PC & Software Minimum Standards & Support


The Baker University is a Microsoft Windows-based Ethernet computer network. To connect to the Baker network, your computer will require the following:

  • A network adapter card supported by your operating system (details below)
  • A network connector cable with RJ 45 connectors (such as a Category 5 patch cable usually between 10’ and 25’ in length depending on room arrangement.)

    Network Ready?

    The best way to ensure that a computer will work well on the Baker network is to purchase a network-ready computer. A network-ready computer will have a built-in or pre-installed ethernet card. Although a network card can be installed in most computers, hardware conflicts can arise. It is not something everyone would want to attempt.

    Windows Operating System

    Either Windows XP or Vista are recommended.

    Recommended Brands & Vendors

    You may purchase a computer from any vendor. Remember to ask for potential educational discounts.

    Laptop computers save desktop space and provide mobility. They are easy to transport between home and school. Most laptops come with a built-in Ethernet adapter, but if yours doesn't, you should purchase your computer with the network card pre-installed and supported by the vendor (details below). Be certain to ask your vendor if they will support your computer being placed on an Ethernet network.

    Recommended Specifications

    Personal Computers1




    Any desktop or laptop with at least a

    2.0 GHz Processor

    Any desktop or laptop with at least an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor or AMD Athlon 64 processor

    Hard Disk Storage

    40 GB

    80 GB

    External Disk Storage for mobility, file transfer, and file back-ups

    256 MB flash drive

    1 GB or larger flash drive


    Windows XP: 512 MB of RAM; VISTA: 1 GB RAM

    Operating System

    Windows XP or VISTA


    Inkjet or Laser

    Network Adapter 2

    Built-in 10/100-BaseT Ethernet Adapter

    Network connector cable with RJ 45 connectors 3

    Category 5 patch cable with RJ45 connectors usually between 10' and 25' in length.


    1. Students should not purchase computers with the minimum configuration. These requirements change each year and are guidelines for those who already own a computer. A computer that does not meet the minimum requirements will be more difficult to support and may not meet performance expectation.

    2. You should only purchase a computer that is network Ready and includes a network card pre-installed and supported by the computer vendor.

    3. The length of the cable needed depends on the distance you put your PC from the data jack in the wall. Measure the actual cable length required before purchasing. Cables may be purchased on campus at the Bookstore.

    4. It is the student’s responsibility to keep their virus protection activated. Baker is not responsible for damage done to student computers or loss of information because of a virus, a worm, spyware or any other type of malicious software. Baker reserves the right to disconnect a student's data connection if that person's PC is flooding the network with excessive network traffic due to virus or worm activity or peer-to-peer file sharing.


    Microsoft Office

    The Baker computer labs are equipped with Microsoft Office 2003. Therefore, it is recommended that students also use Microsoft Office on their own computers. MS Office can often be bundled with the purchase of a new computer. Check with your computer vendor for details.

    Internet Software

    Baker students may use Internet Explorer 6.0 or Netscape Communicator 7.0 or higher to read email and to browse the Web.

    Virus and Spyware Removal Software

    Baker requires students connecting to the Baker network to have anti-virus software or install the anti-virus software provided. It is also recommended that students install all Windows updates. Students should have both security and anti-virus software installed on their computers.


    Students are responsible for the following:

    • Complying with the Baker University Information Technology Responsible Use Policy and other related policies
    • Installing Windows updates whenever they become available
    • Activating and scheduling scans with their anti-virus software
    • Keeping PCs free of spyware and other malicious network programs
    • Hardware problems
    • Software installation, de-installation and updates
    • A functioning Ethernet card
    • A network connector cable free of cable bends and kinks and broken jack connections
    • Removal of installed software that floods the Baker network

    If a student needs technical support for items for which they are responsible or general trouble-shooting support, they should locate a reputable computer-repair specialist. Computer Services cannot endorse any particular service specialist.

    Computer Services is responsible for the following:

    • Correcting wiring problems
    • Correcting network problems
    • Availability of email, Blackboard, Campus Manager and My Baker
    • Providing anti-virus software

    Computer Services can assist with the following:

    • Advice or suggestions regarding apparent network connectivity problems
    • Possible recovery of files from floppy disks
    • Providing information on how to deal with malicious network attacks