🚀 A NEW WAY TO UPGRADE WINDOWS ON eT4L DEVICES
Since 2012, public schools in NSW have been provided with centrally-managed, but locally-operated technology infrastructure through the eT4L services. It delivers standard operating environments, local software deployment, printer management and backup facilities. Additionally, it provides schools with a simple way to rebuild Windows computer devices, to refresh them in case of software failure and to upgrade the Windows operating system to the latest version available. The eT4L F12-rebuild function is a "wipe-and-load" process where all existing content on the computer is removed and a fresh operating system and core software is installed.
When first released, it was expected that schools would rebuild each of their devices about once per year. This would ensure they operated efficiently, with latest operating systems and security patches installed. However, in most schools, this has not been a regular local maintenance process and older versions of the Windows operating system remain in use across the state. Many of these older versions of Windows that are still in use, are no longer supported by Microsoft, and without regular security updates, these devices are vulnerable to cyber attack.
It is now critical that older, unsupported versions of Windows are either updated, or removed from the school's network. The department has received a mandatory Government requirement to ONLY allow in-support operating systems on the department's network. The affected older version still in use in schools today is Windows 10 v1909. There are two ways to upgrade these devices:
Rebuild via F12 (involves a total wipe and load) - from 8 April 2022
eT4L Managed In-Place Upgrade (IPU) which keeps installed software and user data and files - from 31 May 2022.
eT4L Managed in-place upgrade for Windows 10 v1909 devices:
ITD's Desktops team have developed a scalable and reliable in-place upgrade (IPU) solution to bring as many of these v1909 devices up to v21H2 as quickly as possible. Following successful pilot testing in multiple schools, we commence a deployment of Windows 10 v21H2 as an in-place upgrade for v1909 builds only. The benefits include:
No need to manually F12 rebuild v1909 devices
A silent push of the upgrade pack to each device - including wirelessly for mobile devices
Once deployed, the device will advise that a restart is required to complete the installation of the Windows feature update (this part can take up to an hour)
Installed programs and data remain on the device.
⭐ Please EXPAND the sections below ⭐ for more detailed advice to assist your school with taking full advantage of the in-place upgrade option.
What's the difference between an F12 Rebuild and an eT4L Managed In-Place Upgrade?
🚀 SETTING UP DEVICES FOR eT4L Managed in-place upgrade
Be aware of eT4L IPU on v1909 devices:
It is very important that your school PLANS how to take advantage of the eT4L IPU to update your fleet of v1909 devices.
Advise all staff and students about the IPU because it may suddenly prompt for a restart to install the upgrade and following the restart, the device will be unusable for up to an hour.
The deployment of the IPU installer can be network-intensive, depending on the number of target devices turned on and connected to the wired or wireless network. Please be aware that this may cause network congestion in some locations where there are multiple target devices located.
The upgrade pack is over 4GB in size and deploys to each device from the school's eT4L server. It won't impact internet service, but the wired / wireless network may be congested. For seldom used v1909 devices, you should plan to upgrade a fraction of your fleet each day, until all are completed. They will need to be turned on in order to receive the update installer. For larger schools with many devices, you may wish to consider spreading devices out across different school spaces to reduce the load on each wireless access point, if using wireless. For computer labs, or laptop trolleys with v1909 devices, plan to turn these on, in manageable groups. You do not need to logon for the installer to deploy. They just need AC power (not battery) and network connection (either wired or wireless).
As long as the target devices are powered on and connected to the school's network (either wired or wirelessly), the upgrade process should start.
It's important to teach users to regularly shutdown their device(s), Closing the lid is not a recommended practice if you do it all the time. At least once per week, the device should be fully shut down. This will allow any previously applied and pending updates to install properly. If there are pending updates that have not been applied, the IPU will not install.
🚀 things to be aware of ABOUT In-PLACE UPGRADES
The eT4L managed in-place upgrade is not guaranteed to work on every device:
For an in-place upgrade to work, there needs to be sufficient free local disk storage space available. A minimum of 20GB is recommended. The installer is more than 4GB in size and needs extra space to process the upgrade. If insufficient space is available, the IPU may not run at all, or may fail.
Failed upgrades are automatically rolled back and the device will remain working with v1909. But it is likely that the in-place upgrade will retry at a later time and fail again for the same reasons.
It's likely that an IPU failure will only be rectified by a full F12-rebuild - which means all locally installed programs and data will be removed. In this situation, some programs may be reinstalled automatically if they were deployed via UDM and the version in UDM has not changed.
It's possible that some existing programs on v1909 are no longer compatible with Windows 10 v21H2 and may not work when you try to launch them. It may be necessary to find and install an updated version, or uninstall the program(s).
The daily 6pm power-saving shutdown task is suspended for targeted devices, to allow the installation to occur after 6pm if required.
If you encounter any problems with eT4L managed in-place upgrades, please log a call with EDConnect online at https://nswdoe.link/1300323232 or by calling 1300 32 32 32.