Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2
Windows 7 is the latest desktop operating system released from Microsoft supported by the Computer Sciences Department Computer Systems Lab
. The CSL is Windows 7 as a supported platform for use in instructional and research computing. All CSL-supported Windows 7 desktops run Windows 7 Enterprise
Windows Server 2008 R2 is the corresponding server operating system to Windows 7; the Computer Systems Lab
is offering Windows Server 2008 R2 as a server platform for use with bare metal and virtual machine server implementations. Windows Server 2008 R2
computers can be installed with either
licenses. Windows 2008 R2 is licensed on a per-server basis; licenses are obtained through the DoIT Tech Store at significant discount as dictated by the Campus Microsoft Agreement
. Contact the CSL
for current license pricing if you think you have a need for using a Windows Server 2008 R2 server.
All CSL-supported configurations of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are 64-bit configurations. Windows 7 32-bit is not supported by the CSL.
Will my computer run Windows 7?
The CSL-supported Windows 7 is 64-bit only. Older computers may not have sufficient CPU, memory or disk resources to satisfactorily run Windows 7.
Computers with Core 2 Duo/Quad, newer Xeon processors and Intel i3/i5/i7 processors should be able to run 64-bit Windows 7. We recommend no less
than 4GB of RAM for memory, preferably 8GB or more. We also recommend hard disk drives with at least 200GB total capacity for a Windows 7 installation.
Questions about a specific computer and whether it is suitable to run Windows 7 can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
When should I run Windows Server 2008 R2? What hardware is required?
Windows Server 2008 R2 is the only Microsoft platform supported by the CSL that will allow multiple simultaneous logins (Windows 7 only allows one user to be actively logged in at once). Windows Server 2008 R2 is recommended when a shared Windows compute platform is needed.
We recommend contacting the CSL
if you are interested in setting up a Windows Server 2008 R2 system. You may have the option of using virtualized or bare-metal hardware depending on your compute and storage requirements. The CSL
can consult with you on what options make sense for your needs.
What software is available for Windows 7?
The following software packages are available for Windows 7 computers:
- Microsoft Office 2010
- Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 and 2010
- SecureCRT and SecureFX
- Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 programs
- JMP Pro
Many other packages are available as well; contact the CSL
with specific package titles you may be interested in; the list above is not an exhaustive list.
: due to incompatibilities with UW HR systems, CSL-supported Windows 7 computers will be installed with Internet Explorer 8, not Internet Explorer 9.
Optional software offerings
There are many software offerings available for supported Windows 7 workstations that are not deployed by default. You can view a list of such products under
Run Advertised Programs
. Select the program you want to install on your workstation, click Run
. If you get a "download software" pop-up, check the box to
Run software after downloading
and click Download
Most programs will silently install and be available for use in a few minutes. A few programs may require user interaction, which typically just requires you to click Next
to page through the standard installation defaults.
Will the CSL Windows 7 environment work the same as the old XP environment?
There are some significant irmprovements to the supported Windows 7 setup compared to existing Windows XP installations:
- most user profile data is written direct to a fileserver, eliminating the need to synchronize data at login and logout
- remote desktop access available (excluding instructional labs)
- AFS filesystems as well as Windows File Server and Samba SMB filesystems available for use
- patches now distributed via Microsoft Windows Server Update Services
- software distributed through Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager
This design was intended to reduce login/logout time and more reliably distribute updates and software packages to individual workstations.
Microsoft Information on Windows 7
See Microsoft's Windows 7
product page for more information about Windows 7 features and capabilities.
Requesting an OS upgrade/change
To request an OS upgrade for your workstation or servers, please use the
Request an OS Upgrade/Change web form