Maintaining a University Windows-managed device


June 22nd, 2020

During times of prolonged remote working, it is important that university devices are maintained while on or off campus.

Based on feedback and reported issues by users, Information Services have some advice for users with a Windows university managed device they are using off campus.

When a university device is not connected to the university network (wired or wireless), it is not maintained in the usual way as it would be when on campus. As such, in some cases devices won’t receive important Windows and security updates.

Because of this, it is essential that users with a university Windows device they are using off campus (e.g. at home) follow some key steps to ensure the device is kept up to date and maintained.

To maintain your device, the following actions are recommended:

  • Restart your device that is on or off campus at least once a week
  • Connect to the university Virtual Private Network (VPN) once a week for 2 hours
  • Ensure your device has enough air flow so the fan is not blocked
  • Remember to save and back up files to your OneDrive / Teams

Dealing with repeated restart prompts
If you recently receive regular prompts to restart your university device to update from Software Center, please follow the guidance below to help to address this issue:

  1. Ensure you are connected to the Virtual Private Network
  2. Search for Control Panel
  3. Select ‘Configuration Manager’
  4. Click on ‘Actions’ (tab)
  5. Click on ‘Machine Policy Retrieval and Evaluation Cycle’ followed by ‘Run Now’
  6. Click on ‘Application Deployment Evaluation Cycle’ followed by ‘Run Now’
  7. Perform a further restart

Please note, after clicking ‘Run Now’ on steps 5 and 6, the action takes place automatically and will not prompt once complete.

For more information about known issues with preventative and reactive actions, please see the Digital Network blog.

Reminder of remote working tools
While most university services, applications and systems are available off campus, some may require the use of remote working tools. Here is a summary of tools available:

  • Office 365 – use Office 365 from anywhere to access Office applications, your email and access files on OneDrive. Collaborate and communicate with colleagues via Teams for meetings, audio and video calls, instant messaging via chat and sharing files. Find out more on the Office 365 customer guides (log in required).
  • Windows Virtual Desktop – use this new virtual desktop to access University software that may not be available on your personal or work device when away from campus. It offers a similar experience to using a University networked PC.
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN) – a VPN connection provides a secure connection between your device and the University network. Use this to access systems you require that are not available via a normal, open Internet connection. Also use VPN to regularly maintain security and Windows updates on your University device when off campus as described above.

More information can be found on the IT Services – Working remotely webpage.

If you have any questions regarding maintaining your university devices and remote working tools, please contact the IT Service Desk or Campus IT Support.

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