What is included in Math Faculty Computing Facility (MFCF) support

  • supported lifecycle for research desktops/laptops is five years
  • supported lifecycle for administrative and specialty lab desktops/laptops on the rollover program is five years
  • initial consulting for hardware, basic software recommendations and printer selection
  • purchase from campus preferred supplier
  • hardware installation, configuration and troubleshooting
  • operating system upgrades
  • software installation and upgrades provided licenses are in order
  • inventory control, including barcoding, tracking, preparation for surplus
  • administrative access is granted at the discretion of MFCF
  • ​network cabling
  • only MFCF supported equipment will be hosted in the MFCF machine room
  • cost of replacement parts is not covered by MFCF support
    • the equipment owner is responsible for the cost of parts 
    • a hardware maintenance contract is recommended
    • the terms of some hardware maintenance contracts may prevent unauthorized personnel (such as MFCF staff) from attempting hardware repairs

Operating system

  • MFCF supports a narrow range of operating system versions
  • users must accept the need to upgrade old machines to a supported operating system version
  • when Windows systems have particularly severe problems, such as certain virus infections or accidental damage by users with administrative privilege, MFCF may not be able to repair the system without wiping and reinstalling it

Application support

  • application software must be kept sufficiently up to date to enable us to keep the operating system up to date 
  • MFCF does not provide application support

Server specific

  • supported lifecycle is six years
  • servers older than five years will be flagged in MFCF inventory records and the owner notified of the upcoming end of support
  • servers older than six years that are in working order and are needed for specific research will get low priority support on a per incident basis
  • server class equipment must reside in the MFCF machine room and is expected to be rack-mountable
  • machine room services (location, power, cooling, network connection)
  • system administration, including accounts management
  • operating system installation, configuration and troubleshooting
  • application software installation and configuration
  • tracking of licensing renewals
  • vendor liaison, including problem reporting, maintenance contract management
  • basic hardware service including troubleshooting and replacement of components considered by the vendor to be user-serviceable


  • provides consultation, acquisition and set-up at no charge
  • supplies are provided by the user
  • very limited troubleshooting

What MFCF support does not cover

  • hardware services/repairs - client should purchase extended warranty
  • parts replacements
  • non-university owned equipment
  • operational support for applications
  • replacement peripherals (keyboards, mice, and monitors)
  • off-campus support of any kind
  • backups
  • root access

A system with special requirements may be subject to review by the MFCF Director to determine eligibility for support.

Equipment lifecycle

MFCF has limited lifecycles for the following reasons:

  • minimize the use of aging technology
  • reduce the amount of MFCF staff time required to support aged equipment
  • older equipment is more susceptible to hardware failure
  • will allow MFCF to provide a more efficient and effective service to those maintaining up-to-date equipment

MFCF can assist you:

  • equipment* over four years of age will be flagged in MFCF inventory records and the owner notified of the upcoming end of support
  • MFCF will automatically drop support once equipment* reaches end of life
  • at the request of the customer, MFCF will provide vendor contact information for problems with equipment* past end of life
  • submit a request to have an MFCF technician consult with the customer and make replacement recommendations


*University-owned stand-alone PC/Mac running a supported platform (OS)  and associated monitor or laptop PC/Mac for research purposes.


An explanation of the MFCF charging policy.

University of Waterloo computing rules

UWaterloo policies relevant to computing resources and information


Buying hardware/software: