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General Access Questions

Q: Can I access Aleph from home?

Policy and procedures for staff use of Aleph clients from off-campus

Off-campus access to Aleph is typically only available through the web OPAC. Staff access to Aleph using the desktop client should be from an on-campus network. For network and security reasons, the Aleph production server (LMS01) rejects all connection attempts coming from non-Harvard network addresses. On occasion, current active staff members with special circumstances need the ability to use the desktop client from an off-campus site. Off-campus use of the Aleph client is limited to staff with both administrative and technical support from their "parent" unit. No circulation functions are allowed off-campus.

Connection and Login Problems

Q: When I open Aleph, I get an error message.

If you start Aleph and get an error message before or after you are prompted to login, write down the error message, make note of any other unusual circumstances, and report them to your local IT support. If you do not have local support, contact LTS via the Aleph Support Center.

Q: I start Aleph, enter my login, and get the error "Password not verified on connectable host".

You receive the "Password not verified ..." message when one of the following conditions is in effect:

  • The Aleph server is not responding because a) server is down or b) network between you and the server is down.
  • The Aleph server is rejecting the login because a) login is not defined for use on that server or b) login name or password was typed incorrectly.

Check your login name and password. If you are using the correct login and password contact your local IT support group in case there is a local network problem. If you do not have local support, contact LTS via the Aleph Support Center.

Q: I click the Aleph desktop icon (or entry in Program list) but it won't open. Now what?

You may need to reinstall Aleph. You should call your local IT person for assistance. If you do not have local support, contact LTS via the Aleph Support Center. Remember to describe the problem completely and let us know the text of any error message you are encountering.

Q: I receive the error message the Aleph can not find a server.

Contact your local IT support to determine if your local network is the problem. If the local network is not the problem or if you do not have local support, contact LTS via the Aleph Support Center.

Q: Where is the icon for the Aleph client? My Aleph icons disappeared?

The Aleph client will be accessible from the Program list under the Start menu and there should also be an icon on your desktop. However, Aleph software is installed by local IT staff and installation practices may vary. If an icon is no longer on your desktop, you can create a new one.

  • Open C:\AL50022\[module]\bin, where "[module]" is the Aleph module you would like to create an icon for.
  • You will notice an executable with the same name as the module and the usual Aleph icon for that module.
  • Right click on the icon, and select "Create shortcut". A new shortcut will appear; the icon will have a small arrow in the corner to indicate that it's a shortcut.
  • Move the shortcut from that directory to the Desktop.

For example, to create a new Desktop shortcut to Aleph Circulation, open C:\AL50022\Circ\bin, right-click on the "circ.exe" icon and select "Create shortcut". Move the new shortcut file to the Desktop.


Q: I forgot my password.

Contact your Aleph liaison to arrange to have your password reset:

Q: How long should my password be?

Your password should preferably be a combination of letters and numerals and it should be between 5 and 10 characters long.

Q: Is my password case-sensitive?

No, the system automatically translates your password into uppercase.

Questions about Installing/Configuring the PC Client

Q: Where is the client download page? How do I download the client?

The client download page is intended primarily for IT staff. If you can not remember the URL, please call LTS at (617) 495-3724.

Q: Where can I find the MS Arial Unicode font?

You must be a licensed user of one of the Microsoft Office products listed here to install, copy, or otherwise use the Arial Unicode MS Font. The font should be included with the installation of most current Microsoft Office products. Contact your local IT person for assistance. If you do not have local support, contact LTS via the Aleph Support Center

Q: How do we change the e-mail address and the mail server?

Open C:\AL50022\Alephcom\tab\alephcom.ini with a text editor like Notepad. Under the [Mail] section, change the MailServer to your local SMTP server. The FromAddress should be an e-mail address either for that user or for that department. The MailerName should reflect the name of the user or group.

Q: Do I have to change the Approval Department in the acq.ini file?

You need to change the ApprovalDep value if you are from: Boston Medical Library, Chemistry, Countway, Divinity, Gutman, HCL, Kennedy, Law, McKay, and Schlesinger. Please call LTS at (617) 495-3724 for instructions.

Q: Why can't I see the whole window?

If you have already tried resizing your window, then you should check the resolution of your monitor. Follow the instructions for changing screen resolution below. If you need assistance, call your local IT person.

Q: Do I need to change my screen resolution?

The screen resolution refers to the number of pixels or dots on the entire screen. If you plan to use the Aleph client, you should adjust your screen resolution to at least 1024 x 768 and use at least a 17" monitor. Otherwise, the windows may appear in odd places and you may find it hard to navigate.

Q: How do I change my screen resolution?

To change your resolution in Windows:

From the Start menu, select Settings then Control Panel. The Control Panel window will appear.
Click the Display icon. The Display Properties window will appear.
Select the Adjust resolution tab. Change the resolution to the desired setting. Click OK.
In Windows NT you may be prompted to test the setting.
You may be prompted to re-boot your computer.
Call your local IT person if you need help with the screen resolution.

Character Set Display/Input; Unicode

Q: Why do I see boxes instead of letters on my screen? Or, why is the screen flashing at me?

If you do not have a Unicode enabled font installed on your computer, you will see sometimes see boxes or flashing rather than letters with diacritics. You or your IT person can install a Unicode font. You should also set your web browser to use Unicode. Instructions will be posted soon, in the mean time ask your IT staff or the desktop group.

Q: How can I view non-Roman characters?

Install a Unicode font and set your browser to use Unicode. See other answers in this section for more information. Your local IT person can help you install the font and set up your browser.

Q: What is Unicode?

Unicode is a system for displaying the written texts of many languages, such as the diacritics used in Central European languages. Technically, it is a code that translates binary codes to text or script characters. More information can be found at

Q: Which font should I use?

We recommend using the Arial Unicode MS font since it displays the most complete set of special characters.

Version Update

Q: When I start my computer, a "Update Version" window with a list of files opens. What should I do?

LTS uses "Update Version" to automatically distribute updates to your Aleph client. When updates are available, they appear on the Update Version list at the point you start up your PC and open the Aleph desktop client. LTS will notify staff in advance via the HLComms email distribution list when an Update Version is expected.

Q: I click on the files in the Update Version window, but nothing happens.

If you will accept all the updates listed, click on the "Update All" button. If you want only some updates, click to highlight the files you need and click on "Partial" to select them. If this does not work, contact your local IT person for assistance.

Q: Will I lose my settings when I accept changes from Update Version?

We will be sure to warn you anytime we provide an update that could harm individual settings. Please read the HLComms posts carefully. If in doubt, contact the Aleph Support Center.

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