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The end of Windows 7

Sunday, August 4th, 2019

After 10 years support Windows 7 is coming to an end on 14 January 2020.

How does this affect you? 

After January 14 your PC will no longer receive security updates or technical support from Microsoft. Subsequently your PC will pose a threat to the university’s network and we will have to remove it from the network for security reasons. This also means that you data will be unprotected and you could potentially have no acess to the network (in other words, no internet, email, etc.).

Therefore, if your PC is still running on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 you will have to upgrade to Windows 10, an operating system which can provide the latest security updates to keep your data safe, before the end of the year. You can read more on Microsoft software’s life cycle on their site.

Upgrades from Windows 7 & 8.1 to Windows 10 will be free for staff. To request this upgrade, please log a request on the ICT Partner Portal (Select Get Desktop/laptop support) before the end of October. Please include the following information in the request:

  • the computer’s asset number
  • contact number
  • building name
  • room number

As the computer’s specifications have been checked, a request will be logged on our ICT Partner Portal and you will automatically receive an email. If any other actions are needed, an IT technician will also contact you.

Older equipment may need components for the upgrade and this will be for the account of the department. There might also be a possibility that very old equipment will not be able to be upgraded due to hardware limitations. 

IT will do the following without charge:

  1. Upgrade the operating system from Windows 7 & 8.1 to Windows 10
  2. Work related data will be backed up to OneDrive

You will have to pay for:

  1. Backups of all data.
  2. Hardware components necessary for the upgrade to Windows 10

If IT is requested to backup data, the cost will be as follow:

Less than 15GB – R1230-00
More than 15GB – R2120-00

Relevant articles on the end of Windows 7:

IT Emergency maintenance: Saturday, 13 July

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

Essential emergency maintenance will be taking place this Saturday, 13 July, from 07:00 to 12:00.

During this time a large number of functions and applications will temporarily be unavailable. This includes, among others, HR services, Financial services, Student information, SUNLearn, Short Courses and COB payments. Internet and email will not be impacted by this maintenance.

Due to the extent of this maintenance and the necessity for thorough testing of systems and applications the possibility exists for continued interruptions into the new week.

Please rest assured that we will try our best to limit interruptions to a minimum. For inquiries please contact the IT Service Desk at 021 808 4367 or log a request on the ICT Partner Portal.

Filesender – a secure service for sharing large files

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

SANReN has implemented the latest version of Filesender, a web-based application that allows authenticated users to securely and easily send web-based large files to other users. 

Below are the guidelines for accessing the service and what values it adds to your day to day operations.

What problem does the service solve?

You need to send a file larger than a couple of megabytes to someone and the e-mail comes back: “attachment too big” or “mailbox too full”, that’s where FileSender comes in handy.

How do I use the service?

Upon logging in, you are presented with a user-friendly interface. You can set the file to be available for download for a certain period so that it automatically gets removed when the file reaches its expiry date. You have an option to drag and drop your file when uploading it to the application. You also have an option to get a link to the file after uploading it or send it to a recipient as an e-mail.

The service is integrated with the South African Identity Federation (, which provides a pool of institutions you can authenticate from to use the service. If your institution is not registered on SAFIRE as yet, you can log in with a social media account if you are from an eligible institution.

Where do I access the service?

You can access the service on

Drop us an e-mail on for any queries regarding the service.

Use of sun email for commercial purposes

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

As staff and students of the University, we use our sun emails every day. But did you know that every year when you reactivate your account, you also agree to the Electronic Communication Policy? 

The ECP explains the acceptable and unacceptable use of the University’s electronic communication facilities, which include the internet and email. (read the full ECP policy here) According to the ECP, point 3.1.3: “The User shall be responsible for using the Facilities only for the purpose for which the User has been authorised.” 

IT facilities and resources are provided to advance the mission of the University. This includes learning, teaching, research, knowledge transfer, public outreach, the commercial activities of the University, or the administration necessary to support all of the above.

The email system is to be used for legitimate institutional purposes only, therefore the use of IT facilities for non-University commercial purposes, or for personal gain, is a violation of this policy.  You may not use the IT Facilities to advertise any trade, service or profession not endorsed by the University. 

Unfortunately, it’s come under our attention that some staff use their sun email address to distribute information regarding beauty products, Tupperware, etc. and acting as agent for the sale of these products. Any bulk unsolicited mail or commercial advertising of other businesses are not allowed on the University network.

If you need to send personal emails, rather consider getting a free email account, for example, Gmail. Separating your business and personal activities is also better security practice in the long run and will protect you and the University network. However, if you use your sun address for personal activities, keep in mind that the University owns any communication sent via email. If needed, University management has the right to access any material in your email or on your computer.  

Feedback on Office365 outage

Friday, January 25th, 2019

On Thursday, 24 January, from 10:30 to 22:00 Outlook users across large parts of the world were left without email. A major outage affecting, among others, South Africa, South America and Europe was caused by a technical problem at one of Microsoft’s data centres in Europe. 

Subsequently, all Stellenbosch University staff could also not access their email. Connectivity to Microsoft Exchange was restored Thursday evening late and staff and students were able to access their emails again. For a full report from Microsoft on the incident, click here 

Keep in mind that cybercriminals could use incidents like these to launch attacks on email users. Neither Microsoft, not IT will ever ask you to reactivate your Microsoft account or divulge personal details.

Please take note that, in instances where email is unavailable, our Twitter feed will be used as the main communication channel and the latest updates will be posted on the feed. For any inquiries please contact the IT Service Desk at 021 808 4367 or log a request on the ICT Partner Portal.


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