FAQs

DirectConnect Connections

If you live in the residence halls or Lewis and Clark Village, your internet is already covered in your room charge. All you have to do is plug in your computer to the Ethernet port on the wall, open up a web browser and follow the on-screen instructions. If you have questions or difficulties, call Student Affairs IT at (406) 243-2625.



The University of Montana's DirectConnect service is now included in your room charges as of the 2009-2010 academic year. This will include the cost of one port for your dorm room.

If you have any other questions about billing, feel free to contact the Residence Life Office in Turner Hall 101 at (406) 243-2611.

For a list of prices for the services we provide, please visit our Services page.

For Residents in On-Campus Residence Halls or in the Lewis and Clark Village

Internet in on-campus residence halls is through the high-speed campus network. These halls include Aber, Craig, Duniway, Elrod, Jesse, Knowles, Miller, Pantzer and Turner Halls.

Support Available:

  • In-room support during an appointment with your Resident Technical Assistant.
  • Phone support Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm at 243-2625.
  • Walk-in in office support Monday through Friday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm in the Student Affairs IT office, 014 Elrod Hall.

For University Villages Residents and Off-Campus Students:

Residents of the University Villages can purchase internet through a private internet service provider or connect to the wireless network available in certain buildings. The UV computer lab is available to all UV residents.

Support Available:

  • Phone support Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm at 243-2625.
  • Walk-in in office support Monday through Friday from 1:00pm to 4:00pm in the Student Affairs IT office, 014 Elrod Hall.

Make sure the secretary of your original dorm is aware of your move. The secretary will enter a move request with Student Affairs IT, and we will move your connection to your new room.

If you have internet troubles in your new room, visit Student Affairs IT between 1:00pm and 4:00pm Monday through Friday, or call us at 243-2625 between 8:00am and 5:00pm Monday through Friday.

You are not allowed to share your internet connection. This means that routers - either wired or wireless - are prohibited in the residence halls and LCV. If you live in either of these areas, please be aware that if we detect the use of a router your Internet access may be suspended.

Student Affairs IT sells Ethernet and coaxial cables directly. Also, the front desks of all the dorms have these cables for sale. Charges are billed directly to your student account. Please see our Services page for details.

These cables can also be found at retail stores such as the UM Bookstore or Radio Shack; however, these retailers often sell cables for significantly higher prices than we do.

Student Affairs IT offers many services. You can visit our Services page for more details on what we provide.
You can visit our page regarding setting up UMwpa on your device. To determine whether your residence hall has Wi-Fi access, please visit our main page and check under the "Wireless in the Residence Halls" heading for up-to-date information.

Miscellaneous

All residents share bandwidth, so during peak times the connection speed will slow down a little, much like traffic on a city street. Currently, the leading cause of potential slowness on campus is Netflix, as streaming medium-to-high quality video can take up a lot of bandwidth.
Basic cable is included in the rates for residence halls. For a complete listing, visit our TV channels page.

After finishing the DirectConnect Setup to get internet in your Residence Hall you often have to wait around 30-45 minutes for your computer to automatically release and renew its IP Address so that you can access the internet. With these steps below you can easily release and renew it on your own in a matter of a couple minutes!

  1.  Click on your start menu icon (Windows Vista & 7), and search for Command Prompt. If using Windows 8, you can just type it in the search bar after pressing the windows key, then right click on Command Prompt and click Run as Administrator…
    • For Windows XP users open the Run windows box (can be opened by holding Windows Key + R on your keyboard, or by clicking on it on the side of the start bar) and type cmd into the box, followed by hitting ctrl+Shift+enter which will prompt the User Account Control box and allow you to open Command Prompt as Administrator!
    • If done correctly it should open a box like this: Please verify that it says Windows\system32 because this will prove that you opened it as Administrator! If it is your user account name it was not opened properly! please retry the previous step.

  2. Type the following in Command Prompt, pressing enter after each (entering ipconfig /release will display a lot of information, but don’t worry. Type ipconfig /renew after it loads the information)
    • ipconfig /release
    • ipconfig /renew
  3. Once both of those steps are done try opening an internet browser and loading a webpage, like youtube or google, and see if it works okay!
If you run into any trouble during these steps, don't hesitate to contact Student Affairs IT. If you are living in a residence hall or are a Lewis and Clark Village resident, you can also make an appointment with your TEC here to have them stop by your room during their on call hours.

After finishing the DirectConnect Setup to get internet in your Residence Hall you often have to wait around 30-45 minutes for your computer to automatically release and renew its IP Address so that you can access the internet. With these steps below you can easily release and renew it on your own in a matter of a couple minutes!

