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WINDOWS in Academic Support

IST supports almost three thousand office PCs running the Windows operating system at the University of Waterloo and over 500 Windows servers. For the most part our workstations all contain a common IST customized operating system. Changes from the default are limited, and typically only address security and usability issues introduced between revisions. Software is delivered automatically afterwards, depending on requirements, defined primarily by joining a Nexus PC to the appropriate security groups. This way, if a workstation ever has to be rebuilt, it will acquire all of the same software it had before. It also guarantees the applications are kept up-to-date and secure.

As of the beginning of 2017, the operating systems we encourage and support are Windows 7 SP1 for workstations, and Windows 2012 and Windows Server 2012R2 for servers. Servers are already being built with the Server 2016 OS and 12% of workstations, both on campus as a whole, and in Academic Support are running Windows 10. The "External Windows Links" tab on the left contains some useful Web links we've discovered. Server information has been collected primarily under the primary "Server" tab on the left, although other server material can be found under Security and Hardware. The "Maintaining Your PC" tab will direct you on how to configure and better protect your PC yourself where as the "IST Managed PCs" tab will show you what we do to configure PCs for our clients. Both have lots of tips for the "do-it-yourselfer".


The primary Active Directory domain at the University of Waterloo is built on Windows Server 2012R2 and is called NEXUS (See the tab on left for more information).

Over time we have less and less independent Windows users that manage their own systems. Some are not a part of the Nexus domain. By doing this they miss out on too many offered opportunities, and security compliance is getting more difficult, so numbers are dwindling. A seperate site exists for them called My Computer

Lastly, we have notebook (laptop and tablet) PCs that need to behave like their departmental desktop counterparts. IST images most of them in Academic Support but some still run a vendor-supported variation of the Windows operating system. IST supports the users of both groups of these systems similar to IST-imaged desktop PCs, but there are advantages to having a predictable, compliant, imaged operating system installed. More information about what IST means when it says "managed" can be found on the "IST Managed PCs" tab on the left.