Parkland College - Grant Funded Laptop Setup for Students

Some Parkland students are designated to receive a free laptop from the College. These students will assume full responsibility for the hardware and must sign a Parkland Release Form prior to receipt. Upon taking ownership of the laptop, any repairs or replacement costs are the responsibility of the student. Laptop recipients must ensure that antivirus software is installed and enabled and they must comply with Parkland College's computer usage and network policies while on campus. Please be aware that Microsoft changes their settings and configurations often. As such, the steps below may be slightly different than what you experience. 

Unboxing the laptop and logging in

Switching Out of S Mode

Antivirus Software

Activating Office 365

Microsoft offers excellent searchable help documentation for their products and applications including Windows, Office, Teams, Outlook, etc. Please feel free to explore their resources via

These machines come with a basic one year warranty through Dell. This includes onsite/in-home service after remote diagnosis and does not include accidental damage to the hardware. Please be aware that the one year timer begins upon ship date, not the date you received the laptop from Parkland. To initiate a support ticket through Dell, please click here

Unboxing the laptop and logging in

Prerequisites Required for Laptop Setup:

  • Personal email account (Gmail, Yahoo, etc): Please do NOT use your Parkland email account. If you do not have an email account, one can be created for free. 
  • Microsoft account: If you do not have a Microsoft account, it is recommended that you create one before starting this procedure. The Microsoft account registers the device and allows you to sign onto this laptop moving forward. When creating a Microsoft account, please enter your personal email address at the first prompt. 
  1. Unbox the laptop and plug in the power adapter.
  2. Push the power button and let the machine boot up.
  3. If you are in a public space, turn off the sound by clicking on the speaker icon and moving the slider to “0”.
  4. Select English (United States) for language and click Yes.
  5. Select United States and Yes.
  6. Select US for the keyboard layout and click Yes.
  7. Select Skip when it prompts for a second keyboard layout.
  8. Connect to an available network. If you are on-campus, select Parkland from the list of available networks and click the blue Connect button. Enter your ParklandOne username and password, click the checkbox to accept the terms of use, and click Log In. 
  9. Select Connect Automatically.
  10. Select the blue “Connect” button.
  11. The machine will check for updates and apply any that are required.
  12. Enter your Microsoft username and password.
  13. Create your pin – click Create PIN.
  14. Accept the default for the privacy settings and click Next, then Accept.
  15. Configure your preferences and click Next.
  16. Uncheck the Dell privacy and McAfee notification boxes.
  17. Select Skip when it prompts you to customize your experience
  18. Select Skip when it prompts you to use your Android phone from your PC.
  19. Click Decline for the trial version of Office 365. We’ll activate the full version later on in this article.
  20. Click Decline for the 100GB more cloud storage.
  21. The machine will check for updates one more time and create a profile for you. A lengthy update is possible.

Switching out of S Mode

This laptop was configured with Windows 11 in S Mode. S Mode is a version of Windows that is streamlined for security and performance. It only allows for apps to be installed from the Microsoft Store and requires the use of Microsoft Edge for safe browsing. You will want to switch it out of S Mode to install the full Microsoft office suite and any other applications or browsers you may wish to use. For more information on the new look and feel of Windows 11, please click here

  1. Go to the search field in the bottom left of the toolbar. Type Settings and then hit Enter.
  2. Scroll down to the “Activation” section and select it.
  3. Select S Mode.
  4. Select Open Store.
  5. On the Switch out of S mode (or similar) page that appears in the Microsoft Store, select the Get button. After you see a confirmation message on the page, you'll be able to install apps from outside of the Microsoft Store.
  6. Click the Close window.

Antivirus software

You must have antivirus software enabled on your device. A McAfee window will appear prompting you to install their antivirus app. Please be aware that it is a 30-day trial version. After 30 days, you would need to activate the McAfee subscription and there is a cost involved. If you do not want to pay for McAfee, we recommend that you select Don’t install protection and don’t ask again. The machine will then default to using the free, built-in “Windows Defender” antivirus software or you may opt to install a different 3rd party product instead. For more information on Windows Defender, please click here

Activating Office 365

  1. Go to the search field in the bottom left of the toolbar. Type Word and launch the application.
  2. On the “Let’s get started with Microsoft 365” page, select Use a different account (we want to associate it with your Parkland account since you receive a free license as a student). 
  3. On the “Sign in to set up Office” screen select the blue “Sign in” button.
  4. On the “Activate Office” screen, enter your Parkland student email address. It should be something like
  5. Enter your ParklandOne username and click Next.
  6. Enter your ParklandOne password and click Verify.
  7. Satisfy the multi-factor authentication (MFA) prompt.
  8. At the “Stay signed in to all your apps” prompt, uncheck the "Allow my organization to manage my device" box and then select “No, sign into this app only".
  9. Accept the license agreement.
  10. Office is now activated. 
  11. If the Microsoft Office suite is not installed on this laptop, login at select the Install Apps button in the upper right and then select Microsoft 365 apps. This will launch an executable file that you can run in order to complete the installation. For more information, please see Microsoft 365 - Installing or Accessing Online (Windows and Mac)

Tech Service Desk

Room A184, 217-353-3333

Fall/Spring: 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. M-Th. / 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Fridays

Summer: 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. M-Th

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Keywordsfree dell computer student set up S mode s-mode microsoft account laptops   Doc ID123383
OwnerSara S.GroupParkland College
Created2023-01-11 13:38:43Updated2023-12-18 08:52:09
SitesParkland College
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