This document is being updated as of August 2020. Questions may be directed to PCSCHelp.

New Users' Guide

First Login:

  • Security:

    Before you do anything, remember that you are responsible for keeping yourself and the rest of us safe on the network. IT security training is offered by and required by Kansas State University.

  • First Time You Login:

    (You must log into a workstation once and set you password before webmail or linux will work)

    • Login using your Physics User ID and temporary password
      • You are then told that you are required to change your password at the first login.
      • Click OK
      • Enter your new password twice.
        (Your password must be a minimum of 8 characters and must meet complexity requirements. It must have a combination of upper case and lower case letters, special characters (like #$%), or numbers. Previously used passwords may not be re-used.)
    • Changing your password:
      • Once you are logged in on to a Windows machine, press Ctrl-Alt-Delete
      • Click on Change Password
      • Type in old password, new password, and confirm new password
      • If you want to change your password from a linux machine log into one of the ones you have permissions on and that is part of our domain.
      • After successful login, Type passwd
      • Type in new password
      • Type in new password again to confirm.

      Once you have changed your password you cannot change it again for ten (10) days. Your linux and Windows password are the same; if you change it on one system you have changed it on the other. A dedicated tutorial explains how to change your password from either local or remote computers.

  • Installing New Software:

    These instructions are for installing software distributed across the department. You may not have access to all the software due to the fact that your group may not have purchased any licenses. Older computers have a special installer, while newer machines use built-in Windows features. On older Windows computers:

    • Go to Start Menu
      • All Programs
        • Run Advertised Programs
          • Highlight the software you want to install
            • Click on Install
    On Windows 7 machines deployed after October 2016 or any Windows 10 or above machine:

    • Find the Control Panel, or search for "programs"
    • In the left-hand menu, select "Install a program..."
    • A list of available programs appears. Double-click on the one you want
    • The installer will appear and should complete in just a few seconds
    • Your new program is ready. Close the Control Panel and continue.

    Another tutorial describes advertised programs along with how to get local administrative credentials for installing speciality research software.

  • Installing Printers:

    • Find the Control Panel or search for "printer"
      • Open "Devices and Printers"
        • Click on "Add a Printer" from the top menu bar
          • Follow the instructions of the device wizard to install a printer
          • If asked, always choose to install a network printer (This is a commone error! Never choose local!)
          • Select the Printer you would like to add
          • Click "Okay"
          • Finish
A dedicated online tutorial for managing printers is avaliable.


We recommend that users use Outlook for their desktop mail program. On Physics machines, Outlook will be automatically configured for your account. You may also use our webmailer (Outlook Web Application, or OWA).

A separate dedicated tutorial explains how to configure all other mail clients.

If you want your Physics mail forwarded to another account, just fill out our mail forward request form.

Remote Access:

If you need access to the physics system from outside Cardwell you can:

There are dedicated tutorials for using Remote Desktop and the PhysCloud.


Your Profile is a collection of files that give the PC your Identity ( Start menu, Printers, etc...) We use a roaming profile, which means that every PC that you log onto will look the same. Your profile "loads," that is it copies from the server to your PC when you login and back to the server when you logoff. Which means the larger the profile the slower the login, so keep your profile small by not storing files in your profile, use shortcuts to files and folders elsewhere on the system.

Groups: Everyone is a member of the physics group and has access to a limited amount of software. If you are with a specific group (HEP, JRM, PHYSED, ect.) you will have access to additional software in the "Run Advertised Programs" menu. Also group membership adds common drive letters to your system (see below). If you change groups please let PCSC know so we can make the changes in the system so that you have full access to the resources of your group.

Drives: The PC you use should have:

  • C: Hard drive (Local operating system)
  • D: Local data (User-writable local disk storage; not backed up!)
  • H: Local optical drive (if any)
  • J: Optional common group data drive (Your research group has access to this drive for sharing data, which is also backed up.)
  • N: Network user apps drive (SYSTEM USE ONLY)
  • O: Your personal Windows home directory (for you to store work related files that are backed up every night.)
  • S: Your common group drive (Your group has access to this drive for sharing files of common interest, which are regularly backed up.)
  • Z: Personal web space (Direct access to https:\\\personal\USERNAME, your personal web space.)

Finally, a comprehensive list of help tutorials is available covering these topics in detail, along with many others.