FAQs - Computing Services

Information provided below will give you a better understanding of the challenges the Law School community is currently experiencing with regard to its Internet service.

Q1. Why is the network up and down?

A1. Our network has not been “down.” When a network is “down,” to even log on would not be possible. We have a line between the Law School and main campus (specifically, the connection is located at the School of Business, our “entry point”) that provides our Internet Service. When problems exist with this line, an alternate way to access the Internet is not available to the Law School at this time. However, the Law School is currently working on an initiative to purchase an alternate line for Internet Service, through Verizon, that will be independent of the line to main campus. When installed, there will be two ways to access Internet Service. Then, in the near future, if ever there is an interruption in service through main campus, interruptions in access should not occur.

Q2. Why are we being attacked with viruses?

A2. Though all desktop computers at the Law School (including the Law Library) are protected with Norton Anti-Virus software, new viruses are introduced everyday and the anti-virus protection in place cannot fully protect our computers from these new and complex viruses, such as the recent Blaster Worm and SoBig viruses. Software designed to combat these complex viruses does exist. However, it must be installed on the Law School’s server. Though this software has been ordered for quite some time, it has not yet arrived.

Q3. Does main campus have software protection on their server?

A3. Yes. However, a limited number of licenses were purchased and installed on various servers (on main campus) , which serve as protection for those who use or are connected to those servers. The Law School, unfortunately, did not receive their license, to date. Nevertheless, we anticipate our license soon.

Q4. Why did we change e-mail servers?

A4. Our previous e-mail server failed frequently because it was old, had hard drive failures, and a voluminous amount of inconsistencies were in our e-mail database. If we had continued to use that server, a total crash would have been inevitable. To avoid such a tragedy, we moved from Exchange 5.5 to an upgraded Exchange 2000. Previous “bugs” that existed in the old Exchange 5.5 were corrected in the new and improved Exchange 2000. Problems that we currently face are NOT e-mail server configuration problems, but rather virus and worm problems.

Q5. Does it matter which “client,” (I.T. terminology) i.e. Outlook, Netscape, or Eudora, we use to view, send, and receive our e-mail?

A5. It would be better, for management purposes, if everyone used the same “client.” Evenso, it is not necessary for faculty and staff to use Outlook Web Access as the only means to manage e-mail. Students, however, can only use Outlook because students are not issued “permanent” desktops that can be uniquely configured. Outlook Web Access is designed, mainly, to enable remote access, allowing access from any national or international location that has Internet access. Special configurations must be set in order to use Netscape and Outlook, but not Outlook Web Access.

Q6. Why can’t I see my old mail?

A6. Each user should still be able to view and print previously received e-mail. Students: Go to Law School Home Page, at www.law.howard.edu and click on web mail in the left hand corner. Enter your username and old password. You should see e-mail dated before August 12, 2003. We did not move old mail over to the new e-mail system for security reasons. Faculty and Staff (other than the Dean of the Law School): If you were using Netscape, old mail is located under “Local mail.” New e-mail, as of August 12, 2003 is located on the new server at Exchange 2000. If you were using Outlook, your old mail is under your “personal folder in your “Inbox.” Your new mail can be located at Exchange 2000 in the “Inbox.”

Q7. Why must I continuously delete old mail from Inbox, Sent, and Trash locations?

A7. All users have a limited mailbox capacity. When you reach this capacity, e-mail cannot be transmitted—incoming nor outgoing. You should repeat these steps throughout this period of complex viruses to prevent our new server from “crashing.”

Q8. When main campus’ server and/or line are down, does that mean the Law School will be affected?

A8. Yes and No. If the line is down, we will not have Internet service because this is our only means to access Internet service until we get the independent line previously mentioned. We will, however, have the ability to communicate “in-house” or with each other at the Law School only. When main campus’ server is “down,” we are not affected.

Q9. Once a virus-filtering tool is installed on our servers, will we continue to receive viruses?

A9. Yes. However, the amount will be significantly reduced. I.T. personnel can clean viruses at our server without shutting it off. Thus, viruses will be prevented from freely entering at your desktop.

Q10. Why am I not receiving e-mail from E-Attorney?

A10. E-Attorney is a separate software program that is independent of the Law School’s e-mail system. E-Attorney generates automatic e-mail based on loaded data placed into that system by Career Services and/or other sources. Students may access E-Attorney from another client, such as AOL, Earthlink, MSN, so long as Internet connectivity is available. Furthermore, remember, if your mailbox is full or has reached its maximum capacity, all e-mail will be returned marked “undeliverable” without regard to the sender.

Q11. Why can’t I access Banner?

A11. Banner is a web-based application, which requires access to the Internet. If our line to main campus is not functioning, access capability to Banner is not possible. Students attempting to register via Banner may use other connections that are not associated with the Law School’s server or contact Information Systems (ISAS) on main campus for assistance. ISAS controls Banner, not the Law School’s I.T. Department.

Q12. Why can’t I send mass e-mail?

A12. A: Only certain groups have been authorized “rights” to send mass e-mail to the Law community. However, these rights were temporarily interrupted to permit I.T. personnel to switch users from the antiquated Exchange 5.5 server to the new and improved Exchange 2000 server. We anticipate these rights will be restored not later than September 2, 2003.

Q13. Are laptops protected from viruses?

A13. Laptops that are the property of the Law School has anti-virus software installed and are protected from viruses. Students, presently, are responsible for providing their own anti-virus software. The Law School is reviewing policies regarding this matter.

Q14. Why can’t I access e-mail from home?

A14. More than likely, you are entering incorrect information. Depending on your operating system, you will receive two or three dialog boxes, “Username,” “Password,” and “Domain.” The first two are self-explanatory. The domain for faculty and staff is: Facstaffnet; students domain is: Studentsnet. For only two dialog boxes, type in the Username box: Facstaffnet/username and enter password, as normal. (Example: Facstaffnet/Fking; datanews).