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Revision as of 09:34, 8 August 2014
Microsoft Windows 7 for Middlebury College
Middlebury College has implemented a long-term plan to upgrade the Windows operating system from XP to 7 on all end user machines. Starting with the Spring 2011 upgrade cycle all new Windows machines will have Windows 7 Professional installed. Significant testing has shown that all College services can be extended to Windows 7 computers & users.
Benefits of Windows 7
Windows 7's major advantages are behind-the-scenes. There are a few cosmetic changes that users will notice right away, and a few nuances that will take some time to learn/unlearn from XP. The larger benefits of Windows 7 are what you don't see. Windows 7 allows LIS to centrally manage more services, which makes managing hundreds of machines more efficient.
What's new for you
While the benefits of Windows 7 are large for the College, there are new things that you can take direct advantage of in Windows 7 as well. There is a new Windows Explorer, Libraries (shortcut organizer), Gadgets and upgrade Microsoft built-in applications. Find out more about the new user interface and other changes by visiting the Windows 7 Instructional Videos wiki page (go/win7).
What do you need to do BEFORE you get Windows 7?
There are three things you should do before getting your Windows 7 machine.
The majority of users do not need non-standard software, however if you have requested unique software for your XP machine you need to write down those applicaitons and notify the help desk that you indeed use those applications still and need them on the new OS. This is a good time to take stock of the applications you have that you may or may not need anymore. Think of it as spring cleaning for your computer! Also take notes on any special configurations you have, as you will most likely need to change them again in Windows 7.
A list of applications that will come pre-installed on all Windows 7 machines is available on the wiki under Windows 7 Imaging.
Learn about Windows 7 (go/win7)
Take some time to learn about Windows 7 before you get it. LIS has a wiki page with lots of good references at https://mediawiki.middlebury.edu/wiki/LIS/Windows_7_-_Instructional_Videos (go/win7). If you have specific inquires into Windows 7 you can ask the helpdesk and we will do our best to answer or find you an answer.
Back-up your files.
This is something that you do already, right? If you're not, now is the right time to start. When you receive your Windows 7 machine, the distribution worker will also be picking up your old XP machine. This means that you will not have both machines to reference back and forth so a proper backup is essential. Middlebury College provides server storage for you under the U: drive under My Computer.
To learn more about what files to backup see the Wiki article Selective Backup.
To learn more about backing up to the file server (Middfiles), see Wiki article Backing-up My Files.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I change my desktop background?
You can change your desktop background, the sound set, window color and much more under Control Panel -> Personalization.
Can Windows 7 be made to look like XP?
Windows 7 has many features that allow you to modify the appearance of the Graphical User Interface (GUI), from the color of the windows, to the sound set & background pictures. LIS has distributed Windows 7 in an "as is" so it is easier for you to find documentation and easier for LIS Helpdesk to help you navigate through the folders. We encourage you to try the "new" look and feel of Windows 7. However if you are aching for the days of Windows 2000, you can go back to the classic look by selecting "Windows Classic" theme under the Desktop / Personalize section.
Where is the Start Menu and the My Computer icon?
The start menu is in the same location as XP, the lower left hand corner. Clicking on the Windows logo will show you the Start Menu, which has the "Computer" as an option on the right column.
Settings, Programs, & Control Panels
How do I change the size (resolution) of my screen?
You can adjust the resolution and the zoom of the screen inside the Display Control Panel (Control Panel -> Display). Selecting Adjust Resolution or Change Display Settings from the column on the left and you will be taken to the interface to adjust the screen resolution, rotation, and multiple display configuration.
Will my software and hardware peripherals work with Windows 7?
Some will, some won't. Microsoft has developed Windows 7 to be backward compatible to a certain extent. Not all programs will work, but most should work. Use of the projectors, hard drives, and most other standrad peripherals you would use on the Middlebury Campus are Windows 7 compatible. In the case that your device is not Windows 7 ready yet, Microsoft has developed lots of plug-and-play drivers for devices which can get your peripheral working, but not take advantage of every option available with the device. Make sure you check with your vendors & manufacturers before you purchase a program or peripheral. You can also check Microsoft's current list of Windows 7-compatible software and hardware at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/windows-7/en-us/default.aspx.
How do I install new programs? How do I remove programs?
Installing programs and removing programs is done the same way it always has with Windows. You will most likely see more warnings about installing and launching applications than you did in the past, but that is part of the tighter security that Windows 7 brings.
Some programs need to be re-written for Windows 7 and haven't been. Windows 7 will attempt to install them as standard applications at first, but if Windows 7 can not install it successfully it will prompt you to try to install it while emulating Windows XP. This is okay and offers a bridge for you to use some older applications until they are re-written or re-purchased for the newer operating system.
How do I turn off my computer?
The restart, sleep, logout and shutdown buttons have been consolidated in Windows 7. In the Start Menu, on the bottom left side, you will see a "Shut Down" translucent button with a triangle expansion arrow to it's right. Clicking on "Shut Down" will shut down the computer, but clicking on the triangle will give you options to restart, logout, or shutdown.
How do I connect to the wireless?
Connecting to open wireless networks should happen automatically. To join closed networks, simply click on the network bar graph in the system tray (lower right corner) and select a network that is available to you.
Files, Documents, Servers & Printers
How do I open my documents, how do I access my middfiles (U drive, N drive, etc)?
If you have a Middlebury owned Windows 7 machine you will have your U and N drive automatically mounted for you.
I downloaded a file. Where do I find it?
Windows 7 has a downloads folder that you can find directly inside of your home folder. By default anything you download should be saved there.
Will my local printer be pre-installed on Windows 7? How do I add a network printer? How do I print in Windows 7?
If you do not see your local printers, you can add them by navigating to either //bombay or //papercut and finding the printer you expected to see. Simply double-click on the printer and it will install on your machine.
Printing from Windows 7 is relatively the same as with other Operating Systems, there are some new drivers that allow you to print in different ways, but for the most part you can just print as you normally do.