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Windows 7 Thread, Process for moving staff from Windows XP to Windows 7 in Technical; As the title suggests what I'm after is a process that we can follow to move staff machines from XP ...
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    Process for moving staff from Windows XP to Windows 7

    As the title suggests what I'm after is a process that we can follow to move staff machines from XP to 7 without the loss of data. At the moment we have some staff who save things locally and don't always save things onto the network. We have been providing Windows 7 when staff have a new machine, but now we want to move everyone over to Windows 7. I've been asked to look into how we can do this without any members of staff loosing their local files. We also have some staff who are reluctant to change due to old software they are running becoming unsupported on newer versons so we need a way to ensure there are no problems and so don't result in more people being reluctant to change.

    As staff will have no doubt saved something somewhere they shouldn't have (and then forgotten about it) what we don't want is to backup everything we were told about only to find out we missed something.

    We had a couple of ideas
    Replace the HDD and keep it for a limited time while user has a chance to request old documents.
    Make an image of the original Client and keep it for a limited time while user has a chance to request old documents.
    Something along the lines of Data migration to transfer files while when machine is upgraded.

    Problem is we want something that is "bullet proof" so that when a member of staff suddenly remembers that they forgot about *InsertImportantDocument* we can recover it.

    While I know this is a user problem, we are trying to ensure we have covered all of the bases. So what I'm after is did you guys backup computers before upgrading or did you just let staff know that they need to backup their own stuff or it gets lots? And what practical options have we got to backup the existing computer before re-imaging onto Windows 7?

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    Personally would simply make guides and tutorials on how to back their own stuff up to the network and give them a few weeks to do it then blitz em.

    We replaced the hardware here so, as usual, we keep the old boxes around until we can get them recycled so we are able to recover stuff if we have to (though it means sorting through literally stacks and stacks of computers, checking asset labels and looking them up on the asset system to find the right machine etc...) but in all honesty they would probably just be reminded that they should have moved it and that's that.

    It might seem a bit harsh but your job is to maintain a secure and efficient network that facilitates the ability of the school to educate and protect the students. You aren't there to hold the staff's hands and do everything for them!

    If you are absolutely adamant on keeping their old data I would go with replacing hard drives. A lot less work and time than making images of the old hard drives IMHO.

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    penfold (12th October 2012)

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    You could virtualise each machine and save it some where safe and fire it up if you need to later. Worse comes to worse they can then access it via rdp whilst you sort out the problem.

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    penfold (12th October 2012)

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    I would say first step is to do a application audit of everything in your network - if you have access to it use Microsoft App-V to package every application (it makes it VERY easy to deploy applications to PCs as they are not installed in the traditional sense which makes for a very clean and tidy OS).
    Ask HoDs to provide you with any CDs/DVDs that they might be holding onto and also look at doing a licencing check.

    You will have some applications that just will not work on Windows 7 and the only thing you can do is find a modern alternative.

    As far as user data goes I would suggest a two prong approach - first find out why are staff saving data locally - it is because of poor training, because they don't trust 'the network' or because they are just plain stubborn. From this you should then be able to work out the best way to get everyone's data onto the network - produce training guides, put together a YouTube video (we find these highly effective for our staff) and do 1 -1 with people.

    Next the migration - make sure you test every possible thing you can and if possible deny staff to save anything locally (else when we all go to Windows 8/9/10 you will only be in the same situation). Make sure staff are aware when their PC will be moved over to Windows 7 and that after that point if they have not moved their data over by themselves or at least asked for IT assistance it will be gone for good.

    Above all - make sure people are aware of what is going on, emails, notices on your intranet, posters and 1-1 training are the best methods to make any IT project a success.

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    penfold (12th October 2012)

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    I had the same issue and it caused real problems;
    I provided them with an external drive and a limited time to copy their stuff.
    In order to expedite matters I did actually do a couple myself.
    I'm afraid I still have a couple who insist on logging on locally so that they can access stuff they have saved locally. The head doesnt mind so I cannot do anything about it. Most though now "get" the network issue and seem to cope with not being able to see their C drives! I enabled offline files too, which they didnt have before so at least they can use their laptops at home as if they were on the network

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    What I did was produce a sheet with a big warning at the top, asking what program used for email (outlook/outlook express/webmail), are files in My Documents that need saving, are there files on the desktop that need saving, any programs that need to be reinstalled and any other information.

    The big warning at the top said if you don't put it on this sheet and you don't give it back to me by the deadline, then it's your fault if it's lost.

    Nobody came and complained to me other then one person who mentioned it in passing, but then freely admitted it was their own fault for not putting it on the sheet.

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    penfold (12th October 2012)

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    +1 for @shadowx's approach. Give them a fighting chance, i.e. some instructions and warnings, but it's their data and they have to take responsibility for it. We explained (again) that we had set up my documents to sync with the server and that anything in there would be safe and anything not in there would be lost. Forever.

    I was reluctant to provide removable drives for back up, as you then have lots of confidential data floating around unprotected and uncontrolled.

    You will need the support of your SMT whichever approach you take as it will be a pain for some users and you don't want or deserve the blame for it.

    The reaction when I first told staff was fear and resistance, but we only had one user lose (fail to backup) anything important. Applications are more difficult, but it really is time to move on. Vendors have had years to update their products - if they haven't kept up, they will go out of business pretty quickly and you can't support software that only runs on an unsupported OS.

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    Old software is the bane of my life - I can see the teacher's point of view - they were happy with XP and being able to run their software, computers logged on reasonably fast and they could save to their machines. And often had admin rights too...
    Now they are Win 7, computers log on much slower, some of their software doesnt work, they cant save to their machines and they can't install anything.
    Where IS the advantage for them?

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    Quote Originally Posted by witch View Post
    Old software is the bane of my life - I can see the teacher's point of view - they were happy with XP and being able to run their software, computers logged on reasonably fast and they could save to their machines. And often had admin rights too...
    Now they are Win 7, computers log on much slower, some of their software doesnt work, they cant save to their machines and they can't install anything.
    Where IS the advantage for them?
    Added stability, less bloated operating system, better security.. But try telling them that.
    Personally I'd just give them a deadline and stick to it. "You've got until x-date to back up anything you might need, then we're switching to Windows 7. If you lose any data, it will be your fault." Explain the point of the upgrade to SMT and get them covering you. Map a network share where people can dump password-protected zip files of their data for later retrieval, if they don't have any form of external media to use. Explain to them you give no guarantee their programs will still work under Windows 7, but support will be given where-and-when possible (run in compatibility mode) but if it ultimately doesn't work, it doesn't work. The network integrity is more important than their piece of poorly written, bodged together 'educational' software.

    Then again I've not been sleeping well and am somewhat grumpy..

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    Thanks all, I think I'll get started on a guide for how to transfer documents on to the network from a local machine. We also might look into providing an external HDD for departments to transfer documents onto as we know that there will be a lot of "rubbish" that will be stored locally that ideally we don't want being transferred onto the network never to be deleted.

    We are looking at doing departments at a time so each member of staff will get a timescale of the migration but I hadn't thought of screen capture vids showing how to transfer files - I might take a look at that.

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