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Migrating to Windows 7? What you need to know about user settings

When it comes to operating system migrations, administrators know that this can be a very tedious and time-consuming task.  Almost always, the end-users are affected in some way or another.  It may be a simple setting within an application like the Microsoft Outlook signature or the layout and theme of the latest version of Microsoft Offce.  It could be more advanced user settings or fles like desktop shortcuts, Microsoft Outlook nicknames fle, or all the personal settings within the Microsoft Offce suite of applications that are missing or no longer confgured like they were before. Or possibly something more serious like user data that was never backed up or copied over to the new desktop during the migration or perhaps it was simply deleted as a part of the migration process.  These things all contribute to users’ frustration and anger, lower user productivity, and business dollars lost.

Suppose a migration goes reasonably well and most users retain their information and data; how much time and preparation went into that project? 

Let’s take the following case, for example. Users leave work at close of business on Friday.  In this organization the users are using a mixture of Windows XP and Windows Vista.  On Monday when they return to work, they are now logging onto brand new Windows 7 desktops.  This may be where the problems begin for IT and the helpdesk. 

Even though e-mails were sent out to let everyone know that the migration would take place this weekend, not all the users read or even saw that e-mail.  IT administrators were very busy preparing for the migration so no training was given to the users on the new operating system.  Users have no idea how to use the new system and are immediately confused and begin making calls to support such as: “Where is my data directory?” “Are all my documents safe?”  “Where are things stored now?” “Where is the picture that was on my desktop last week?” 

These are questions that food IT and the helpdesk whenever the user’s desktops or access methods change in the infrastructure.  Unlike the technical staff of the organization, not all the users are aware that these types of changes are even taking place....

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