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University Technology Services

Hardware Support

Complete Policy Title: Microcomputer Hardware Support and Purchases
Policy Number:
Approved by: Director, CIS
Date of Most Recent Approval: March, 2003
Revision Date(s): Reviewed Annually
Position Responsible for Developing
and Maintaining the Policy:
Director, CIS
Contact Department: University Technology Services
DISCLAIMER: If there is a discrepancy between this electronic policy and the written copy held by the Policy owner, the written copy prevails.

Supported Microcomputer Configurations
Individual computing requirements vary widely in a University setting, nevertheless the following information is meant to inform members of the campus community about the systems UTS currently supports. Information which is shared within workgroups and across the University imposes constraints in the use of standardized applications. Everyone is free to choose, but should be aware that these choices could limit full participation in services UTS provides to the University.

UTS supported microcomputer configurations are updated and published on a regular basis (at least annually) in response to market conditions and industry trends. Customers must expect new versions of software to demand more hardware resources on a regular basis (effective life-cycle of 2 to 3 years or less for some applications). Old applications software levels rapidly lose vendor support. When the vendor discontinues support for a product, UTS will normally follow suit, but on a longer time scale. Similarly, adoption of newer versions will require time to evaluate and test for use in the McMaster environment. 

Support will be limited for systems that do not meet the recommended minimum outlined below. If you are considering upgrading your current desktop computer or purchasing a new system, UTS would be pleased to discuss your requirements and offer advice regarding configurations that will be compatible with the University networking environment and services and corporate systems. Please contact the Technology Service Desk (ext. 24357 or to arrange for UTS staff assistance. 

UTS recommends that you always have a backup device installed on your computer such as a writeable CD, DVD,USB or tape backup.

Windows 2000 Professional


350 megahertz (MHz) or higher


128 megabytes (MB of RAM recommended minimum; more 
memory generally improves responsiveness and may be required for some applications

Hard Disk:

40 gigabytes (GB) 

Windows XP Professional


550 megahertz (MHz) or higher


256 megabytes (MB) of RAM recommended minimum; more memory generally improves responsiveness and may be required for some applications

Hard Disk:

40 gigabytes (GB)

Windows 98


266 megahertz (MHz) or higher


64 megabytes (MB) of RAM recommended minimum, more
memory gernally improves responsiveness and may be required for some applications.

Hard Disk:

10 gigabytes (GB)

For information on the current list of supported software see URL

Purchase of Microcomputers by University Departments
McMaster believes that the university should assist purchasers to purchase quality desktop computers at the best price including service and support.  Purchasing negotiate with vendors to provide the best price.  University Senior Management approved the Computer Purchases Advisory Group recommendations in September 1999.  More information is available at    For buying assistance, please contact the Purchasing Department.  Apple equipment is purchased through Titles.

The preferred suppliers offer microcomputer configurations that have been tested in the current McMaster environment and are known to function properly with current McMaster standard applications (including networking). These systems come with a 3 year warranty and can be supported on-site with authorized warranty service available from UTS. There are standard configurations listed for desktops, laptops and pc servers from entry-level to high-performance systems.

Equipment purchased from the preferred suppliers will receive priority handling for service calls. UTS Technical Services are authorized service centres for both DELL and IBM systems. If the purchaser chooses another option, any costs incurred to rectify a failure to operate in the McMaster environment will be borne by the purchaser. UTS will offer only a "best efforts" level of service on a "time and material" basis without assurance of results on all other suppliers' systems. 

Microcomputer systems from other suppliers (excluding Apple & SUN) have NOT been tested in the McMaster networking environment. Consequently, purchasers might experience difficulties (hardware and/or software incompatibilities with particular applications) that cannot be resolved, even by the supplier. 

Changing technology will inevitably cause the McMaster computing environment to change. No guarantee can be given that any microcomputer will be suitable for use in the McMaster environment for an unlimited time. The regular upgrade or replacement of equipment should be part of the normal budget planning of all equipment purchases. Current end of life-cycle is estimated at three years. 

If you require advise or assistance in selecting or configuring a microcomputer for your office requirements, please contact the Technology Service Desk to arrange for UTS staff assistance.

The electronic copy of this policy is maintained by UTS.

Service Bulletins

Citrix Receiver Client Update

UTS asks Citrix users to upgrade Citrix Receiver Client to the most current version by February 28, 2017. See UTS Citrix website for installation and removal information.

Mosaic Upgraded Interface

Service Desk

Client Self Service:
Hours: Monday - Friday
8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Phone: 905-525-9140 x24357 (2HELP)
Location: Main Campus BSB Rm. 245
Service Catalogue:

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