Medical Center Computer Upgrade: September-April

Beginning this September, about 10,000 computers across the medical center and its offsite locations will get a significant facelift, as the Windows 7 operating system and Microsoft Office 2010 product suite (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) is virtually delivered and installed. The result? More up-to-date and secure desktop and laptop systems, allowing faculty and staff to take advantage of the latest software updates to browsers and applications. (See “Windows 7 Upgrade: What it Means To Me” factsheet for more specifics.)

The move is in part driven by Microsoft’s decision, come April 2014, to stop supporting Windows XP, the operating system currently in place on the majority of URMC computers. Operating systems are the “brains” of a computer, determining how items display, where files are stored, what icons look like, how your computer protects information, and more. The upgrade will only target those computers currently running on Windows XP.

What to Expect, and When

After an upgrade occurs to their personal workstation, most faculty and staff should plan to spend some time getting used to the new operating system and Office 2010.

The jump from XP to Windows 7 will be moderate, due to its different look and feel. On the other hand, moving to Microsoft Office 2010 product suite will be a minor transition from the Office 2007 lineup. The most significant change will be for folks moving from Microsoft Office 2003 to Office 2010. To help, we’re offering Comparison Guides outlining key changes between the old and new operating and software versions; you can find them on the Windows 7 Upgrade website.

The upgrade will “roll” through the organization between September 2013 and April 2014, with about 325 computers upgraded each week. A proven, automated process will deliver the changes overnight to minimize computer downtime. Departments will be given approximate timeframes when their area’s computers will be upgraded, and faculty and staff will begin receiving specific notifications about one week prior to the upgrade—both via email and pop-up screen notices. A limited number of computers will be upgraded at the same time in each department to minimize disruption.

During the upgrade process, all document files will be copied (including those on your desktop), and folder directories will be maintained. All email messages, contacts and calendars will be preserved as well. As far as software, only URMC-standard applications will be copied, so non-work applications like games, Shutterfly or coupon software will not be restored. Be sure and review this helpful Before and After Checklist to make sure you and your computer are prepared for the upgrade. As a final measure, before each individual upgrade occurs, a complete back-up of each computer’s hard drive also will be stored on a server for up to three weeks.

While delivering the upgrade virtually has been carefully tested, problems are bound to arise given the sheer number of computers involved. To help minimize issues, a support team will be on stand-by each morning to respond to calls and provide on-site assistance as needed.

For more information, please visit the Windows 7 Upgrade website.