Preparing Your Computer for Use at UAB

Incoming students are required to verify that their computers are up-to-date with the latest patches and antivirus software. This step must be completed prior to connecting to the UAB network using a wired Ethernet (in residence halls only) or wireless (Wi-Fi) connection. Please follow these steps to prepare your computer. When you have prepared your computer, click the link in Step 5 to verify that you have the correct settings.

Step 1.Ensure that your computer is running a valid, licensed operating system. For students, UAB supports PCs with Windows XP with Service Pack 3, Windows Vista with Service Pack 2, Windows 7 with Service pack 1, and Windows 8.   UAB also supports Macs with OS X 10.6 or later.

(Note:Microsoft and UAB will stop supporting XP on April 8th, 2014.  Students can download Windows 7 and Windows 8 for free on the software website, then click on Microsoft Agreements and Products for more information

Step 2. Check for updates that are available for your operating system. Windows operating systems can be updated by clicking on Start, clicking on All Programs, and then click Windows Update.

Student Computer Step 2 1     Student Computer Step 2 2

Mac OS X operating systems can be updated by clicking on the Apple icon in the Menu ribbon and choosing Software Update.

Student Computer Step 2 mac

Step 3. Ensure that one of the antivirus applications in the list below is installed. Microsoft Security Essentials and Microsoft Forefront are free of charge to students and can be downloaded at the links provided. Contact the AskIT Help Desk at 205-966-5555 for assistance with antivirus issues.

For Windows Operating Systems:

·Microsoft Security Essentials (available to students at no cost)

· Norton (Symantec)

· McAfee


·   Microsoft Forefront (available to students at no cost)

For Mac Operating Systems:

·Sophos (available to all students at no additional cost)

· Avast

· ClamAV

· McAfee

· Norton

· Intego

When you select and install your antivirus software, be sure to enable the Auto-update feature so the application will automatically download the latest antivirus definitions at regularly scheduled intervals.

Step 4. Secunia PSI is a security tool designed to detect out-of-date programs and plug-ins which expose your computer to attacks. This tool regularly scans your computer to determine if installed programs need to be patched or are no longer in service. Click here for Secunia PSI

Step 5. Click the link below to perform the final verification. This final step will either indicate a successful completion or indicate where further changes must be made.

Step 6. For complete setup instructions to UAB Wifi-NAC click here Setting up Wifi-Nac for Network Access

Step 7. Blackboard (UAB Online Learning System)

For students who will be using Blackboard, visit the Blackboard Student Support page and follow the directions to ensure that your computer is configured properly. Several tutorials are provided to familiarize you with the Blackboard system.

Step 8. For assistance with the information above or any technical issue, contact AskIT or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Recommended System Specs for Student Computers

2014-2015 UAB IT Recommendations


Apple Macintosh:  Laptop & Desktop systems





Intel I5 processor or higher


RAM (memory)

4GB or higher


Hard Disk

160 GB or higher (or SSD)


Operating System

Mac OS X 10.8 or higher



802.11g/n wireless or ethernet


 Microsoft Windows PC:  Laptop







Intel I5 processor (or higher)


RAM (memory)


4 GB (or higher)


Hard Disk


160 GB (or higher) or SSD


Operating System


Windows 7 (or higher)




802.11g/m wireless or Ethernet


January 01, 2012

Gartner Research

Gartner Research

Provided as a service to the UAB Community through UAB IT, Gartner delivers technology-related insight and information to chief information officers and senior IT executives around the world. Through UAB's agreement with Gartner much of that insight and information is now available to all current UAB faculty, staff, and students.



Once logged on you can browse the site or search for specific research information. You can also set up alerts to automatically notify you when new information is added related to a topic of interest. Searching, browsing, and alerts are all free to use. Gartner also creates your profile using the Blazer login information. Profiles can easily be customized within the Gartner service. A link called "Your Profile" is at the top of every Gartner page.

The "Ask an Analyst" feature shown on the web site is not included free to Reference Users. Use of that feature is available only to certain Advisor Users and may result in additional costs to the University. Ask an Analyst provides one-to-one live contact for requesting additional research.

The Quickstart Guide provides more detail on how to search, browse, and set up alerts.  The Registration section is not appropriate to UAB as you logon as indicated above through not follow the Registration instructions in the Quickstart Guide.

January 01, 2012

Software Licenses

Click here for details on available software 


UAB makes software available to faculty, staff and students under a variety of licenses. These are:

  1. Site Licenses - In certain cases, UAB has negotiated with a software manufacturer pricing that will provide access to a software program to all faculty, staff and students on campus. UAB has paid for these software licenses and only needs to ensure that the users downloading the software are actually members of the UAB community.

    Software covered under site license is available free for download or for purchase with a nominal media fee.

    Examples: Microsoft Office (see Microsoft Campus Agreement), SAS, SPSS, EndNote (for campus)

  2. Volume Discount Licenses - Other software titles are covered under a Volume Discount license. UAB was able to negotiate a reduced price for a bulk quantity of licenses. Most of these titles are free for use by the UAB Community - the only difference is that the University must keep track and count the number of copies of the software being used, in order to comply with the license agreement.

    Software covered under volume discount license is usually free for download or for purchase with a nominal media fee.

    Example: Microsoft Visio, Adobe 

  3. Freeware - These software titles are free to use under the license provided with the software, and UAB did not have to negotiate any pricing to obtain the titles.

    Example: TN3270 Emulator Software for Mac