Personal Computer Support in ALICE

Number of desktop PCs currently active in the ALICE CERN team (numbers correct to +-15%)
Windows only 
Dual boot Windows & Linux 
Mac OS (9 and 10) 

These numbers may include some laboratory PCs with special installation. The list does not include server machines used in various ALICE groups and X-terminals which we will not support in any way.

In what follows, we suppose that the request comes from the user,and we specify who has to contact the official support.

Purchase support procedures

What How Remarks
Standard CERN desktop PC and monitor  Order via EDH The client can purchase directly standard items as long as there is financial coverage. ALICE secretariat can help fill in the EDH form if needed. 
Non standard PC and monitors  Order with a DAI via EDH User has to provide full information on the order and price quote from the supplier . Again ALICE secretariat can help to fill the form if need be.
Upgrade of standard PC to meet specific user needs (video cards, memory, internal disks)  Mail to servicedesk with list of items to be upgraded. May necessitate the upgrade elements to be ordered in advance Not all upgrades may be supported. Only items in CERN Stores catalogue can be used for upgrade
Replacement of broken standard CERN hardware  Mail to servicedesk Free if the PC is still under warranty (3 years). The label on the back of a standard PC contains the purchase date. The helpdesk can decipher it and tell if it is still under warranty.
Peripheral devices (external disks, memory sticks, printers, network switches, wireless cards, others)  Stock items in order via EDH
Sundry expenses reimboursement (less than 300CHF) 
Non-standard equipment acquisition is strongly discouraged. Recent proposal of introducing blanket orders could help tremendously here.  Printers connected to the CERN network can be ordered and installed only by


Installation support procedures


What How Remarks
Installation of new PCs at the user location Mail to servicedesk An appropriate entry should be made in the inventory database. 
Registration of PCs in the IT network database. IT web interface  The PC parameter (make, model, OS, OS version, serial number, network card, MAC address) should be entered in the IT network database.
Creation of local user accounts, maintenance of local directories Mail to servicedesk Not all operation may be supported
Installation of CERN supported OS Mail to servicedesk Installation of Mac, Windows and Linux. Dual boot not supported 
Installation of specific software, requested by the user Mail to servicedesk If the application is one of those supported by CERN. Otherwise the user has to do it


Maintenance procedures

What How Remarks
Move and reconnection of PCs                                                            IT web interface The PC has to be physically moved by the user. 
Change of Service (network, OS) IT web interface May require intervention by Helpdesk in case of  IP address change
Hardware troubleshooting and replacement Mail to servicedesk Free if within warranty limits. Limited possibility to have a replacement. 
OS upgrades 

Automatic on logon for standard CERN Windows (NICE2000, NICE-XP) installations and for LINUX PCs if they are centrally managed (Scientific Linux CERN 3, run apt-get dist-upgrade). For Mac OSX users can run upgrades themselves.

Backup of critical data from local PC's  Automatic for shared directories in Windows and AFS in Linux. At the user discretion otherwise  


  1. PC Shop will soon cease to exist. Procedures for procurement, warranty, repairs, etc. are under preparation (Alberto Pace's group). We will be informed as soon as these are finalised and published.
  2. Non standard portables and laptops are supported on a "best effort" basis for visitors. Members of the CERN team should buy only standard equipment.
  3. If a user decides to install a version of Linux different from the CERN one, then not only he/she will have no support, but he/she will also have to install all the necessary security patches. In case this is not done properly, the security group can ask the machine to be disconnected from CERN Network.