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Returning to Campus: PC and Laptop checks

 Connection to University Networks

We are aware of a number of devices across campus that are at risk of login issues due to the time they have been logged off the University’s network.

This will apply to:

  • Windows PCs on University campuses that have been switched off for more than 3 months
  • University Windows laptops that have not connected to the VPN for more than 3 months, and have not accessed Eduroam for more than 3 months

If your device has not connected to the network within this timeframe, you may see the error message “There are no logon servers available” when you next access the network on campus, and a technician will need to visit to fix this.  Their visit should take no longer than 30 minutes.

Details of how to check if this is likely to affect your Windows laptop are given below - see Checking if your Windows computer has lost connection to the University network (secure channel check)

To book an appointment, please use the following link:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=xDv6T_zswEiQgPXkP_kOXxr85W6__ehIuKIZl0DZKHBURTg2T0FRSzhUSTVOVTlWQ0RVT0tCU0I3MC4u

When entering your details you will be asked for your School/Function planned date of return and further details of your location.

Due to the number of our colleagues at the University and the size of campus, we need to ensure that technicians are able to visit all areas and our colleagues are working effectively and efficiently. To aid us in doing so, please ensure you book your appointment in advance of your planned return to campus and schedule this for the morning of your arrival.

Please note that you will not be able to carry out any work on an affected PC until a technician has visited and be mindful of this when arranging meetings and deadlines.

(On-campus PCs at London Road and Greenlands campuses have been manually updated by our User Support teams based at these campuses.) 

Operating system and application updates and patches

It is vital that we keep computers and applications updated to ensure that any security vulnerabilities are removed.  This is to protect University data and to reduce the impact of any malware attack.  This is part of the University’s IT policies and ensures the safety and security of our community.

When working remotely, it is important to routinely connect to the University’s VPN to allow vital security updates and configurations to be made to your device.  This should be done once or twice a week.

Computers need to be restarted after the application of updates and patches to properly install them.  You will be prompted to restart your computer.  If it is not convenient to restart at that time, you will be able to postpone the restart twice but the restart must occur within a week.  We recommend that you schedule the restart at the end of the working day when you receive the prompt to restart.

If your computer has not been updated/patched for a while, then the restart could take quite some time whilst all the patches are loaded.

HP laptops purchased during the period March 2020 - present: DTS will contact you

If you have received an HP laptop between March 2020 and now, delivered to your home address, this will need to be configured with our University image. This ensures you have the correct access to University systems and services, and also ensures important security patching can take place.

If your device has been sent to you during this period, you will be contacted by the DTS with steps to ensure your device is imaged correctly. The imaging process will wipe any stored data but information will be provided on what to save to your OneDrive for Business prior to the imaging process.

If you wish to use your device on campus prior to this, please use Eduroam to connect to the University’s network.

You do not need to log a ticket with DTS, we will be in touch.

Microsoft Surface devices delivered in 2021

If you have received a Microsoft Surface device in 2021 this will already have the University image and configuration.

Docking stations, however, will not have been configured to connect to the University network.  Owing to limited resources, it will take time to register these and allocate network devices.

If you wish to use your device on campus prior to this, please use Eduroam to connect to the University’s network.

Checking if your Windows computer has lost connection to the University network (secure channel check)

Campus-based PC (at Whiteknights Campus):

If you believe your office PC has not been on the network (switched off) for more than 3 months, this may mean that your PC has lost connection and you will need to book an appointment with our technicians for the day you return to campus.

You may not not be able to use your PC until this has been completed and so we would suggest that you arrange this prior to any meetings you may need to attend or deadlines. Please do not book an appointment until your return to campus has been agreed with your Head of Function or School.

Instructions to book an appointment can be found in the following sections.

University laptop (all campuses):

To check if your laptop may not have accessed VPN or Eduroam for more than 3 months, our Application & Deployment team have created a quick and easy app for you to check the status.

To access this, you will need to connect to the University’s VPN and launch AppsAnywhere from appsanywhere.reading.ac.uk.

1. You will see a number of applications and you will need to click on the “DTS Secure Channel Check” option, there is a green button that will state “VPN Required”, please click this (should you not be connected to the VPN this application will be greyed out)

 

2. This will load the CloudPaging Player and you can launch the application from here.

 

3. A popup will appear confirming that you wish to perform the check, please click OK. (picture 3)

 

4. The resulting box will either state True/False, click OK again and you will be taken to a results screen that will give you further information. (picture 4)

 

5. Clicking OK again will take you to a Microsoft Forms page where you can capture the results of your check.

If your result was True and the check confirmed your device is in “good condition”, you do not need to arrange a visit. If your result was False and your device is “broken”, you will be asked to capture this via the Microsoft Forms page and our DTS Support teams will be in touch to arrange a technician to visit you on your return to campus.

Once completed, please remove the app from Cloudpaging player by highlighting the app and then selecting the 'Remove' button from the top.

Please make sure you disconnect from the VPN after completing the check.