  1. In the upper right-hand corner of your desktop you should see a magnifying glass. Click it and search for System Preferences. You should see it listed in the Applications section, go ahead and open it.
  2. This will bring you to the System Preferences page. Look for the Network option in Internet & Wireless section and open it
    • This will bring up a page that looks like this:
  3. Select Ethernet on the bar on the left hand side and then click on the Configure IPv4 dropdown box. Change it from Using DHCP  to Off. Once you have selected that hit Apply in the bottom right hand corner of the network page.
  4. Now go back up to the Configure IPv4 dropdown box and select Using DHCP again. Hit Apply in the lower right hand corner and you will have successfully completed an IP release and renew!! Test your new connection by going to any webpage.

If you run into any trouble during these steps, or are unable to get these steps to work, don't hesitate to contact Student Affairs IT. If you are living in a residence hall or are a Lewis and Clark Village resident, you can also make an appointment with your TEC here to have them stop by your room during their on call hours and assist you further.

Step 1: Uninstall any unwanted programs.

Go to Start,
Control Panel,
Add/Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Programs: Uninstall a program (Vista, Control Panel Home)

These steps will display a list of all installed programs on the computer. Should you see any unwanted programs, simply select the program from the list and press the Change/Remove button (Windows XP) or Uninstall (Vista/7).

Once removed, programs will be gone for good. Do not remove a program unless you're certain you will not want to use it in the future or you have a way of recovering the software. If you are not sure whether or not you should uninstall a program, search for it on Google. Chances are there will be forums where people explain what the program does and whether or not it is necessary to keep.

Some programs that are common causes of undue misery are:

  • Torrenting or P2P software
  • Any "Search Toolbar" software
  • Weatherbug

Once finished, restart the computer.

Step 2: Update Drivers

Every piece of hardware inside of your computer is managed by a piece of software called a driver. It handles the specifics of how your computer controls that hardware. Most companies are constantly revising their driver software. Updated drivers often mean improved performance and stability, and occasionally improved features.

The drivers needed by your computer depend on your specific hardware. Consult your computer's documentation or vendor for technical specifications.

Updated drivers are usually found at the website of your computer manufacturer.

Step 3: MSConfig

PLEASE NOTE: This is an advanced troubleshooting step! Please contact SAIT if you have any concerns about performing this step.

Note: These steps should work for any Windows operating system, with the exception of Windows 2000.  Windows 2000 first needs the program msconfig.exe for 2000 downloaded from Microsoft.com's Download Center and then installed as it is not included by default.

Go to Start
Go to Run (Windows XP) or click in Start Search (Windows Vista/7)
Type '
msconfig' and press 'Ok' or hit the 'enter' key

WARNING: You can make changes in the MSConfig tool that could cause your computer to become unbootable. Follow instructions carefully.

Select the "Startup" tab.

A list of checkboxes should be displayed. Each box represents a program that starts when your computer turns on. These programs run consistently from that point on, often times while the user is unaware.

Uncheck any programs you do not need starting right when your computer turns on. Remember, these programs will remain on your computer, they simply will not run when your computer turns on. If you are uncertain what a program does, you can reference many programs from a Startup Applications List. After you have unchecked programs, you will need to click on "ok" and then restart your computer.

After you restart your computer, the computer will display a notice that the configuration utility has been used. Put a check in the box stating 'Do not show this message again' and click "ok."

If You Have A Windows PC

WARNING: Safe Mode is a special diagnostic mode of Windows used for troubleshooting. Often it allows us to make changes to the operating system we would otherwise be unable to complete. Be cautious when making changes in safe mode, as administrators can make changes that are potentially harmful to their system.

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Press the power button to turn your computer back on.
  3. Immediately begin tapping the F8 key along the top of your keyboard repeatedly.  Usually 2-3 times per second is sufficient.
  4. A black and white list of options should appear after several seconds.  (On newer machines, tapping the button too fast may result in a high-pitched beep or the machine staying on a black screen for several minutes.  If this occurs, turn your machine off and try again.)
  5. On the black and white screen, you will need to use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate up and down the list of options and use the enter key to select one of the following options.
    1. Safe Mode: No CD-ROM or network capabilities.
    2. Safe Mode with Networking: Diagnostic mode that supports networking and internet access.
    3. Safe Mode with Command Prompt: Brings the computer to a DOS prompt called command prompt.
  6. Simply restart your computer as normal to exit safe mode.

If You Have A Mac

  1. Shut down your computer.
  2. Press the power button to turn your computer back on.
  3. As soon as you hear the startup tone press and hold down the shift key.
  4. Release the shift key when you see the gray Apple icon and the progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear).
All University of Montana students are provided with an email account free of charge. This email account is required for all correspondence between staff or faculty and students. Many professors also use this email to contact students about class and schedule notices. To login, you will need your NetID and NetID password.

