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From  : Professor M.X. Huang, Head,  Department of Mechanical Engineering

To       :  All PC users in the Department

Re      :  Use of Computer

URL    :

You are REQUESTED to observe the following practices on using the PC allocated to you by the Department:

  1. University's Policies and Regulations - All staff and students are required to abide by the University's policies and regulations in using its computer, network facilities and services, see

  2. Technical Staff Team - If you need I.T. support in laboratory, please contact the technician-in-charge of your laboratory. If you are a research staff/student, please approach the technical staff who supports your supervisor or Mr KW Lee for I.T. support of your office PC. If you cannot contact the technical staff assigned to your location, please approach Dr. Scott Chan for coordination.

  3. Anti-Malware - All PC should be installed with software for protection against malware (e.g. viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, etc.). Unless you have bought your own anti-malware software, you should install at least Sophos Antivirus (paid by the Department). Windows Firewall should always be on. Upgrading & Scanning - Enable the automatic updating of "Windows Updates" and the scanning activities of the installed software in (3).

  4. Malware Activities - Malware usually becomes more active at mid-night. To safeguard your and other's PCs, you are requested to shut down or at least disconnect the PC allocated to you from the network at night unless there is an absolute necessity for not doing so.

  5. Start up a PC - Do not rush to run any application immediately after your log into a PC account. The anti-malware takes up to half a minute before it becomes effective. If you have not turned on your PC for several days, you should check for and install the updates of the installed software in (3) and "Windows Updates" before running ANY other applications.

  6. System Performance & Security - Performance and security of a PC can deplete due to accumulation of temporary files, cookies, un-archived emails, etc. You can clean your system with Disk Cleanup, which is a built-in tool of windows , and archive your emails regularly.

  7. Licensed Software - A list of licensed software of the Department can be viewed at You may contact the responsible technical staff for an installation.

  8. IP Address - Do NOT attempt to assign IP address to your computer. This should be done by authorized technical staff only. The absolute majority of the PC in the department is operated under floating IP address based on network card registration.

  9. Network Access Failure - If a PC cannot access the network whilst the others in the vicinity can, it is likely that the network access is disabled by the Information Technology Services (ITS) due to network abuse. Make sure that the network cable is properly connected and reboot your PC. If the situation does not change, contact the technical staff in (2). Do NOT attempt to use a fixed IP.

  10. Emails from ITS - Pay full attention to emails from the ITS on the latest news on computer malware.

  11. Junk/Spam Emails - Do not open suspicious emails/attachments from unknown/suspicious sources. Many junk/spam emails coming into the email servers of the ITS can be filtered, see

  12. Email Account Unless you are a short-term staff or an exchange student, you should use a HKU email account for intranet communication. Emails from the University/Department sent to your HKU email account are regarded as official notifications. It is important that you check your emails regularly and your account possesses reasonable unspent disk quota.

  13. Email Attachment - Do not open any email attachment without good reasons.

  14. Transmitting Confidential Information - Under all circumstances confidential information transmitted over public network (e.g. network not maintained by the ITS) should be encrypted. You should also be aware of the possibility that the recipient may access your information via a public network. If encryption is not possible, password-protection feature offered by the application tool should be used. For most Office applications, you can access the encryption/password tool under File > Info > Protect Document > Encrypt with Password. Moreover, the encrypted attachment and its password should be sent in separate emails. Alternatively, you may also use AZURE  ( to specify the file accession right.

  15. Reformat a PC: The proper steps to reformat a PC are: (i) disconnect the PC from the network, (ii) put the Windows installation disc inside the PC disc drive, (iii) reboot the PC, (iv) choose to install a fresh Windows OS, (v) use a healthy PC to download Sophos Antivirus (downloadable from U-Portal) into a USB memory device, (vi) with the device to install the Sophos Antivirus in the reformatted PC, (vii) make sure that your network card has been enabled/re-enabled by the ITS by contacting Mr KW Lee or Dr. Scott Chan, (viii) re-connect the reformatted PC to the network, (ix) update the Sophos and Windows, (ix) if the PC is used by a staff, the user is required to install the DLP Solution on the PC (downloadable from U-Portal). It is very important that the above steps are followed strictly in order and you should not do anything else in between. The whole process may take a few hours. Research staff and students should approach a technical staff in (2) on reformatting their PCs.

  16. Abnormal Behaviour of PC - Report any abnormal behaviour of your PC (e.g. being very slow for unknown reasons, shutting down by itself repeatedly, etc.) to a technical staff in (2).

  17. Intellectual Property Rights Protection -Both staff and students are reminded of the Intellectual Property (Miscellaneous Amendments) Ordinance 2000 which provided that a person will commit a criminal offence if s/he possesses infringing copies of copyright works in the course of his/her trade or business, even though s/he does not sell or deal in the infringing copies. For details, please see In particular, according to the Copyright Ordinance (Cap528), to install/use pirated/unlicensed software or possess any infringing copy of computer program, movie, television drama or music recording may constitute a criminal offence and may lead to a maximum penalty of $50,000 per infringement copy plus 4 years imprisonment. A list of licensed software available in the Department can be viewed at

  18. Download from E-Journals - Do not download excessively from e-journals subscribed by our Library. Such activity is not allowed by the subscription license.

  19. Server Do not set up any server (e.g. web, ftp, file or DHCP servers) without prior permission from the ITS.

  20. Server Maintenance – In general, only technical staff can be assigned to man a server(s) and/or computer(s) for shared usage. If such a duty is assigned to you, you should ensure that (i) the system is physically locked, (ii) the login password for the administrator account of the system is set and kept confidential, (iii) other users (for shared-used computers only) can only access the system as non-administrators, (iv) firewall is activated, (v) log files (for servers only) are kept for at least 3 months, (vi) software updates which cannot be done without rebooting the system are enabled at least twice a week and (vii) all other applicable practices in this document are followed.

  21. Peer-to-peer Software - User must be extremely careful in installing and using peer-to-peer (P2P) applications which may distribute information (e.g. copyrighted materials) in your PC to the others without your consent.

  22. Freeware & Shareware - PC in the department are allocated to users primarily for work. In its PC, the department does not encourage the use of the freeware, shareware and add-on unless they are from trustworthy vendors.

  23. Complaints from ITS - Complaints on illegal network activities arising from PC allocated to research staff/student are received from ITS from time to time. The resources from the ITS as well as the Department required to handle these complaints are tremendous. If two complaints are received within 12 months on a PC, the research staff/student will only be allowed to access the PC as a non-administrator user.


Last Updated: August 2019.

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