I.T. Department provides tech solutions

Many students around the Mercyhurst campus have been experiencing trouble with their new Office 365 email.

Most of them get the same error message but there are also a few that are telling them something different.

Hannah Cox, director of the Information Technology (I.T.) Help Desk located in Hammermill Library’s main floor, explains the reason why there have been problems, ways to fix it and some helpful hints.

The reason for the software switch from Windows Live to Office 365 was not a decision made by the staff of Mercyhurst, Cox explained. Microsoft issued the update and made it mandatory for all universities using their program for email to switch.

The switch was originally scheduled to happen in June but it was pushed back so Microsoft could fix some bugs.

Clearly, there are still some issues and Microsoft, as well as the I.T. team, is working to make this switch as easy as possible.

According to Cox, the most common problem to occur with the email is a yellow-boxed error message saying something along the lines of “This account cannot be used to access outlook.com.”

This problem can be fixed by clearing your cookies and cache in your history.

For those who are not technologically savvy, there is an instructional video posted on the Mercyhurst Portal explaining how to fix the problem step by step for both Macs and PC’s.

Another common problem is that students are not able to log in to their email; even when they claim they have the correct password.

First things first, students should understand that due to the software switch, passwords to their Portal, Blackboard, and Webadvisor do not sync to their email.

Email passwords do not expire, meaning they do not have to be changed every 180 days, and can only be changed by contacting the Help Desk and asking them to reset it.

The Help Desk is hoping to eventually gain the ability for students to change their own passwords.

Upon contacting the Help Desk to reset email passwords, they will give the student a temporary password that will go into the “Old Password” field, and then the student will enter his or her desired password into the “New Password” field and then should be able to successfully log in to their email.

Sky Drive is a program that has also been affected by the change. Students, as well as faculty, should understand that the Help Desk does not support Sky Drive anymore.

Sky Drive is a web app that students can access by going to skydrive.live.com and register using their Mercyhurst email. Students should also understand that Sky Drive is a personal account whereas email is institutionally managed. When problems with Sky Drive occur, students should contact Microsoft.

Other common questions do come in to the Help Desk such as how to set up the Mercyhurst email on smart phones, Cox said.

Instructions for this, other problems, and some tutorials can be found on the Portal under Services > Information Technology > Help Desk > New Student Tech Information.

Some things that students should keep in mind are that even though the switch has been confusing and difficult, it allows privacy to web apps such as Sky Drive and students are able to keep their Mercyhurst email addresses forever.

It is also helpful to realize that when students are asked for their Mercyhurst username, it is the same as their email address but without the “@lakers.mercyhurst.edu” and is made up of their first initial, the first five letters of their last name, and the last two digits of their student ID number.

Cox also recommends that students keep track of and store their passwords to all accounts in a safe place but should not hesitate to come to the Help Desk with any technical problems.

The Help Desk also encourages all students and faculty to keep updated by reading all emails they receive and following them on their new social media accounts, both on Twitter and Facebook, under the name of “Mercyhurst University I.T. Help Desk.”

For more information, as well as any other technical inquiries, please contact the Mercyhurst I.T. Help Desk at helpdesk@mercyhurst.edu, visit them at the Hammermill Library, or call 814-824-3200.