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Windows 7

The end of Windows 7

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

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

How does this affect you?  

If you still use Windows 7, 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 might have to remove it from the network in future for security reasons. This also means that you data will be unprotected, and you could potentially have no access 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.  You can read more on Microsoft’s software 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(Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrade) after which you will automatically receive and email. Please include the following information in the request: 

  1. the computer’s asset number
  2. device type
  3. contact numbers
  4. building name
  5. room number

Your device will be checked for an upgrade possibility as 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 or devices that do not meet the minimum requirements will not be able to be upgraded.  

If any other actions are needed, an IT technician will also contact you. 

IT will do the following without charge: 

  1. Guide you with work related data to be backed up to OneDrive
  2. Upgrade the operating system from Windows 7 & 8.1 to Windows 10 
  3. After the upgrade a technician can assist with if needed: Installing of non-standard campus related software such as SPSS, Statistica, etc., install printers.

You will have to pay for: 

  1. Backups of all data if and IT technician has to do the backup
  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 – R1310-00 
More than 15GB – R2240-00 

Relevant articles on the end of Windows 7: 

On the roll with Windows 7

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Some of you might have received a mail with the subject “Windows 7 Service Pack 1 – Weekend rollout” from “IT – Algemene Navrae – General Enquiries”.

This is not a scam or a hoax! 

This mail was sent out by ITUS to a specific targeted group – all people with Windows 7 on their PCs that do not have Service Pack 1 installed. 

  • If you did NOT receive the mail then your PC is already up to the correct patch level and no further action is required from you. 
  • If you DID receive the mail then it is important that you follow the instructions in the mail mentioned above carefully, in other words, do NOT switch off your computer when you leave for home on Friday afternoon. You do not have to be logged in to the machine, it just has to be switched on and displaying the “Ctrl + Alt + Delete to log on” message. 




ITUS – Stellenbosch University – critical update

August – October 2013

The When:

  • Weekend of …….  2013.
    If your workstation is a desktop PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOU DO NOT SWITCH IT OFF TOMORROW. 
    You may lock it or log off, but please do not switch the PC off this weekend (tomorrow) – once you leave the office at the end of the day.
    Please make sure to save and close your work (e.g. open word documents, etc.) before you leave.

The Who:

  • ITUS has found that your version of Windows 7 requires a critical update: “Service Pack 1”.
    Please read this email thoroughly!

The What:

  • As your computer forms part of our SUN network and is an asset of the University of Stellenbosch, it is crucial to keep your computer updated and secure.  ITUS will be engaging in a campus wide rollout of this “Windows 7 Service Pack 1” to all computers that require it.

The How:

  • ITUS will be utilising an automated process to update your Windows 7. The automated process will target a few computers at a time starting tomorrow evening at 19h00 and will be completed before Sunday at 19h00.
  • If you find yourself working on the office computer this weekend, this is what you could expect :
    This process will download and execute the installation of the update, automatically. These actions will execute in the background as not to interfere with your working experience.  However, at completion of the said installation, a computer “Restart” is necessary. This will also be an automatic action.
  1. 1.       You will be notified via a pop-up, after which the computer will restart. This is pop-up will act as a countdown, to allow you to save any work if needed. This allows you 2 minutes to save your work or to send that last email! J
  2. Please note the restart is mandatory and cannot be undone.
  3. After the restart, the final stage of the installation will commence. This might include, but is not limited to, flickering of the screen, rebooting once, displaying the progress of the installation. This part of the process might take upwards of 10 minutes to complete.
  4. PLEASE NOTE: You will not be able to work on the computer at this stage; ideal time for a coffee/tea break! Please do not at any time manually switch off or restart your computer. 
  5. Once the computer displays the Welcome screen, the installation is done and you may continue to log in etc.



The automated process is one that ITUS will be using more frequently as there is much less interruption to workflow. In the unlikely event that the Welcome screen does not display within 30 minutes of the restart, please contact ITUS as soon as possible by dialling the IT Service Desk on 0218084367.

We thank you for your support and understanding!


Windows 8 – really a better option?

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Launched in October of 2012, the latest version of Windows showcases what seems to be a full re-design of what we have come accustomed to. However, upon closer inspection one could easily find a fair amount of resemblance to Windows 7.

Windows 8 has seen Microsoft take a radical new approach to Touch Screen enabled computers/devices.  For the first time ever, the operating system features an application store, similar to what one might find on Apple Mac devices/computers and Android devices. The store allows the downloading of (free and licensed) software/applications via the portal hosted by Microsoft. The operating system also features a new look, boasting “live” tiles on its Home Screen. These tiles can be linked to contacts, or your contact’s Facebook status, to the latest news, or weather forecasts, and many more.

Still, with its entire prowess, one must understand that the operating system is still very immature in the sense of security and vulnerability. Windows 7 offers a vastly more stable and secure solution at this present moment, mostly because it’s been around for longer, and that it has gone through the baby steps . It has had several updates, security- & hotfixes, as well as a Service Pack. These updates all contribute to a more secure and stable operating system.

It is this reason that compels IT to still choose Windows 7 as our supported operating system – used campus-wide. Thus, we roll out all new computers with Windows 7 installed. Any PC/device that is work-related, will either be upgraded (older Win XP PC’s) OR downgraded (some new PC’s ship with Windows 8) to Windows 7 with Service Pack 1.

*** Side note

The IT team is already testing Windows 8 and its customisations for future use on campus. This is a tedious task, necessary to facilitate a secure and trusted environment for all our colleagues.



Free upgrade to Windows 7

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Are you still stuck with an outdated pc running Windows XP? We have some good news for you! From now until 15 December 2013 upgrades from Windows XP to Windows 7 will be done for free!

All you have to do, is send us an email to to request the upgrade. Please include the following information in the e-mail:

–  the work station’s asset number

–  contact telephone number

–  building name

–  room number

An IT technician will contact you as soon as the work station’s specifications have been checked. Older workstaions may need components for the upgrade and this will be for the account of the department.

IT will do the following without charge:

  1. Upgrade the operating system from Windows XP to Windows 7

You will have to pay for:

  1. Backups of work related data (including MS Office extensions, .pst files)
  2. The backup of personal data such as music files, video files and movies
  3. Hardware components necessary for the upgrade to Windows 7

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

Less than 15GB – R950-00

More than 15GB – R1650-00



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