Agriculture Computer Support

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Need Help?

Please contact the NDSU Help Desk @ 701.231.8685 Option 1

Computer Order Form

Please use our computer order form to request equipment that is NOT a part of the annual Extension equipment orders or the county cost-share program.

Software Request Form

Please use our software request form to place software orders ONLY if you do not have a departmental software contact.  You can find out who your software contact is via the NDSU Departmental Software Contact list.

Current Events & News

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Ag Comm Computer Ordering On Hold Until July 1

After May 10th, ACCS will be not be taking any further departmental computer orders until the beginning of the next fiscal year (July 1).  While we will make every effort, we cannot guarantee that any computers ordered up to the cutoff date will be billed this fiscal year.  Please note that this does NOT affect cost-share or the yearly Extension equipment ordering process currently taking place.

At this time, anyone who needs to order a computer and receive billing before the end of the fiscal may want to contact Brad Sonmor at the NDSU Bookstore (701) 231-8013.  Please note that due to the time frame, they may only be able to provide pre-built (off the shelf) computers and might not be able to accommodate requests for hardware changes including RAM and/or hard drives.

Ag Comm Computer Services would be happy to provide assistance in ordering from the Bookstore to ensure you get the correct equipment.  Please feel free to contact us for assistance.  

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause and look forward to taking your computer orders again in the next fiscal year.

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Windows 7 Support Ending January 2020

In January of 2020, Microsoft will be ending all support for Windows 7.  This means that Microsoft will no longer provide patches, fixes or security updates for the operating system.  In order to ensure the systems we support continue to receive the latest fixes, patches and protection from malicious threats, Ag Comm Computer Services will be dropping all support for Windows 7 computers after January 1, 2020. 

If you currently have a computer running Windows 7

For those still running Windows 7, the first thing you'll need to do is assess your current computer's age.  If you are running a computer purchased through Ag Comm, you can use our Replacement Status tool to help identify the age of your computer.  Most computer manufacturers also provide a webpage where you can enter your computer's serial number and receive both current warranty information as well as the original ship (purchase) date.  The warranty page for HP computers and the warranty page for Dell computers are the two most commonly used.

Does it meet the Windows 10 eligibility requirements?  If so, you can request to have your computer re-imaged (not upgraded) with Windows 10. 

If it is not Windows 10 eligible, we strongly encourage you to consider purchasing a new baseline computer within the next year. For those with an Extension appointment, the Replacement Status tool will also help to determine if you are eligible for either the Extension Equipment Order Process or the County Cost-Share available next summer.

If you are unsure of the status of your computer or have questions about the upcoming support changes, please feel free to contact Ag Comm Computer Services for assistance at

 

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Serious Chrome Vulnerability Discovered

Yesterday, March 6th, Google announced the discovery of a very serious flaw in their Chrome Browser that can allow malicious parties and websites to install and run software on your computer without your knowledge.  Google is stressing the immediate need for everyone to update their Chrome browser as soon as possible due to the severity of the flaw.

What's going on?

Google has identified a high threat flaw in the Chrome browser that will allow an outside party to install any manner of malicious or virus-like programs on your computer without your knowledge.  Unfortunately, they've also confirmed that several groups have already begun to actively exploit this flaw. 

Am I affected?

To tell if your browser if affected, open chrome, type chrome://settings/help into the address bar and press enter to load a help page that will give you the current version of your browser.  You can also view the version by clicking on the 3 vertical dots in the upper right hand corner of chrome and navigating down to Help -> About Google Chrome.  If your browser is older than version 72.0.3626.121, you need to update right away. 

How do I update?

If your browser is not up to date, the same help screen you used to find the version should also offer you an option to download the latest chrome update.  If you see the option to update, be sure to run it.

My browser was affected, what does this mean?

Just because your browser had the flaw doesn't mean it was exploited.  At this point, just make sure you update Chrome to the latest version, watch for any unusual behavior on your computer and make sure your antivirus software is up to date and run at least once a week.  For those on campus, we provide daily quick scans and updates are made available daily.


