device be powered on, connected to a network and either the following text or video guide be followed.

Self Enrollment Video Guide

Intune Enrollment Example With Company Portal Demo

Self Enrollment Text Guide

Step 1 – Select Australia in the list of regions

Step 2 – Select US as the keyboard layout and click on “Yes” (ensure that US is selected otherwise your password will not work)