Desktop Support

Windows 7 – End of Support January 20, 2020

Windows 7 will officially reach end of support on January 20, 2020. (You can read more about that here and here.) After that day, Windows 7 will no longer receive any patches, fixes, or security updates from Microsoft. The lack of security updates is of concern because cyber-criminals will still be looking for (and finding) flaws in Windows 7 and without any updates from Microsoft they will be able to exploit them much more easily. This puts your computer, the data it contains, data on network shares, and potentially other computers on our network at risk. IT Services will be working with faculties and departments to upgrade all computers running Windows 7 to Windows 10 prior to January 2020. Planning is in progress for these upgrades, and more information will be provided soon.

In the meantime, to be ready for a move to Windows 10 you should examine the applications you use every day and ensure that they are compatible with Windows 10. The following Lab Software list has been confirmed to work on windows 10. If your software is not listed on the attached list, please contact the software vendor to confirm compatibility. Most applications that work on Windows 7 will also work on Windows 10 but it’s always good to ensure your applications are up-to-date. While you are taking stock of the applications you use, it’s also a good time to make sure that any data, documents, etc. that you have stored on your computer are backed up elsewhere (Office 365 OneDrive, network drive, USB key, portable hard drive, etc.)

We understand that there may be a small number of computers, typically connected to research equipment, which cannot be upgraded to Windows 10 without breaking required functionality. If you believe that one of your computers is in this category, please fill out the attached form with your name, contact #, the UofL Barcode of the system, office location, name of software/device and any additional pertinent information.

While are working out the details of the plan, you can get ahead of the crowd by contacting IT Services using the following link to request an upgrade of your computer system to Windows 10.

Upcoming Changes to Adobe Creative Cloud and Document Cloud (Acrobat)


The University of Lethbridge has a license agreement with Adobe which allows us to install Adobe Creative Cloud (Adobe CC) and Adobe Document Cloud (a.k.a. Adobe Acrobat Pro or Adobe DC) on faculty, staff, and computers in our computer labs and in the library. Recently, Adobe has changed the requirements for licensing this software which will require some changes to the way we install and activate this software.  Read on for more details.

Current Situation (Serialized Licenses)

Today, our Adobe CC and Adobe DC software is licensed via serial numbers; we create installation packages based on our serial numbers and activation happens for each computer the software is installed on. In the case of Adobe CC, if you request the full Adobe CC suite the installation package is quite large and takes a considerable amount of time to install.  We do have a smaller version of the package available that contains a subset of the Adobe CC applications which helps improve the installation time slightly.  These packages must be maintained periodically so they contain the latest versions of the software.

The typical way you would obtain this software is that you would put in a request through our automated request system to have this software installed and a technician, either in person or remotely, would install the software on your computer.  The technician would enter information about the computer the software was installed on into our tracking system so that we can ensure we are within the limits of our license agreement as far as total installations on campus.

The software, once installed on your computer, would prompt you to install patches periodically to keep it secure and working properly, however if a new major version of any product was released these updates were not automatically applied to your computer. To get major version updates you would again have to put in a request through our automated system and a technician would remove your existing installation, and then re-install the newer package we had created which contains the latest major version releases.

Along with the limitation of performing major version updates this way, having the Adobe CC and DC products deployed this way also meant that we didn’t have access to many of the Adobe Services in the cloud since it isn’t possible to make those services available to serial licensed products; you need an account in Adobe’s cloud in order to be able to access these services.

Until recently, this was the only way to deploy volume-licensed versions of Adobe CC and DC, but that is changing…

New (Named User/Sign In)

Adobe has recently signalled to us that they intend to stop supporting serial-based activations of their software and are instead moving to what they called named user licensing. Whereas before we were licensing individual computers to run Adobe software, we will now assign licenses to individuals who may then have the software installed on any device they like.  Everyone is allowed to have two computers authorized to run the software at any given time.  Attempting to launch the software on a third computer would result in the other two computers being signed out of Adobe Creative Cloud.

This change in licensing also gives us some new flexibility with regards to how the Adobe CC and Adobe DC products will be installed and updated on your computer: rather than installing the Adobe CC or DC suite on your computer, we will deploy a small piece of software to your computer called the Creative Cloud Desktop. The installation of this software takes only a few minutes.  Once installed you sign in with your University of Lethbridge account and you will then be able to install any component of either suite for which we have authorized you.  For example, if we have given you access to the full Adobe Creative Cloud suite, you will be able to install just Photoshop if that is all you need, or you can choose to install all the applications. It’s up to you.  You also can choose which version of each individual application to install and whether to perform upgrades when they are released.

