Getting ready for Windows 10

University PCs are being upgraded to a new operating system soon. Here are some things you can do now to prepare for it

Microsoft’s newest operating system will soon be installed on PCs across the University. It will be rolled out in phases over Summer and during the 2018/19 academic year. This is the same operating system many staff and students use on their own equipment and will be familiar to most people. We will be publishing more information about this soon and you will receive detailed instructions about what to do before you move but it’s worth making sure you’ve tidied up your files and that everything is stored in the right place – especially if you’re planning to be away over Summer.

What should I do now?

  1. Check all your files are stored in the right place so you don’t lose themWhen you move across to Windows 10 (or upgrade from an earlier version of Windows 10), Microsoft requires a reformat of your hard drive so anything you have stored on your C:Drive, D:Drive or desktop should be copied to another place. You will lose access to everything currently on your PC’s internal drive  (partitioned into your C:Drive and D:Drive) including your desktop. Make sure you’ve tidied up your files and saved everything you need so you will be able to find it after Windows 10 has been installed. This table may help you decide the best place to save files.  We will ask you to confirm that there is nothing important saved on your hard drive before you receive the new operating system.
  2. Watch out for the desktop assistant which will pop up on your PC screen shortly before the roll out.  You will be asked a series of questions so we understand the way it’s set up, what software you are using and check you have nothing saved on your hard drive.
  3. Get to know OneDrive so that you are used to working with it when you get the new version of Office. You can access this now through a browser by visiting If you’re asked to log in, enter your username* in the format and your normal University password. (* Your username is the code you use to log into your University account  – eg if you log in using the code xy9422 then input If you’re planning to transfer a lot of files to this storage space, you might find it takes a little while. Some people prefer to leave it to run overnight. Also bear in mind that anything saved to a person’s OneDrive space will not be available after they have left the University – even if they have shared a link to the files.

Why is the University upgrading to Windows 10?

Using the Windows 10 operating system allows us to have the latest features and security updates which are required to keep the University protected. It also allows access to up-to-date software, including the latest version of Office, and automatically connects to files saved in your University OneDrive cloud storage area.

Windows 7 is no longer compatible with the latest hardware and some software – and the operating system is becoming out of date.  Most new equipment is now supplied with Windows 10 installed so we need to move to a more modern desktop.  It’s also what many students are already using and future employers are likely to expect people to be familiar with it.

There have been a few questions about D:Drives:

Why am I losing my D:Drive?

The new Windows 10 operating system provides frequent updates direct to your PC and there will also be a yearly deployment to all workstations to ensure we continue to have the latest operating system.  For most workstations, this update will be achieved by what’s known as a re-image which will reinstall a new version of the operating system on the disk, replacing all existing data.

When we installed the first University Managed Desktop in 1998, we used partitioned drives – back then, staff had very little network drive space and there weren’t alternative methods of storage. There are much better solutions now which are more secure and accessible from multiple devices. These are compliant with IT regulations, security and GDPR. Our Microsoft subscription provides us each with 1 terabyte of cloud storage in OneDrive which is easily accessible from different devices through a browser – and from your desktop in Windows 10. It integrates very well with other Office applications.

What’s the difference between my C:Drive, D:Drive and my Desktop?

The C:Drive is the partition used to store the operating system, applications and the special user folder known as the User Profile where some personal files and settings are stored by applications and the operating system.

The D:Drive is an additional partition, created on the hard disk that was created to allow users to store personal data before the advent of large amounts of personal network storage, USB drives or cloud storage.  Most people don’t use this storage space and having the D: partition causes a number of issues which are resolved by removing it.

Your desktop is one of the special user folders within a User Profile. It has always been recommended that important files are not kept on the desktop because they could easily be lost and are not retrievable.

What if I have a separate, stand-alone hard drive?

Some users have an additional separate external drive (which people occasionally refer to as a D:Drive) for a specific reason. This is not the same as your D:Partion and you will not lose access to files stored there when you receive Windows 10. If you have any questions or concerns about this, please contact IT Help.