Computing Services

Computer System Requirements

Minimum Computer Requirements for USM-Owned Computers

Effective: July, 2011

In order for your University-owned computer to be fully supported, reliable, and effective with secure access to your shared network resources and able to run USM-supported software it needs to meet certain minimum hardware and operating system requirements. The requirements are reviewed annually to ensure you receive the best support possible.

Any request for computer systems or maintenance of computer systems that do not meet these requirements will require an exception justification from the Director of Computing Services' office.

The computers we service and support, along with their minimum requirements for the 2009-2010 Academic Year, are as follows:

Minimum Computer Hardware and Operating System Requirements


Processor & Speed


Operating System

Windows Compatible

P4, 1.8 GHz

1 GB

Windows 7 (preferred)

Windows XP (w/Service Pack 3)

Apple (Macintosh)

Intel based processor

1 GB

Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard

Mac OS X v10.7 Lion

Virus Protection Software

To help keep your computer free of many types malicious software (viruses, worms, trojans, etc.) your USM-owned computer is required to have a current and functioning version of anti-virus software installed.

The University provides Symantec Anti-Virus which comes pre-installed on new computers purchased through the Campus Computer Store.

Additional Information

Computers that do not meet minimum requirements are extremely difficult and time consuming to maintain and repair. You can expect our best effort in diagnosing problem(s) encountered with older computer systems. However, you should expect to be charged for repairs on non-compliant computers at the rate of $65 per hour (labor) and for any replacement parts or required software.

If you have questions or concerns regarding these policies (or for more information), please call the Help Desk at 780-4029 or email

To Check Hardware Specifications on Windows XP

If your computer is running Windows XP, you can find out details about its operating system using the following steps:

  1. Select Start > Control Panel > System. This launches the System Properties dialog box. Alternatively, you can right-click the My Computer icon (usually on your desktop or accessible from the Start bar) and select Properties.
  2. The General tab on the System Properties window displays RAM and processor details, along with which version of Windows you are using (including the Service Pack level).


Device Manager

There are other tabs running along the top of the System Properties box. Clicking on one of these tabs brings up further options within the box. For example, to see what printer, scanner or graphics card is installed on your computer, click the Hardware tab, then Device Manager. You'll see a list of different types of hardware. To bring up further information about a piece of hardware, right-click on the hardware in the list, then select Properties to see more details.

To Check Hardware Specifications on Macintosh

If your computer is running Mac OS X, you can find out details about its operating system and more, by using the following steps:

  1. Click the Apple icon in the upper left-hand corner of your screen, and select, About This Mac.
  2. A small box will appear on the screen containing information on what version of OS you're running, how much RAM (memory) your Mac has and details about the processor.
  3. Current versions of Mac OS X have a More Info button you can click on (at the bottom of the small box), to get more in-depth hardware and software specifications (it's referred to as the System Profiler).


For technical support, contact the USM Computing HelpDesk at 780-4029 or

The USM Computing site is maintained by Robin McGlauflin.