So you may ask what will the process for requesting Adobe CC or DC software look like as a result of this change. Well, you will still put in a request through our automated request system, and indicate whether you require Adobe Creative Cloud (which includes Acrobat Pro) or if you only require Adobe Document Cloud.  We only have a limited number of licenses Adobe CC and Adobe DC which we can assign to individuals so please only request what you need.  For example, if you only need Adobe Acrobat Pro, please request Adobe DC rather than requesting Adobe CC.  Also keep in mind that Windows, Mac OS, as well as most applications today have the built-in ability to view PDF files as well as the capability to create basic PDF files.  Unless you are creating advanced forms or taking advantage of other advanced features which Acrobat Pro provides, you likely don’t require Adobe Acrobat Pro at all and can make of what is available to you without installing any additional software.

Once we receive your request, we will grant your account access to the appropriate software. At that point, if Adobe Creative Cloud Desktop is already installed on your computer you have everything you need.  If Creative Cloud Desktop is not installed on your computer we will get it installed for you, or you can download it directly from Adobe and install it yourself.  (If you choose to install yourself, on the linked web page please select Download using direct download-links as in testing we have had issues using the Download from option.)

Launch Adobe Creative Cloud by clicking on it in the Start Menu (Windows) or launching it from the Applications folder (Mac):

Adobe Creative Cloud will start and prompt you to sign in. Enter your University of Lethbridge email address into the Email address box:

When you enter a University of Lethbridge email address into the box, you may be asked whether you are signing in with an Adobe ID or an Enterprise ID.  This will happen if you have an Adobe ID linked to your University of Lethbridge email address.  To gain access to the University of Lethbridge software and services, you will need to select Enterprise ID:

You should then be redirected to the University of Lethbridge sign-in page where you will enter you University of Lethbridge username and password:

Once you have signed in successfully the Creative Cloud application will show you all the applications you are entitled to install. (Note that if you expect to be able to install something and instead of Install the button says Try it means that we need to do some checking on our end to ensure you have been given the correct permissions).  Click the Install button to install any of the products you require.

We mentioned earlier that you can select which versions of the software you would like to install. This is accomplished by clicking the down arrow beside the install button and then selecting Other Versions.

Once installed, you access the software the same way you always have: via the Start Menu (Windows) or find them install in the Applications folder (Mac).

If you have reached your two-concurrent use limit you will be warned that you must log out of the other devices in order to launch the software on this computer. Don’t worry though, to use the software again on the other computers you simply sign-in to Adobe Creative Cloud once again.


With this change in licensing comes a change in the way work-at-home licensing for Adobe CC and Adobe DC products will work. Previously, ANY UofL faculty or staff member was able to purchase a work-at-home license of Adobe CC through the IT Store at a greatly reduced rate.  As we make the change to this new licensing model, ONLY faculty and staff who have had Adobe CC licenses assigned to them to use at work will be able to purchase work-at-home licenses of Adobe CC.

Shared, Lab, and Other Non-Personal Computers

As was stated at the onset of this article, under our license agreement we are entitled to install Adobe CC or Adobe DC on computers in our computer labs, library, and other areas where a PC may not have a single user, or even on computers where the single user of a computer may not be a faculty or staff member, as long as the computer is owned by the University of Lethbridge. If you think about named user licensing being available to faculty and staff and only accessible on no more than two devices at a time you can see that this may cause problems for these shared-computer scenarios.

In these cases, Adobe will continue to allow us to use serialized installations rather than named user, however they have imposed the limitation that an update coming to the Adobe products later this summer will be the LAST version of their products to support serialized activation. Any new releases after that release will not contain the necessary support for this type of activation which version-locks any serialized installation.  Adobe has committed to having a new solution to this use case by early 2019.

Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes, please contact us:

IT Solutions Centre

Turcotte Hall – TH218

(403) 329-2490

Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update (a.k.a. 1709) Coming Soon!

On March 27, 2018 Information Technology Services will be approving the Windows 10 Fall Creator’s Update (a.k.a. Windows 10 1709) for installation via our internal Windows Update Server. If your computer is running a version of Windows 10 which is older than 1709 it will be updated to this latest version. Computers running any version of Windows older than Windows 10, such as Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 will NOT be affected by this.

