The HECToR Service is now closed and has been superceded by ARCHER.


The HECToR helpdesk provides a single place where you can get help and information on all aspects of the service, and where can send us your comments, suggestions and criticisms.

Submitting a query

You can submit a query:

  • By e-mail, to
  • By telephone, to 0131-650 5000
  • By post, to:

    Liz Sim
    University of Edinburgh
    The King's Buildings
    Mayfield Road

  • Through the web, using SAFE.

Please try to send only a single problem in each query. This is because different problems may be handled by different people.

Please also try to provide some background information if you are experiencing a technical problem, for example, your user id, the command you are running and the error message you are getting. It will allow us to look into the problem immediately and respond to you faster.

How the Helpdesk works

The software which we use to drive the helpdesk is part of SAFE, the service's admin suite. When a query is submitted by email or through the web, it is placed in the SAFE query system. Phone and fax queries are entered into the system by us.

When you send an email query, you will normally get an automatic acknowledgment by email, including a tracking ID, with a few minutes. If you submit your query through SAFE, it will give you a tracking ID at once. A few minutes later, a human will look at your query. If they cannot solve it at once, they will assign it to the appropriate peson within the HECToR team to handle. For example, queries asking for computational science and engineering support will be assigned to the NAG CSE team, systems problems will go to the Operations and Systems Group, and so on.

The handler may contact you to discuss your problem or to get extra information. Finally, the handler will send you an answer, and the query will be closed. At this point the helpdesk will send you another message, telling you that this has happened.

Closed queries are kept in the SAFE database, so that we can refer back to them when solving future problems, and when writing documentation, etc. The SAFE database is protected by HECToR's Personal Data and Privacy Policy.