Additional information can be found here:

https://www.zdnet.com/article/google-reveals-chrome-zero-day-under-active-attacks/

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/google-chrome-update-patches-zero-day-actively-exploited-in-the-wild/

 

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Compromised Passwords Discovered

During a recent security check of NDSU passwords (not NDUS / Email), a number of them were determined to be compromised and unsafe to use.  In order to get the message out as quickly as possible, we will be notifying each person affected directly via email.  All email messages will be sent from our Ag Comm Computer Services (NDSU.AgTech@ndsu.edu) account. You will only receive an email if your password has been affected.

The message they will receive will be similar to this (content may differ slightly).

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We've recently been notified that your NDSU account password (NOT your email password) has been identified as compromised and is unsafe to use.  We strongly recommend changing it as soon as possible.

What does this mean?

Passwords that are considered compromised have been discovered in one or more online malicious lists containing all manner of account information.  Any password found in these lists is completely UNSAFE to use.  If you have multiple online accounts using the same password, your risk of having one or more of your online accounts compromised increases greatly..

If you receive one of these messages, please be aware it is ONLY a notification your password is not safe to use.  We are not suggesting your computer or NDSU account has been compromised.

How did this happen?

Passwords (and account logins, email addresses, etc..) can become compromised when criminals gain access to them through various means such as computer theft, online hacking, or even phishing emails.  If you have multiple online accounts using the same credentials, your risk of this happening greatly increases.  Once they have this information, they place it into lists and databases that can be used to break into your online accounts.  Often, these lists are bought and sold on the internet to other criminals with similar motivations.

What do I do now?

The first step is to change your NDSU account password. 

  1. Visit the NDSU Account Management System
  2. Once at the page, click on the Login button in the upper right-hand corner and log in using your current NDSU (not NDUS / email) login and password.
  3. Authenticate with DUO either via your smartphone, phone number or landline
  4. On into the management page, you will need to click on Change Passphrase in the upper left-hand corner.
  5. Follow directions to change your password.  Please pay special attention to the password requirements (length, upper case, lower case, numbers, special characters, etc...).

Once finished, we strongly encourage you to also change the passwords of any other accounts you may have used it with to prevent any malicious activity there.  It is also a good idea to run an anti-virus scan on your computer as a precautionary measure.

What about my email and NDUS password?

At this time, the University System (NDUS) is currently looking into performing a similar password evaluation.  Once they are finished and we are aware of any compromised passwords, we will contact the owners directly so they can take action.

 What if I have additional questions?

For additional questions on this, we strongly encourage you to contact the NDSU Help Desk @ 231-8685 or NDSU.helpdesk@ndsu.edu.  You can also contact the Ag Comm technicians by contacting us at ndsu.agtech@ndsu.edu 

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Winmail.dat and Email Attachment Issues

Updated August 9, 2017 at 4:19 PM CST

 

Over the last couple of months we have had an increasing number of people reporting issues with sending email attachments to non-NDSU email accounts.  In most of these cases, instead of receiving the expected attachment, the recipient received a winmail.dat file.

What is winmail.dat?

The winmail.dat file is sometimes used by Microsoft Outlook to store additional information such as text formatting for the message being sent and, under certain conditions, can also contain any files that may have been attached to the email. Unfortunately, winmail.dat stores the attachments in a format that is unreadable on most computers.

Why are some people receiving the winmail.dat file instead of the file I attached?

The problem appears to be linked to contacts we used prior to the email migration last March.  From what we can tell, some contacts that were carried over had additional document formatting added to them by Outlook.  While we're not sure why this happens, we do know that sending mail to the affected contacts will result in an email where the original attachment has been replaced by a winmail.dat file.

What can be done to fix the issue?

In Office 2013 / 2016, the only sure way to fix the issue is to have the sender go into their Outlook contacts and delete and re-create any contacts that are currently receiving the winmail.dat file.

  1. Open Outlook and click on your People tab in the lower left corner.  It can either look like this: Contacts_compact  or this:
  2. Locate the contact for the person receiving the winmail.dat file, right click on it and select delete.
  3. Now click on the New Contact button in the upper left corner of the Outlook window and create a new contact to replace the one you just deleted. 

Once finished, the next email and attachment you send to this person should arrive as expected.

 

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