You will not have to do anything to receive this update as it will be applied in the background like any other update to Windows. The main difference you will notice with this feature update is that when you restart your computer after being prompted that there are updates to be applied, the restart will take longer than normal; usually about 20-30 minutes, give or take.

NOTE: Your files, settings, and data will be unchanged by this update however we do remind you that we recommend you frequently back up your important files and data to a network drive, OneDrive, USB thumb drive, external hard drive, or some other medium.
If you would like to see what to expect during the upgrade process read on below!

Should you open the Update & Settings section of your Settings application and look under Windows Update you might see something like this as the update is being downloaded from our update server and is installed to your system:

Once the update has been downloaded and applied to your system you would see this:

Note that if you like, you can choose to schedule the restart at a later time here:

However if you aren’t checking the Settings application and you just attempt to restart your computer the dialog may look slightly different:

You may also receive other prompts to restart that can come as a pop up window or notification toast.

Note once more that if you receive this notice you may choose to restart and install now or pick a different time:

Once you choose to restart or your system restarts at the time you chose you will see this:

Your computer will restart and then you will see this:

Finally, once your computer has likely restarted a few more times you will see your normal login screen:

Once logging on with your normal credentials Windows will have a few more items to take care of and you will see the following screens:

Finally, you will be back at your normal desktop.

At this point the update has been applied and you can use your computer as you normally do. If you would like to know what some of the changes are in this update Microsoft has a blog post on that very subject:
If you have any questions, problems, or concerns please contact the ITS Solutions Centre at (403)329-2490.

Microsoft Support for Older Versions of Internet Explorer Ended

ielogo1Microsoft will no longer be supporting any version of Internet Explorer other than the most current version (version 11).

Beginning January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system will receive technical supports and security updates. Internet Explorer 11 is the last version of Internet Explorer, and will continue to receive security updates, compatibility fixes, and technical support on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. For more information, go to Microsoft’s announcement.

Any University computer system running Windows 7, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10 that is joined to the domain (you sign-in to the computer using your U of L username/password) has already been updated to Internet Explorer 11. Any Windows 7 or 8.1 computer not joined to the university domain or professional supplement devices may not have the latest version of Internet Explorer installed and action will be required on your part. Windows 10 computers running Edge or Internet Explorer browsers will already have the most updated version.

What should you do? To check the version you are currently running, open Internet Explorer and click on the gear icon gear_icon in the top right corner of the page and select “About Internet Explorer”. If your version is anything other than Internet Explorer 11, you will want to install the latest version.

To install the latest version, go to Windows Update windows_updatelocated in the Control Panel and select “Check for Update”. Internet Explorer will be one of the programs available to update. Select it and click “Install Updates”.

Why should you update? Without critical web browser updates, your PC may become vulnerable to harmful viruses, spyware and other malicious software which can steal or damage you data and information. Also many software vendors and websites, such as Office 365, no longer support older versions of Internet Explorer.

Please contact the ITS Solution Centre at or 403-329-2490 if you require additional information or assistance.

Mac viruses – the end of an era

A recent virus outbreak affecting hundreds of thousands of Macs has signaled the end of the days when Apple’s computers were largely ignored by virus authors.  Apple has since released an update that removes the virus and corrects the underlying problem (available through the Software Update function).  ITS is currently working with technical staff in the Faculty of Education to identify and procure a campus-wide anti-virus tool for Macs to protect against future threats on this platform.

24-Hour study centre

IT Services was asked by the CRDC to try to provide more space for students to study prior to final exams.  With the support of Security and the CRDC, ITS was able to open the Anderson Hall labs 24 hours a day through most of April. Security monitored the labs and the CRDC raised awareness to students.

On-site training

IT Services recently initiated on-site Microsoft Excel training to 25 staff members in Arts and Science. ITS was able to find a partner to deliver onsite, instructor-lead training.  Feedback has been very positive. ITS is working toward online training for all Microsoft applications as well for students who want to work at their own pace.  This training can lead to Microsoft certifications.

Fine Arts cost savings

The New Media department is replacing its lab computers this summer.  The initial specifications included a very powerful machine and the initial quote from ITS’s vendor of choice (Dell) was over budget.  After learning that New Media was attempting to rebuild with cheaper parts, ITS and Materials Management were able to negotiate with Dell to drop its price, which resulted in a saving of $50,000. The equipment is also now fully supported as a result.