Keith Jennings, MGH/MGPO chief information officer, discusses recent questions from staff about the hospitalwide upgrade to Windows 10. This article is part of a series of Hotline articles about all things IS-related.

Why do we need to upgrade to Windows 10?

Microsoft support for Windows 7 ends in early 2020, and the upgrade is required to keep our computers current with Microsoft security and feature updates. Also, Windows 10 is required on all Partners standard desktop and laptop computer purchases. Benefits of Windows 10 include faster startup speed, improved desktop layout, customizable user experience and improved security features.

When will my computer be upgraded?

MGH/MGPO IS will coordinate Windows 10 upgrades with department and unit leadership throughout the next several months, with the intent to have most computers running on Windows 10 by January 2020. Once your department upgrade has been scheduled, you should receive an internal communication regarding the upgrade process in your area.

To ensure we have sufficient numbers of Windows 7 computers on hand to replace failing devices, we are considering early Windows 10 deployments for departments who are ready to upgrade. If your department is interested in an early upgrade, email mghwindows10@partners.org and a member of the team will reach out to you.

Will the Windows 10 upgrade disrupt my work?

We will deploy Windows 10 to all areas, replacing older computers and adding memory to existing Windows 10-compatible computers when necessary. Our intent is to keep all floors, units and practices on Windows 7 until we can schedule an upgrade to Windows 10 for the entire location.

When our team arrives in your location, we will try to be as minimally disruptive as possible. We appreciate your flexibility and patience during the upgrade process.

Will all applications I use now on Windows 7 be available on Windows 10?

For the Windows 10 project, applications on Window devices have been characterized as “Partners Applications” or “departmental applications.”

Partners Applications are launched from the Partners Applications menu and are certified for use on Partners standard Windows computers in joint efforts with Partners IS and enterprise or site-based application owners. The Partners Windows 10 team has already been working with application teams to test Partners Applications on Windows 10. We are wrapping up testing efforts to ensure Partners Applications will run on Windows 10 when it is deployed in your area.

Departmental Applications are purchased, developed and/or installed by your department, but unknown to MGH/MGPO IS. These applications are often accessed by the Windows Start menu, desktop shortcuts or browser favorites, and are not included in the Partners Applications testing effort. Examples of third party departmental applications include Adobe Pro, Crystal Reports and Microsoft Project. You will need to reinstall departmental applications using the appropriate installation disks, files and/or licenses following the Windows 10 upgrade.

How do we test departmental applications?

To avoid unexpected issues with the Windows 10 upgrade, your help is needed to identify and test your departmental applications. To test these, we ask that the person in your department who purchased or developed the application enroll in the Windows 10 Pilot Program to set up a Windows 10 computer for testing at https://win10pilot.partners.org.

Will my documents and files be copied over to Windows 10?

The technicians will try to copy files – Word documents, Excel spreadsheets  – stored on your C: drive from your Windows 7 system to your Windows 10 system.

However, you should remember that those files should always be stored on your H: drive, SFAs or other network folder locations that are backed up. Your C: drive is not backed up by Partners IS – if files become lost or corrupt or your C: drive breaks down, you will not be able to recover those files.

What should I know or do before the upgrade?

  • Locate any installation disks and/or licenses needed to reinstall departmental applications after the Windows 10 upgrade, and test these applications.
  • Move important files from your C: drive to your H: drive, if possible.
  • We also suggest reviewing links presented by the Partners Windows 10 team on partnershealthcare.sharepoint.com/sites/Windows10/.

Are there any issues I should expect after my computer is upgraded?

Windows 10 comes with a “Security Baseline” that reduces exposure to malware and other security threats, but may make it harder to install software without help from Partners IS. Contact the IS Service Desk with any issues you encounter on Windows 10 computers.

To avoid unexpected software failures, it is important for each department to test their departmental applications prior to the Windows 10 upgrade. Visit http://win10.massgeneral.org/ to check on or report the status of departmental applications that are not included in the Partners Windows 10 testing effort.

Windows 10 resources: