Windows 7 Frequently Asked Questions

Why are we upgrading to Windows 7?

There are many reasons why Madison College has chosen to move to the Windows 7 operating system. From an educational perspective, we strive to provide our students with the latest technology that they will encounter in the job force. In addition, there is now software that simply will not run on Windows XP and many upgrades for existing software applications will soon require the Windows 7 operating system. New features of the operating system are also compelling including better security, higher reliability, and faster performance. Last but not least, new features of Windows 7 allow Technical Services to do our jobs more efficiently. For instance, we will be able to load new applications on computers without physically visiting the computers. For these reasons and many more, we are excited about this project and the benefits it will provide to our college staff and students.

Has anything changed with the images and how applications are loaded?

Of course, the base image is now Windows 7 instead of Windows XP but there are other differences. The new image now contains only Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010 Suite. All other applications will be loaded with tools that will allow us to deploy new applications and upgrades to a group of computers much faster. All computers in the college system will receive a common group of applications called Enterprise Applications.

What do I need to know about Windows 7 to be ready for the upgrade?

Windows 7 has many new features for the end-user. Although the list is long, Windows XP users will have few problems finding their way around the operating system after a little practice. If you want to learn more about the advanced features of Windows 7, CETL will present a one hour tips and tricks in Windows 7/Office 2010 for groups of 5 or more.  Training will be scheduled when your group is upgraded.

What’s going to happen to my PC when I’m scheduled for Windows7 deployment?

When we deploy the Windows7 image, all files and applications on your PC or laptop hard drive will be deleted.  It is very important to back up any files needed.  This is a perfect opportunity to delete old files and organize your file folders.  We recommend that all work related files be stored on your H drive or shared drive so they are backed up nightly to prevent loss.

Will all my stuff work?

There are a few things about Windows 7 that you do need to know in preparation for our upgrade. The new operating system is based on something called 64-bit technology. You do not need to know exactly what that term means but it may cause some of your existing software versions not to work on Windows 7! One of the tasks we perform during our planning with you is to make sure your applications are compatible with Windows 7 64-bit technology. That may mean an upgrade is required for some of your software. In rare circumstances, there may not be an upgrade path available. In addition, some of your hardware devices that work with Windows XP may not work with Windows 7. Commonly these are older hardware devices like some old printers and plotters. In order to work with Windows 7, the hardware Driver needs to be compatible with Windows 7. If the manufacturer of the hardware does not have a windows 7 driver, it may not work at all. Technical services will be working with you to check the compatibility of all your software and hardware before we perform the upgrade to Windows 7.

Besides the software I already run on my PC or on lab PCs, can I get some new applications loaded while we are doing the upgrade?

In short, the answer is Yes! The process is the same as before. You are responsible for obtaining the software licenses and installation media. Of course, you need to purchase a version of the software compatible with Windows 7. Finally, as before, you need to submit a new Hardware/Software request form. If all this is complete, we can load the new software when we do your upgrade to Windows 7. 

Are there any security changes with the new Windows 7 image?

Yes! On Windows XP in classrooms and labs, we used a software program called Drive Shield to help protect the computers from undesired changes. If a person made a change that was not authorized, Drive Shield would set the PC back to its previous configuration at the time of the next reboot. With Windows 7, Drive shield goes away and protection is handled by new features in the operating system. We will be restricting something calledLocal Administrator Rights to protect the computers from undesired changes. This strategy provides not only protection from unauthorized system changes but it also addresses other security concerns such as Malware protection to help reduce downtime to systems.

Staff and faculty will be granted Local Administrator Rights to their own PC or laptop if required for installation of additional software.

Can students run Outlook from the new Windows 7 PCs?

No. Outlook will be loaded on the images but in the classroom and labs but it is blocked on the student workstations. Students must use Outlook Web Access to access their student email.  Outlook is not blocked on the instructor workstation.  Classes that teach Outlook will continue to utilize the Virtual Machines as they have in the past.

Thank you for reviewing the FAQs and for helping us to make your Windows 7 Upgrade as pleasant as possible.

Technical Services