Upgrading Windows

This page provides instructions and options for upgrading Microsoft Windows on TU-owned computers.

About the current upgrade

All TU Windows 7 computers must be updated to Windows 10 by January 13, 2020. Microsoft ends support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020.  

Why upgrade?

The upgrade is required because Microsoft will not provide new upgrades, security patches, or support for computers running Windows 7.  

How to upgrade 

All TU-owned computers are required to be upgraded. However, if you have hardware or software incompatibility with Windows 10, you can request an exemption.

Need help?

We can help with any upgrade questions or problems.

If you have issues or need help with upgrading, please contact the Faculty/Staff Help Center at 410-704-5151.

Before you start

Back up your files using OneDrive. We recommend that you back up all critical files to OneDrive or a network drive following the steps below because there is a possibility of data loss with any upgrade, regardless of the method used.

Files will be copied from your TU computer and placed in your OneDrive online storage account. Select small groups of files and allow plenty of time for the copy process.

  1. Visit onedrive.towson.edu
  2. Login with your NetID and Password
  3. Select and drag files from your computer into your OneDrive browser window.

If you more information, review the OneDrive (PDF) self-help document. 

Select an upgrade option

In most cases, the simplified Windows 10 upgrade will not require an OTS visit and will keep your software and data on your computer. You have three choices to upgrade your university computer.

Option 1: Request to replace or upgrade your computer if you have one of these older models. Older computer models may not be able to run Windows 10 properly. Follow the steps (PDF) to check your Windows model. If you have a Dell Optiplex 745, 755, 980, and 990 model (or earlier), request an upgrade through the Computer Trade-Up Program, the EduCycle Computer Reconditioning Program, or a department purchase.

For more information and other options, see our quick reference guide (PDF).

Option 2: Self-Upgrade your system using the computer's Software Center (strongly recommended). This option allows you to upgrade at a time convenient for you, and it's a great option if you often work on a laptop offsite.

Note: The computer must be on campus, plugged into a power outlet, turned on, and connected to the TU network with a physical cable for the upgrade to run successfully. If not, the upgrade will download and attempt to install the next time it's connected to the TU network.

  1. Click the Windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen.
  2. Type Software Center in the search field that appears.
  3. Once the Software Center launches, select Operating Systems from the left-hand menu.
  4. Select Microsoft Windows 10 and be sure to read the user prompt before you begin. The upgrade will take approximately one to two hours. During that time, your computer will be unavailable and it will restart several times.

For step-by-step instructions, see Upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 10 (PDF).  

Option 3: Wait for OTS Client Services to contact your department to schedule the install remotely. Here's what you need to know about this option:

  • OTS Client Services will contact your department to schedule the upgrade.
  • We will work with your department to provide communications throughout the process with instructions to ensure the upgrade is successful.
  • You will have one week to back up critical files or request exceptions for hardware and software compatibility issues. 
  • The upgrade will run overnight. The computer must be on campus, plugged into a power outlet, turned on and, connected to the TU network with a physical cable for the upgrade to run successful.
  • If a computer is offsite, turned off, or not connected with physical cables, the upgrade will download and attempt to install the next time it connects to the TU network.
  • During the time of the upgrade, your computer will be unavailable to you for a period of one to two hours and will reboot several times.   
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