The University's current email, UMConnect, can be accessed through several places:

To access your email through OneStop, log in using your Net ID and your Net ID password, then click the "Outlook Live" link on the left side of the page. To access your email through Hotmail, log in using your NetID@umconnect.umt.edu, for example ab123456@umconnect.umt.edu. Your password will be your Net ID password.

UMConnect is a faster, more powerful email service directly from Microsoft that not only contains the student's email account but also offers each student an online storage space for up to 25GB of data that can be accessed from any computer and several other great networking tools.

More detailed information on your email account can be found through the IT Central support page.

Support for University email accounts should be directed to the IT Central Help Desk.  To contact the IT Central Help Desk, visit the Social Science Room 120 or call 243-4357 (243-HELP)

Check out our tutorial video!



What is a reformat?

Reformatting is the process by which you completely erase all data from your hard drive, eliminating your operating system, data files (word documents, excel spreadsheets, mp3's etc) and any and all software.  It is an irreversible process.  Once started, there is no turning back.  Make sure you absolutely need to reformat before you begin.

Why would I reformat?

There are instances where cleaning the entire system will purge any defects or software conflicts.  Sometimes there are programs that interfere with other programs in such a way that they render your system completely useless.  Installing two antivirus programs at the same time is an example of this. Virus infections can also render your system unuseable.  In order to completely ensure the removal of a virus, reformatting your hard drive may be necessary.  When your computer seems sluggish and you haven't reformatted in a long time, you might find a reformat will breathe new life into your machine.  This is due to a large, cluttered registry and software applications eating away at all your resources.

Now that the formalities are out of the way, here are a few tips to ensure a smooth reformat. These instructions are for Windows based computers. Many instructions will be radically different for Mac or Linux users.

  1. Back up anything you need.  This does NOT include your actual programs.  Only save the working documents such as any word documents, personal homework, email, internet favorites, game save files, music, pictures, videos etc. If you try to backup software, it will not work when you put the files back onto your machine. You will need to reinstall these programs from the original disks.
  2. If you custom built your computer, then this next step is very important. Make sure you take note of all the drivers that your computer is currently using. If you have CDs for your hardware drivers, then these will be sufficient. If you have any hardware in your computer that does not have a CD, make sure you check Device Manager (Right Click My Computer/Computer => Properties => Device Manager OR Hardware => Device Manager) and record all the drivers currently in use by your machine. If you bought your machine pre-built in a store, go to the website of your manufacturer (i.e. Dell, Gateway, IBM, Lenovo, etc.) and check to make sure they have all the drivers on their website. These drivers are usually in the Support section of each website. If you do not have a CD, you will want to save at least your modem or network drivers to a CD or flash drive before reformatting.
  3. If you are using a Windows CD, make sure your system boots to the CD drive first. Do this by either changing the BIOS or simply mash the F10 button during start up then select CD Drive to boot from CD.
  4. Now, wait until you reach a screen that will present you with options such as install windows, repair a windows installation, exit etc... Follow the instructions on the screen. Various versions of Windows and manufacturer Windows restore discs present you with differently worded instructions but they are all generally easy enough to follow. If you are unsure what to do at a certain point, contact us.
  5. Once Windows finally finishes installing (usually 45 minutes to an hour), reinstall your modem/network card drivers. After that, go download (unless you saved the drivers on CD) all the drivers for your peripherals. 
  6. Now that all your hardware works again, all you need to do is reinstall all your software programs (Office, Photoshop, etc) and put your data files you saved in step 2 back on the hard drive.

(NOTE: If you burned your data to a CD and are unable to edit/modify your documents, it is because when you record onto a CD you change a file's attributes to read only. In order to edit your documents, you will need to find them in Windows Explorer => Right Click => view properties and UNCHECK the read only box.)

Advanced Tips

Having two hard drives is ideal for frequent formats. Save all your data on the second hard drive and install all your programs on your first hard drive. When you need to reformat there is no need to do step 2 at all if you have all the drivers/software preloaded in a backup drive.

For the budget-minded, a recordable CD/DVD drive will help back up important static data (data that never changes like programs you use such as WinZip, mp3 software, or device drivers) such that you can have the Windows CD in one drive when you reinstall and your utility CD in the recordable CD/DVD.

Additionally, programs like Drive Image will create an exact replica of your hard drive. You can use this to save your computer state right after you reformat and install all your drivers/software so that whenever you need to do a reformat, you can simply restore your hard drive from the state your machine was in after a reformat. You can save this on your other hard drive to make reformats a one step process.

If you run into any trouble during this data backup and reformat process, don't hesitate to contact Student Affairs IT. If you are living in a residence hall or are a Lewis and Clark Village resident, you can also make an appointment with your TEC.