Computer Replacement FAQ

Finding Your Serial Number

Q: How to verify the serial number of an HP computer:

A: The Model and the serial number of HP computers are both on a silver label fixed to the computer itself. On desktops this label is on the top of the machine. On laptops the label is on the bottom of the device.

Q: How to verify the serial number of an Apple computer:

  1. Choose “About This Mac” from the Apple Menu.
  2. The “About This Mac” window will show various information including the serial number.
  3. Depending on your Macintosh OS, you may need to double click the version text, and click the text again until the Serial Number appears.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do you determine computers are eligible for replacement?

A: Full-time faculty and staff are allocated one computer designated as their “primary” computer. Computers are replaced on a four year cycle.

Q: What if I want a laptop or upgraded computer or monitor rather than the standard issue?

A: Additional upgrades to the computer such as more RAM, bigger hard drive, or a premium graphics card can be added. The additional costs over that of the computer provided by the replacement program must be paid for by the department. Please, notify us as early as possible if you would like any upgrades made to the computer provided by the replacement program.

Q: When do new faculty get their computers?

A: Using a list provided from the Provost’s office, the IT department will be in contact with each department and/or new faculty to determine computing needs. New faculty computers are the highest priority and will begin receiving computers immediately. If there are any special circumstances regarding arrival, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Q: Will we get a notice before computers are delivered to our department?

A: We will make every effort to work with the person that is assigned to the computer that is being replaced to schedule an appointment when the equipment arrives.  We ask that you communicate with us about extended times that you are not available once you are notified that your computer is being replaced.

Q: Do I have to be present when my computer is replaced and how long will it take?

A: The process will take approximately two hours. It is preferable that you are present, but if you are unable to be there, we will reset your password. This allows the installer to login and verify your configuration. Please be certain that you are enrolled at so that you can use the reset button to create a new password using your security questions.

Q: Do I need to do anything prior to the installer arriving?

A: The installer will backup and restore your data to the new computer as well as reconfigure the settings (email, printers, network drive mappings, etc). However, you can help the process by:

  • Making note of any special software packages you have installed and locating the installation files or media so they can be re-installed.
  • Make note of any special data files on your C drive. (Ideally these should be stored on your network personal drive, “M”).
  • Physically clean/clear the area around the computer so the hardware can be replaced more easily.

Q: Can I purchase the old computer for personal use?

A: Yes, please tape a note to your computer that includes your name, phone number and email address. We will remove your old computer from your office so that it can be prepared for sale. The old computer will remain in quarantine for at least two weeks. After that time it can be purchased in Sid Richardson, room 111, on Tuesday or Thursday between 3p.m. and 5p.m.

NOTE:  Purchased computers are for personal use only and cannot be used on the TCU secure network for business purposes.  See the question below for more details.

Q: Can my department purchase the old computer for some other use in the department?

A: Unfortunately we do not allow items purchased by the replacement program to be repurchased by the department and put back to use. The overall intent of the replacement program is to make sure that TCU computing resources are kept as up to date as possible, under warranty, and to insure that all computing resources meet the computing requirements of the University. Allowing a machine that was intended to be replaced to be put back in use defeats this purpose.

Q: What if I have questions or problems after the replacement?

A: Please contact the IT Support HelpDesk to assistance.