Help Desk Repair

This document provides a brief over view of Help Desk Repair procedures and addresses services available.

What happens when I give Help Desk Central my computer?

They will be asked to sign a release form, provide their UIN, and provide a working email address and/or phone number. The customer will be notified when their computer is ready. A customer has 90 days to pick up the computer. After that time, the computer will be taken to Texas A&M's Surplus facility.

What repair services does Help Desk Central provide?

Operating System (OS) Installation ($35)

To check in their computer for an OS installation, a customer must bring the following:

  • if it is a desktop computer, the tower.
  • if it is a laptop computer, the laptop and the power cord.
  • time to do file backups if there are files that must be saved.

Note: This process takes may take fifteen to thirty (15-30) minutes to set up, not including wait time. See the description of the service below, under "Data Backup ($35)." Saving data for backups does not add an extra fee.

  • the original OS CD/DVD, system recovery/restore CD/DVD, or an OS product key. There may be multiple CDs or DVDs that are part of a series.

Note: Original OS CDs/DVDs and system recovery/restore CDs/DVDs must belong to the computer being checked in. Trying to install an OS with a CD/DVD meant for another computer will result in a non-functional computer and missing data.

If the customer cannot find the original CD/DVD that came with the computer:

  • For Windows XP, they should purchase an upgrade license from the Texas A&M Information Technology Software Store.
  • For Windows Vista or 7, HDC can attempt to use the product key sticker on the computer.
  • If the Windows Vista or 7 product code on the computer does not work, a license can be purchased at software.tamu.edu.
  • For Mac OS X, they must verify to HDC which version was originally installed. If not, they should purchase another license. Unfortunately, the Software Store does not sell Mac OS X.

The computer will first undergo a hard drive scan and a memory scan. Computers with corrupt hard drives and/or failing memory will not be worked on until the customer brings in a new hard drive and/or memory. At this point, the customer has the option to pick up the computer without having the OS installed and to have the $35 fee waived.

HDC will install:

  • The OS.
  • All the necessary drivers.
  • A free antivirus program (using TAMU's license of McAfee unless otherwise requested by the customer).
  • All the necessary OS and antivirus updates.

Note: HDC will NOT install any programs not included in the operating system (except an antivirus program). This means that the customer must install the programs themselves after they check out their computer from HDC. Such programs include (but are not limited to) Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat, internet browsers, iTunes, AIM, Pidgin, Winamp, Roxio Creator, and VPN clients. If these (and other) programs were installed on your computer when you first purchased it, this does NOT mean that they will be installed on your computer by HDC. If you are uncertain if HDC will install a particular program on your computer along with the new OS, please ASK about specific programs.

Data Backup (Starting at $35)

  • 0 - 17 GB data recovery . . . . . . . . FREE

  • 17-30 GB data recovery . . . . . . . . $40.00

  • 30-60 GB data recovery . . . . . . . . $80.00

  • 61-90 GB data recovery . . . . . . . $120.00

Note: Help Desk Central no longer stores backups for customers. The customer must be able to pick up the backed up information before the Help Desk starts on any service for the computer (Excluding inspections).

 The customer will need to bring in their own backup medium (External Hard drive or USB Flash drive). If the customer does not have any backup medium, they can purchase a 16 GB flash drive from us for $35. Flash drives can only be purchased with another service and must be purchased before starting the service.

DVD's and CD's are not allowed because of the amount of time necessary to write / burn the data to the discs.

The customer must be present to begin the backup process. If there are not many customers at the counter, this process will take approximately fifteen minutes. They are responsible for finding and selecting the files and folders they want to back up. Any files and folders missing from the backups later are the customer's responsibility. If no data can be retrieved, then the $35 fee is waived.

If the hard drive has failed the inspection hard drive test, HDC can not promise that all or any of the data can be recovered.

Virus/Spyware/Malware Removal ($35)

To check in their computer for a virus/spyware/malware removal, a customer must bring:

  • if it is a desktop computer, the tower.
  • if it is a laptop computer, the laptop and the power cord.

The computer will first undergo a hard drive scan and a memory scan. Computers with corrupt hard drives and/or failing memory will not be worked on until the customer brings in a new hard drive and/or memory. At this point, the customer has the option to pick up the computer without having the virus/spyware/malware removed and to have the $35 fee waived.

HDC will remove all viruses, spyware, and malware from the computer. If the computer has an antivirus program with a current license, HDC will update the program. If the computer does not have an antivirus program with a current license, HDC will install a free antivirus program (using TAMU's license of McAfee unless otherwise requested by the customer).

Note: If the virus cannot be removed, the customer has the option to do an OS reinstall.

Inspection (free)

A work order for an inspection is a catch-all for computers that are checked in for something that is not an operating system installation, data backup, or virus/spyware/malware removal. An inspection is usually meant to determine what the cause of a problem is (e.g. a slow computer, blue screens, missing audio, etc.) and often leads to a work order for an operating system installation or virus/spyware/malware removal. The customer will be contacted if a new work order is recommended, and they will have the option of picking up their computer at no charge or proceeding with the new work order (with the associated $35 fee).

Texas A&M IT Computer Repair Shop

The Computer Repair Shop is authorized to do warranty work on Dell and Apple computers. When a customer at HDC has a Dell or Apple computer that is still under warranty and CANNOT be fixed by an operating system re-installation, the customer is referred to the Computer Repair Shop. The customer has the option of checking in the computer with HDC (for the Computer Repair Shop to pick up).

Repair prices:

  • As of February 1, 2013, the Computer Repair Shop will charge a $35 diagnostic fee for all computers.

  • If repairs are needed, you will be charged for any parts plus any data backup. These charges will be quoted before any repairs are done.

  • Warranty work on Dell or Apple computers is free. You will be charged for parts not covered by warranty.


If you have any further questions, please email helpdesk@tamu.edu or call us at 979.845.8300.