Barnard Apple Support Policy

 

Executive Summary 

This policy defines BCIT’s current support policy for Apple computing equipment in the Barnard College environment.

 

Reason for the Policy

Apple products are popular choices for computing at Barnard College, but BCIT’s ability to fully support these computers has been materially affected by recent changes of direction by Apple, Inc.

 

Who is Responsible for This Policy

The VP for Information Technology or her designees.

 

Who is Governed by This Policy

This policy affects members of the Barnard College faculty and staff who use Barnard-owned Apple computers that are supported by the BCIT Service Desk.

 

Definitions

N/A.

 

Policy Statement 

BCIT can not provide full, in-house hardware support for Apple computers, as all models are "sealed" units--most physical repairs must be performed by authorized representatives of Apple, Inc.   For security reasons, staff members dealing with privileged information should not use an Apple computer as their primary computer.  If they choose to do so, they should store any privileged information on the N:\ drive rather than their computer's hard drive.

For users who purchase an Apple computer, the hardware support that can be provided by BCIT is limited to:

  • Analysis and best-effort diagnosis of a problem
  • Logging an issue with Apple’s AppleCare repair service
  • For desktop units: Scheduling an on-campus Apple authorized repair visit
  • For laptops: Arranging mail-in service to Apple's AppleCare center

In many cases, data can not be recovered from a sealed unit. BCIT cannot take responsibility for any loss or exposure of data that may occur as a result.  BCIT strongly recommends that faculty and staff who use Apple computers should store any critical data on the N:\ drive, or in Google Drive, as appropriate.  The BCIT Service Desk can assist with configuring the computer so that applications will automatically save files to the N:\ drive to help alleviate this issue.

 

Background Information

Apple has, over the past several years, entirely shifted to  hardware in which the body of the unit is sealed and cannot be opened for service by BCIT or other technicians.  Apple's direction is moving towards computers as a disposable item, like a phone or tablet, rather than something that can be modified, upgraded, or repaired.  This design choice has a number of ramifications for support:

  • Memory cannot be added or replaced.
  • Laptop batteries cannot be replaced.
  • Disk drives cannot be removed or replaced.  This is particularly significant, as it means that the BCIT Service Desk has no way to recover data from a sealed unit, even if the hard drive itself is intact and undamaged.  

Hardware support for these sealed units can only be provided by Apple, Inc. which has the following ramifications:

  • Potential for minimum 1-2 weeks for total repair time, when waiting for an Apple repair dispatch (for desktops) or mail return service (for laptops).
    • For expedited service, the user’s only avenue is to personally take the unit to the Genius Bar at an Apple store. 
  • Units under-warranty that suffer a hardware failure may be replaced by Apple, rather than fixed.
    • Data on the computer may be lost -- that is, not restored to the user.
    • Sensitive data on the computer (research, student information, etc.) may not be properly disposed of by Apple, Inc.  

 

Cross Reference to Related Policies

Hardware Support Policy

 

Contacts

For questions or comments:

Barnard College Information Technology

Web:  http://barnard.edu/bcit/

Email: help@barnard.edu

Telephone: 212-854-7172

 

Revision History

Published 2/2013

Revised 12/2016