Windows General FAQ

General questions about the environment:

What accounts are used in the department?

There are two accounts each member of the department needs to function. A unix password (often referred to as a csa password), and a windows password (or CS-NT). The unix password is used to log in to any of the solaris or linux machines, and the windows password works on all windows machines on the department’s CS-NT domain.

Who is eligible for these accounts?

Any student enrolled in a CAS CS course, or who is a undergraduate or graduate student with the department may sign up for these courses. Any faculty and staff working for the department may also create these accounts.

How do I create these accounts?

The staff at the Undergraduate Computer Science lab, in room 302 of 730 Commonwealth Avenue is equipped to create these accounts. Simply show up at this lab during the lab’s regular hours and look for instructions on creating a new account. Instructions are posted on the walls, as well as available at the desk, and will walk you through the creation of both accounts.

I have to change my password, what are the requirements for my new password?

Not contain all or part of the user’s account name
Be at least eight characters in length
Contain characters from three of the following four categories:

  • English uppercase characters (A through Z)
  • English lowercase characters (a through z)
  • Base 10 digits (0 through 9)
  • Non-alphabetic characters (for example, !, $, #, %)

Where are the public computer labs?

The Undergraduate Computer Science Lab, open to all Computer Science students with a unix or windows account is located in EMA302, which is on the third floor of the EMA building, at 730 Commonwealth Avenue. The Graduate Research Computer Science Lab, open only to approved Graduate Students and Faculty is located on the second floor of the Math and Computer Science Building (MCS), at 111 Cummington Street.

Whom do I contact if I have a problem?

Depending on the nature of your problem, there is a wide range of help available. For problems logging into, or using the computers in the undergraduate lab, you may seek help with the staff working there. You may contact them via email at: For problems in the research lab, please contact For any other unix related problems, you may enter the support queue by emailing:, and similarly, the windows queue may be entered by sending an email to:

What software is available to me?

As members of the department, you are automatically enrolled in the Microsoft Developer’s Network Academic Alliance (MSDNAA). Through this program you may download and use many of the latest Microsoft Products. To access this wealth of information visit the BU MSDNAA page.