University Surface Pro

April 20, 2020, by Chris Finch

Remote working device upkeep

During times of prolonged remote working, it is important University devices are maintained while on or off campus. Based upon feedback and reported issues by users, we have some advice for users with a Windows university managed device.

When a university device is not connected to the university network (wired or wireless), it is not controlled in the usual way as it would be when on campus. As such, in some cases devices won’t receive important Windows and security updates.

Because of this, it is essential that users with a university Windows device follow some key steps to ensure the device is kept up to date.

Please note, a Windows device is referred to as your physical PC (laptop / desktop) issued to you by the university.

Maintaining a University Windows Managed Device

We advise the following regular upkeep:

  • restart your device that is on or off campus at least once a week
  • connect to the university Virtual Private Network (VPN) and have it connected for a couple of hours once a week
  • ensure your device has enough air flow so the fan is not blocked
  • remember to save and back up all files to your OneDrive

Access to University File store

To access the file store drives Home (Z), Shared (S) and Research (R) on your University Windows managed device, you can via a web browser or by connecting to the VPN, please follow instructions found on Workspace.

Known issues with preventative and reactive actions

Device Service Issue Preventative action Reactive action
A UoN desktop or laptop PC located on a University campus Remote Desktop
  • Unable to connect via the Remote Desktop Gateway
Restart the on campus device periodically (weekly as a minimum)

Advice on how to restart a PC via Remote Desktop can be found on Workspace.
  • Try to wake via WakeMyPC
  • Use alternative remote working solutions
  • Arrange for the computer to be physically restarted on campus (if feasible)
  • Contact the IT Service Desk with the computer name
A UoN desktop or laptop PC located at home or elsewhere off campus Operating system / Office licensing / Sophos Anti-virus
  • Window updates not applied
  • MS Office (non-O365) licence not re-activated after 180 days
  • System clock not updated to reflect change between BST and GMT
  • Windows licence not updated after a number of days not connected to the University network
Connect periodically to the UoN network (weekly as a minimum) via the VPN
  1. Connect to the UoN network via the VPN by following these instructions
  2. Once connected, click Start (Windows icon)
  3. type Run and open the Run app
  4. type the command gpupdate /force
  5. Then click OK
  6. Allow a few minutes for the process to finish
  • Device password no longer corresponds with the current UoN password following a password change
Change the password on campus
  1. Follow the steps above
  2. Sign out of your device
  3. Now log back in using your new password
At home: any device VPN service
  • VPN via IPsec is recommend however many users using the full VPN client only have access via SSL
Add a second connection to the Fortinet client that connects via IPsec following information available via the user guide

Please contact the IT Service Desk if you have any questions, or require any further support.

Notice of laptop and desktop PC repairs

Please also be aware that we have asked our PC supplier (SCC) to suspend visits to the University to repair Staff / PGR laptop or desktop PCs. This is due to the University building closures and limits on staff availability on site.

You can read more information on our Digital Network blog.

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