During your time at the Business School, one of the most valuable services provided by the Information Technology Group (ITG) is the support we provide for your laptop computer. Because having a laptop is a critical requirement, ITG provides support by troubleshooting and resolving problems that may arise with your laptop. Support starts even before your first day of class, in the form of Laptop Pre-Configuration Online and the Drop-off Configuration during Orientation week. Afterwards, more personal support is provided in one-on-one sessions at the Student Technology Centers. However, this support is not the School's core business, and the support we provide has to scale over 2,700 MS, MBA & EMBA students. Some of Columbia's peers address this challenge by limiting their School's IT support to a single model of laptop, with a specific software image applied to it. When something goes wrong with your computer that is not solvable within 15 minutes, your computer's hard drive is reformatted, and the software image reapplied. ITG does not subscribe to this model. ITG also allows you an extremely wide latitude in your choice of laptops. However, in order to receive optimal laptop support from ITG, your laptop has to meet a few minimum requirements that relate to both software and hardware. Please see the table below with the list of supported configurations.
Once your laptop meets these minimum requirements, ITG provides full support for all of your software-based needs. Software support includes configuration/functionality support for all software contained in the minimum requirements and in the School's list of core software (also listed below). Unfortunately, ITG is unable to provide hardware support. Hardware malfunctions are your sole responsibility, and students typically depend on the type of manufacturer/service warranty accompanying your laptop. Be sure to place strong weight on this fact when you are deciding which laptop to purchase and where to purchase it. If your laptop has a hardware failure right before exams, a vendor that provides on-site, next business day support is clearly preferable to one who only provides mail-in support with a three-week turnaround period. ITG can help you diagnose whether an issue is caused by the hardware, and provide you with technical information that you may pass on to your warranty support.
ITG maintains a small pool of 'loaner' laptops for students whose laptops meet the School's minimum requirements. In the event your laptop is lost or becomes unusable, you will be able to borrow one of the loaners for one week. Please be aware that it is a small pool – 11 laptops to be exact, and these are ONLY available on a ''first come, first served basis" for the two reasons noted, so this should not be counted on as a first, or long-term, safety net. The first line of defense is an on-site hardware repair warranty from your vendor for the length of your stay at Columbia Business School. The second line of defense is proper care of, and vigilance about your laptop. In the event that you need use of a laptop while yours is replaced or fixed, a ITG-supplied loaner laptop may be available.
|Processor||• Intel Core 2 Duo Processor|
|Hard Drive||• 128 Gigabytes (GB)|
|Memory||• 4 Gigabyte (GB)
|Network Adapter||• Wired 10/100
• Wireless Ethernet Adapter
|For ultra-light laptops, you will need to purchase an additional Ethernet dongle
|Operating System||• MS
• Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and Up
• Your OS must be English
|Office Suite||• MS 2010 with
• MS 2011 on the Mac
• Your Office suite must be in English
Antivirus & spyware protection with latest definitions/updates
• Required in Mac & Windows
|• Provided by Business School free of charge if needed|
|Media Drive||• CD-RW/DVD-RW|
If your laptop meets the minimum requirements, we will also provide the following required software for both Windows and Mac OS:
|Adobe Reader||10.0 +|
|Risk Solver Platform (Windows only)
||11.5.0||• Provided by the Business
School (required for all non-partnership program students)
|Firefox & Internet Explorer
||16+ & 8+
|MS Lync||• Provided by the Business School|
|MS Office||2010 or 2011||• Mac Mail is unsupported|
|MS Security Essentials & Symantec Antivirus||4 + & 12 +||• Provided by the Business School|
|RealPlayer||7.0 or higher|
|GSB Printers Manager||• Provided by the Business School|
If your laptop does not meet the laptop minimum requirements, but comes close to them, you might still be able to do most tasks at the Business School. The school has a standard infrastructure, and the school's applications are all accessible via a web browser.
However, you will not have access to ITG Support Specialists, who are key to getting your computer configured for the School's network and keeping it correctly configured when you encounter problems. In addition, if your laptop is stolen or has to be returned for hardware repairs, you will not be eligible to participate in our loaner program unless the laptop you own meets all of the minimum requirements.
Laptop ConfigurationIn order to prepare students laptops in advance of classes, the Business School's Information Technology Group (ITG) offers incoming students a pre-configuration website which allows students to prepare their laptops prior to the on campus configuration session. Students can sign up for a pre-term Laptop Configuration Session through their to-do list on the admitted student website.
The pre-configuration comprised of three sections:
- Mandatory Pre-configuration Items: These must be completed before dropping off your laptop.
- Optional Items: These are optional but highly recommended.
- ITG Configuration Items: ITG Student Support must complete these items for or with you.
All items in the Mandatory Pre-configuration section must be completed before you drop off your laptop for configuration.
Configuration Session Information
After completing the items outlined above, you will have the opportunity to sign up for the “drop-off" session of your choosing (everyone must sign up for one session). You will drop off you computer at your chosen time and ITG will ensure that all necessary software was/is installed, and complete the items under the ITG configuration (below).
You will return to pickup your laptop at the designated time. There will be a brief “Technology at the Business School” presentation (25 min) and you will complete the last 3 steps of configuration (15min). At this point you may leave or you can stay to ask questions or resolve any issues
Attention MacBook Owners!
Certain programs that are necessary to complete courses at the Business School will not run on the Macintosh operating system. The programs SolverTable and Risk Solver Platform (and others, depending on your electives) require a Windows environment. The School requires you to set up Windows on your Mac using the VirtualBox utility. To use VirtualBox in Mac OS, you have to own at least Mac OS Snow Leopard (OS X 10.6). You will also have to have a minimum of 40 GB of free space in your hard drive, as the Windows installation requires an allocation of 30 GB.
The Business School's Microsoft Campus Agreement will cover the actual installation of Windows free of charge for you, once you have allocated space in your Mac's hard drive.
Listed below are the processes to be carried out and software packages to be installed during the configuration process.
Required Pre-configuration items (Completed prior to your session)
Data Backed Up
VirtualBox set up in the Mac
Download all Windows and Mac security updates (all current)
Internet Explorer 8
Microsoft Security Essentials OR Symantec Antivirus (if needed)
Recommended Pre-configuration items
Outlook Safe Senders list
Configure 3rd Party Firewall (if needed)
ITG configuration items
GSB Network & Local Printers
Register Network Adapter
GSB Mail (MS Exchange)
Risk Solver Platform
We look forward to seeing you at Orientation!