The big switch: XP to Windows 7

March 31, 2014  |  
Dan McCormick, network administrator, is part of the team leading the XP-to-Windows 7 switch.

Dan McCormick, network administrator, is part of the team leading the XP-to-Windows 7 switch.

A team of YSU IT techs is on a find and replace mission across campus, hunting down more than a thousand computers using the Microsoft XP operating system and upgrading them to Windows 7.

Microsoft is discontinuing support for the Windows XP operating system, including security updates. That means hundreds of YSU computers will be left vulnerable to spyware, malware, viruses and unauthorized data access.

It’s is up to Lloyd Painter, associate director, Media and Academic Computing, and his crew to get the campus changed over.

“We’re working on a departmental basis,” said Painter. “We started in March and hope to be finished in four to five months.”

Painter said 1,025 computers across campus, as well as the Metro Campus in Boardman, will have to be updated. The switch takes between one and four hours per machine when the PC is new enough to be upgraded. Computers that are too old for upgrades will be replaced, at an estimated cost of $210,000.

“Windows 7 is very similar to XP, but runs more efficiently,” he said. “It’s very similar in feel and function. We’re also transferring all files and specific setups, such as favorites and settings during the migration. People running XP will find a similar, newer and better machine that runs faster.”

Microsoft released the XP operating system in the fall 2001, and with the upcoming cut-off in support, students and faculty using XP on their personal computers are recommended to upgrade also. “I expect there will come a time when no machines using XP will be allowed to connect to the YSU network, but I have no idea when that will happen,” Painter said. “Not having a supported operating system leaves the computer open to vulnerabilities.”

Story by Harry Evans

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