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Library & Information Technology Services
101 North Merion Avenue
Bryn Mawr. PA 19010-2899
Phone: 610-526-5271

Computer Replacement Cycle: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I am getting a new computer?

You will be contacted directly and asked to click a link choosing your new computer. These messages typically go out in early April. 

What do I do if I think I am due and I have not been contacted?

If you are a full time, permanent staff member or tenured, tenure-track or CNTT faculty member, and you have a primary, College provided computer with an 13- or earlier sticker, your replacement may have been accidentally overlooked.  Contact the Help Desk ( and ask about your replacement; please include the asset tag number from your computer, usually on a green sticker.  If you cannot locate this, please send the serial number, or ask for a technician visit.

What software will come on my computer?

New Dell computers will come with Windows 10 Enterprise. Macintosh computers will come with OS X v10.11 ("El Capitan").  Both will come with Office 2016.

A more complete list of software is available here.  If you need additional software or you have older versions of software you obtained yourself, please discuss these with your technician when you schedule your replacement.

When can I expect to get my new computer?

When you select your computer, you will be asked about summer availability.  We expect to start deliveries in early June and continue through the summer; your technician will contact you to schedule and prepare.

We do not make deliveries several days before and several days after the beginning of the semester as course preparation takes precidence over individual replacements.

What about running Windows applications on Macs?

For those who require the capability to run Windows applications on a Mac we often recommend running a virtual environment.  Please contact the Help Desk and ask to speak to a technician to determine if this is the right course of action for you; there will be a small cost for virtualization software.

Can I keep my computer longer than 4 years?

An individual may request delaying their upgrade for a year if they believe the computer will meet their needs for another year and if the operating system is a version that will be supported in the coming year. No financial credit is given for waiting a year, and delaying more than one year is not recommended.  Delaying the replacement of a laptop is not recommended, and support may be limited or unavailable in the fifth year.

If my computer does not meet my needs, can I request early replacement?

You may, however if this is a voluntary change or one to support a higher level of operational need than the standard computer might, there will be an additional cost for early replacement.  Also, if there is any contribution needed for the type of computer you require, this will need to be paid in the year in which it is replaced.

I'd like a laptop in addition to a desktop (or I need more than one computer), what are my options?

If an individual requires a second computer for research/computation, dual platform access or portability (e.g. laptop in addition to a desktop computer) funding of the computer purchase and replacement will be the responsibility of the individual and/or their department; LITS will be happy to facilitate these purchases.

Repairs for these computers which are not covered by warranties will also be the responsibility of the department or grant which funded the purchase.  The department/individual will need to plan for the cost of replacing the computer when it ages out of a supported operating system and hardware spec (usually 4 years).

I also need a docking station, speakers, and a few other things.

Your department, grant or resarch fund can fund any or all of these items.  Unfortunately, the replacement fund is not able to sustain these options.

To whom can I speak about the replacement program and/or my departmental needs?

Comments about this document or the policies described in it should be directed to Amy Pearlman, Director of Client Services and IT Procurement (, x7447).