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Welcome to the end of Windows XP

Starting this month, Microsoft has stopped supporting Windows XP. What’s that mean for you?

Ruth Pionke, eTech’s director and the College’s senior information officer, explains

As of April 2014, Microsoft discontinued all support for Windows XP. We realize that there are a lot of faculty who own equipment that is still running XP and that in some cases, it may be difficult or impossible to upgrade the operating systems for these machines right now. Therefore, we have worked out a temporary solution with OIT that will allow faculty to continue operating this equipment until such upgrades can take place. Please note that this is not a permanent solution and it is strongly recommended that faculty who are still using XP should implement a plan to upgrade their systems as soon as it is feasible.

Over the next six months, OIT will be working to upgrade all computers and systems that can be moved to Windows 7. As of Fall 2014, XP will cease to be supported by OIT. Individuals who remain on XP after this time do so at their own risk. For faculty members who must remain with XP for now, it is strongly recommended that they minimize the risk by limiting any work done with these machines on the Internet, including browsing and going to unknown sites.

In order to minimize confusion, I have laid out the various scenarios that faculty members are currently facing. Please review the following information to see which situation best fits yours and follow the recommended response. If you have any questions or comments, please email me at ruth.pionke@ua.edu.

Computers (Attached or Standalone) Running XP

I have a computer that is running Windows XP, and that computer isn’t attached to any equipment.

Computers will be upgraded over the summer and early fall. If you have not already done so, please send an email to ruth.pionke@ua.edu so your name can be added to the project.

I have a computer running XP that is attached to research equipment, and it can be upgraded to Windows 7.

All computers that can be upgraded to Windows 7 will be upgraded by OIT during the summer and early fall. If you have not already done so, please send an email to ruth.pionke@ua.edu so your name can be added to the project.

I have a computer on XP that is running software that cannot be upgraded to Windows 7, but I do not need this computer to connect to the Internet.

Your computer will need to be permanently disconnected from the Internet as long as it is running XP. You can keep using the computer but will need to transfer any files you generate using a flash drive, disk, or other external storage unit. No other action is required.

I have a computer on XP that is running software that cannot be upgraded to Windows 7, and I DO need this computer to connect to the Internet.

Your computer will need an Internet connection that is quarantined from the UA system. Be aware that your computer may be susceptible to outside attacks and may not be supported by OIT. It is highly recommended that no Internet browsing be done on this computer while it is connected and that updated software be purchased as soon as it is available. If you have not already done so, please send an email to ruth.pionke@ua.edu so a ticket can be generated.

Equipment Running XP

I have equipment running XP that cannot be upgraded to Windows 7, and it needs to connect to the Internet.

Your equipment will need to be permanently disconnected from the Internet as long as it is running XP. You can keep using the equipment, but will need to transfer any files you generate using a flash drive, disk, or other external storage unit. No other action is required.

I have equipment running XP that cannot be upgraded to Windows 7, but it needs to be connected to the Internet for vendor upgrades/services.

Your equipment will need to be disconnected from the Internet during normal usage. When you need the equipment online for vendor analysis or maintenance work, contact OIT by sending an email to itsd@ua.edu and they will work with you to set up a secure connection during this time. (Advance notice would be best.) After the work is completed, you will need to disconnect from the Internet. If you have not already done so, please send an email to ruth.pionke@ua.edu so a ticket can be generated.

I have equipment running XP that cannot be upgraded to Windows 7, but it needs to be connected to the Internet at all times.

Your equipment will need an Internet connection that is quarantined from the UA system. Be aware that your equipment may be susceptible to outside attacks. It is highly recommended that updated software be installed as soon as it is available (if applicable). If you have not already done so, please send an email to ruth.pionke@ua.edu so a ticket can be generated.

Download a PDF of this memo on Windows XP Discontinuation.

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