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Options for upgrading end-of-life Windows 7 computers

This document details options for College of Engineering members (and others) to upgrade Windows 7 computers due to end of Windows 7 support. For a shorter summary, please see

The Microsoft Windows 7 (and Windows Server 2008) operating systems (OSes) are scheduled to reach end-of-life (EOL) on January 14, 2020, meaning they will no longer be supported or updated by Microsoft. End-of-life OSes pose significant security risks and the university reserves the right to remove computers posing security risks from its networks to protect its denizens and data.

Work is already underway to reduce the number of outdated operating systems on university networks. To facilitate completing as many upgrades as possible before the Microsoft EOL date, Engineering IT has set an earlier deadline of Friday November 29th.

If you use a computer running an EOL OS you can avoid losing valuable time by planning for your upgrade ahead of Engineering IT's deadline. This document will explain options for university staff, faculty, and students currently using Windows 7 to upgrade to Windows 10. It will focus on those who are directly affiliated with the College of Engineering. Some info may be more or less relevant for other colleges and units.

Table of Contents

University-owned computers 

All computers that are owned by the university and are inventoried as belonging to a College of Engineering unit are eligible to be imaged by the Engineering IT with the latest Windows 10 Enterprise edition operating system (OS).

The easiest way to know if your computer is inventoried is to look for a university property tag (PTag). If your computer doesn't have a PTag, please ask your business department to record the equipment and supply one, or ask your IT Pro for details.

Staff, faculty, and supported researchers 

Computers used by staff and faculty are covered by Engineering IT's Standard Support. Computers used for research by supported researchers are covered by Engineering IT's Research Support. These will already be upgraded, or their IT Pro will have plans to upgrade them and will contact the relevant users as necessary to complete the upgrade. If you have questions, please see our contact info below.

Unsupported researchers and graduate students 

Computers used for research which are not covered by Engineering IT's Research Support are still covered by Engineering IT's Basic Support and may be brought to one of our helpdesk locations to be imaged. Basic Support terms regarding what the Help Desk can and cannot help with still apply. For computers which fall outside the scope of Basic Support, or which cannot be brought to a helpdesk location, see below about the Self-service upgrade option.

Undergraduate students 

See below about non-university-owned computers. Undergraduates affiliated with research groups may see the above about supported/unsupported researchers.


For university-owned computers which are not directly supported by an IT Pro, and which cannot be brought to a helpdesk location, or otherwise cannot be serviced by Engineering IT, you can download and install the Windows 10 Education edition installation media from the WebStore. Here is a video with instructions on how to do this:

WebStore offer link:


University-owned computers which have a valid reason for running Windows 7 past the end of life date may receive an exception from related campus policies and allowed to remain on the network, given adequate measures are taken to ensure the security of the system.  To request an exception, submit this form: Even if the system doesn't need to be on the network, an exception still needs to be requested.

Note: an example of a valid reason would be the use of Windows 7 on a research system running specialized software or hardware which is not compatible with current operating systems, and which has no feasible upgrade path to become compatible.

Non-university-owned computers 

Computers that are not owned by the university, regardless of their use in your work are not eligible to be imaged by Engineering IT. However the university Webstore provides self-service methods and installation media for you to upgrade your computers using university-licensed copies of Windows 10 Education edition. Here is a video with instructions on how to do this:

WebStore offer link:


If you have any questions as to whether your computer is covered by Engineering IT support, whether it's university-owned, or if you have questions about the upgrade process, please send an email to

Keywords:windows 7 2008 end of life eol upgrade   Doc ID:91408
Owner:Janelle H.Group:University of Illinois Engineering IT
Created:2019-04-29 12:56 CDTUpdated:2020-02-20 12:38 CDT
Sites:University of Illinois Engineering IT
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