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Administrative Access on Faculty Computers

As of July 2016, there is now a form to fill out for obtaining an administrative user account for office computers. The form can be downloaded here: admin_rights_user_exception_form_for_ces.pdf

For security reasons, under Windows 7 (and newer operating systems) we provide administrative access through a special username and password. This ensures that only the programs which need administrative access (e.g. software installers) have administrative permissions, while other programs run normally with standard user permissions.

Your username/password will be provided by CES IT staff. Please do not share this information with anyone else. While you cannot directly log in with this information, you can use it to start programs with admin access. Windows 7 generally prompts you automatically for a username and password when you try to install or configure software. If this doesn't happen and you'd like to run something with admin rights, please right-click it, then click “Run As Administrator”, then enter the admin username and password.

Please type the password with care, as it is case-sensitive. (When I need admin rights on my computer, I usually just copy the password from the text file, then paste it into the security dialog.) Also, please be sure that you include the “.\” before the admin username, as that tells the computer that it's a local account (not a domain account).

Administrative Rights Restrictions / Disclaimers:

  • Please do NOT run any “risky” software as an administrator. This would include all web browsers (especially Internet Explorer), e-mail programs (especially Microsoft Outlook), and Adobe Reader.
  • Of course, any software you install should be from a known source and known trustworthy.
  • Please do not adjust the network configuration or remove any of the standard software which was pre-installed on your system. Also, please do not use “System Restore” functionality to revert any changes made to your computer by the IT staff or automated systems.
  • You take personal responsibility for the consequences of any changes you make. It may be necessary for CES staff to erase and reinstall the computer's operating system to correct mistakes made using administrative access. (e.g. contact with viruses or spyware) This can be a lengthy and disruptive process.
  • You are also responsible for ensuring that the university has the legal right to use any software you install.
  • Please do not install any “junkware”, such as programs which print coupons or monitor prices for non-work-related items.
  • Please do not install any “system optimization” software, such as CCleaner, registry optimizers, driver finders, or software which claims to improve your computer's speed. These programs are incompatible with our management systems and will cause serious problems with your computer.
  • Do not install any additional memory-resident virus scanning software on the computer. Software of this type conflicts with the university-provided security software and settings.
  • In general, please avoid installing any software which is not work-related if possible. We cannot support computers experiencing problems due to the installation of non-work-related software using the local admin account.
  • This special username/password should NOT be shared with IS or used to unlock the computer for use by IS. IS techs should contact CES support staff directly if they need admin access.
  • Do not share this administrative password with other users or allow it to be used by non-Purdue employees. This especially includes technicians installing broadband network connections at your home, who may be required to install problematic software on the computer.
  • Do not install conflicting anti-virus or anti-malware software on your computer. Any software which causes problems or prevents normal operation of the university-provided security software (i.e. anti-virus) is prohibited.

Special Note Regarding Kronos

Do NOT, under any circumstances, use your administrative account to install/upgrade/downgrade Java, especially to the version recommended by Kronos. Doing this is quite harmful and dangerous. If you are experiencing issues using Kronos, please contact CES support staff.

Support issues due to administrative account use

Please be aware that recovering from problems caused while using the administrative account can be very time-consuming and can result in an inability to use your computer for an extended period of time. For that reason, we strongly advise that you avoid use of the administrative account if you are in any way uncertain of the full implications of any actions you are taking. Recovering from problems caused by the administrative account usually requires completely erasing and reinstalling all software on your computer, which can be extremely disruptive to your work.

For computers which are not your primary computer, recovering from problems caused as a result of administrative account use will take three weeks. (21 days) This includes laptops (for users who also have a desktop computer), lab computers, and research systems. For the primary computer in your office, recovering from problems caused as a result of administrative account use will take one week. While we will attempt to preserve your data and reinstall software on your computer, we can not guarantee in any way that all data or software will be preserved when your computer must be erased as a result of actions taken using an administrative account.

Signature policy

As of 2016, Purdue Northwest Information Services is now requiring a signed document by you and your supervisor before granting administrative access. In addition to the restrictions listed above, you are required to follow all terms detailed in this agreement. Please ensure that you are also aware of the standard Purdue IT usage policies, as specified by ITaP:

admin_rights.txt · Last modified: 2016/07/11 13:14 by tdobes

Purdue University, CalumetCollege of Engineering, Mathematics & Science