Double trouble for campus computers

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The library experienced significant problems from Week One after recent upgrades on all computers were followed by problems with printer software.

Microsoft Windows 7 was installed in all ISS public labs including the library. However, despite undergoing thorough testing, the majority of library computers failed to install a number of crucial applications.

“During the deployment we thoroughly tested all the applications before deployment in the first few labs as we upgraded them. However, we failed to spot that in the library some of the applications we had expected to install automatically had failed to install” said Graeme Hughes, Head of Faculty IT. “This meant that, although the machines were working OK, they were missing a few pieces of software.”

The software which failed to install was ERDAS IMAGINE 2010 as well as other packages such as SPSS. “Investigations showed that Exceed software during the automatic deployment was rebooting the machine unexpectedly” explained Hughes. “This would interrupt and sometimes break the installation of other software being installed at the same time. The machine would then reboot and continue to install the rest of its software set, however if another software package had been interrupted during its install by the unexpected reboot this left the install of that particular package in an unexpected state and it did not complete even after the restart. “

Deployment of the library computers began September 13 yet it was not until September 27 when ISS realised that there was a problem, just five days before the start of Freshers’ Week. Up to 20 computers were rebuilt at a time, which may only be a small proportion of the total library public computers, but still caused disruption to students.

A second issue occurred on October 13 with the library printers. While all other printers in the library and across campus were working, a problem with the printer drivers in two central computers on the ground floor meant students struggled to print out work.

“You expect more from library facilities, especially in the first week of term” said Rosie Lewney, a second year Biology student. “It’s just impractical.”

Mark Hazzard, studying first year music , expected to use the library to print off some work. “In the end, I had to get my printer from home, it was a bit inconvenient. Considering it was one of the first times using the library, it was not a good start.”
Staff were on hand to inform students of the situation and of the appropriate action to take.

ISS were able to resolve the issue by lunchtime of the same day.

Hughes commented: “we apologise for any inconvenience that these issues may have caused and encourage any student to report IT faults that they see to the ISS service desk or Learning Zone desk so we can deal with them as quickly as possible.”

ISS have publicly assured students that neither issue should reoccur.

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