HLS Loaner Devices

Policies and Terms of Use

The HLS Helpdesk offers laptops for temporary use by HLS faculty and staff. Currently, the Loaner laptop Pool is comprised of 30 PC-based laptops in our loaner fleet, and 3 Mac-based laptops, all of which include a standard “image (Windows7 or Mac OSX) with Microsoft Office and an array of other standard applications.

Additionally, the Helpdesk is in possession of 5 USB wireless broadband cards.  All the loaner laptops have standard wireless networking cards built into them, which can be used to connect anywhere with a wireless hotspot.  Broadband cards are for use in areas where normal wireless connectivity is not available, but cellular service is available.  Policies for loaning the wireless cards are the same as those for loaner laptops, except where noted. 

This policy document provides HLS Helpdesk customers with usage guidelines and an accompanying description of the procedure for requesting and obtaining a temporary loaner laptop.

Loaner laptop kits

Include a laptop, power cord, and bag. Mouse and network cable may be supplied by request.

Installed software list:

  • Windows 7/Mac OSX
  • Office 2007 Professional (Access, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Outlook)
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader and Acrobat Pro
  • HLS/FAS VPN Client Software
  • Internet Explorer
  • Mozilla Firefox
  • QuickTime Player
  • RealPlayer
  • VLC Media Player
  • Runtimes (Java, Flash player, Silverlight, .Net framework)
  • Symantec Endpoint Protection (Antivirus)
  • Remote desktop access for Virtual Desktop

Non-standard software will not be installed on loaners by the Helpdesk.


Loaner wireless broadband card kits:  

Include a USB wireless device, software, and instructions on installation. 


The HLS loaner devices are available to accommodate HLS faculty and staff who will be:

  • Using the loaner device for professional purposes, such as field research or professional conference attendance, not for personal use.
  • Need a loaner to continue productive work while their primary computer is being serviced.
  • Need use of a loaner device for up to two weeks.


Loaner devices are not available to students. However, under particular circumstances (student personal computer ceases to work during exam times), exceptions can be made regarding the Loaner Laptop pool. This requires the express permission of the TSS Manager. Wireless Broadband cards are only available to Faculty and staff.

  • Please use the bag or kit provided by the HLS ITS, and treat it as “carry on” luggage when flying. Please do not carry a loaner device in your suit case.
  • Please keep food and beverages away from the device.
  • Please avoid touching a laptop’s screen, as it is very sensitive and can be punctured if not handled properly.
  • Please do not remove any components from loaner devices.
  • Do not otherwise alter the device’s hardware.
  • Requests for loaner devices can be made by filling out the online Loaner Device Request Form, and must be submitted 24 hours prior to the intended pick-up date and time. In response to online form submissions, borrowers will be contacted by the Helpdesk and informed whether their loan requests can be accommodated.


  • Borrowers of loaner devices must complete a loan agreement form when they pick up their loaner at the Helpdesk.


  • Loan periods are in one-week increments, from 1 to 2 weeks at a time. Requests to borrow for longer than this require approved by the TSS Manager. Unplanned loan extensions must be requested by email (hlshelp@law.harvard.edu), phone (5-0722), or walk-in, and also require approval by the TSS Manager.


  • The computer hardware and software are checked and known to be in working condition at the time of check-out. Please notify the Help Desk of any malfunctioning items as soon as they are discovered.


  • Borrowers are responsible for bringing loaner devices back to the Helpdesk at the conclusion of the loaner period. Upon return of the loaner laptop and accessories, HLS staff will check, in your presence, to ensure that the device is being returned with all parts present and intact.


  • Before being given to another customer, all data will be removed from a laptop’s hard drive. Please be sure to backup, transfer or delete any personal data from the laptop before returning it. The Helpdesk is not responsible for loss of customer data on the loaner under any circumstances, whether it is lost during customer use or after being returned to the Helpdesk.


  • If you were given a loaner laptop by a TSS technician to cover downtime on your primary office computer, the technician will handle bringing the laptop back to ITS when your own machine is returned to you.

Customer agrees to return laptop on or before the agreed return date to the Helpdesk.

If there is a theft, or the equipment is discovered missing, the borrower agrees to notify the HLS Helpdesk (5-0722) as soon as possible, to submit a Police report with the proper authorities, and to otherwise assist with recovery of the equipment. If the loaner is not recovered, customer agrees to pay to replace the device.

Customer agrees to return the loaner kit in clean and working order. Failure to do so will result in charges for cost of cleaning/damages/loss.

Customer agrees not to use HLS loaner devices to commit electronic crimes. Software piracy is a crime. HLS will not be held responsible for any illegal software or media downloaded to the loaner and will fully cooperate with authorities if an investigation is initiated by them.


Customer agrees to follow Harvard/HLS’s Security Policies, found here:

Please note in particular, the Computer Security policies:

Customers are financially responsible for loaner devices and accessories. We require a departmental billing code from faculty or staff members. (We are able to bill student accounts directly, if necessary.)

Replacement costs for stolen, lost or broken devices are as follows:

  • PC laptop: $1,100.00
  • Mac laptop: $1,215.00
  • Wireless Broadband Card: $249.99 

If a loaner laptop and/or accessories are damaged, stolen, or lost while checked-out to a customer, regardless of the reason it is in a customer’s possession, the customer’s manager is notified, and the customer’s department is responsible for the cost of repair or replacement.

Borrowers of SprintCards may use the cards for free for up to 2 weeks. After the usual 2 week loan period, customers will be charged for the data usage on the phone line attached to the card, as follows:


  • After 2 weeks = $21.50
  • After 3 weeks = $32.25
  • After 4 weeks = $43.00

(etc., continuing on at a rate of an additional $10.75 per week.)

Last modified: January 13, 2015

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