Introduction


Biola IT is committed to ensuring that all Biola owned computer operating systems are secure and up-to-date. This page explains why operating system upgrades are important, how to know if you need to upgrade, and how to request one.




Table of Contents



Standard computer and software deployments

Any computer operating system not on the list below must be updated.


How do I know what operating system I have?


How do I know if my computer is too old to run a supported operating system?


How do I upgrade my computer operating system?

  • Mac:
    • When your computer needs an OS upgrade, has a complete Code42 data backup, and has enough free space to accommodate the upgrade process, an application called Nudge will automatically pop up on your computer screen asking you to take action. Follow the instructions on the Nudge popup to perform your upgrade. Nudge has been configured to provide you with the safest upgrade path to minimize disruption. Often this means a Mac computer that is several OS versions out-of-date will be configured by Nudge to upgrade one OS version at a time rather than skipping multiple versions at once. Example: Catalina (10.15) computers will be "nudged" to upgrade to Big Sur (11.x) instead of skipping directly to Monterey (12.x). This prevents most of the problems when upgrading.
      If you do not have enough space on your storage drive to accommodate an upgrade or you don't have a complete Code42 data backup you will receive a warning to address those issues. See the section below on preparing for an update or replacement for more information:
  • Windows:
    1. Ensure you have a complete backup.
    2. Press the start button on your keyboard.
    3. Type "check for updates"
    4. Press the "check for updates button"
    5. Run updates.
    6. Your computer may restart several times during this process.
    7. You may also need to repeat the above process several times until no new updates are available.

How do I request a hardware replacement for departmentally owned equipment?


Why do we need to upgrade?

To ensure that Biola stays secure and productive, IT must upgrade operating systems and periodically replace older computer hardware. Out-of-date operating systems are a major vulnerability for any organization, and older computer hardware that will not run a secure operating system must be replaced.

Both Microsoft and Apple set expiration dates for their operating systems by no longer providing them with bug fixes and security updates. Apple goes further and makes their older hardware incompatible with their newer, secure operating systems, rendering their older computers obsolete.


What if my department can’t afford to buy a new Mac?

If your hardware is too old to run a secure operating system, it must be decommissioned or replaced. To facilitate this, IT is implementing a Computer Subscription Program for providing computers to departments. Instead of paying up to $1500 for a new Mac, you can subscribe to receive a computer from IT for about $350 to $400, billed annually. The Computer Subscription Program has the following benefits:

  • Keeps all Biola owned computers on a regular replacement cycle, which means they will be secure and supported.
  • Creates certainty for departments regarding their annual computer costs.
  • Pays for software licensing and support costs

Can we buy a used computer from IT?

IT doesn’t have many viable, used computers available. In the last three years, Biola increased the life cycle of laptops to five years and the life cycle of desktops to six years. This means that when we decommission faculty and staff computers every summer, they will be near to the end of their useful life and not ideal for redeployment.


What should I do to prepare for an update or replacement?

IT will reach out and let you know if you need to update your OS or replace the computer. Once you hear from us, here are some ways you can prepare for your update or replacement.

Computer software and accessories needs assessment

If you think you may need to new software or adapters before you upgrade, fill out the computer software and accessory needs assessment form. IT will help you select and purchase replacements as needed.

Whenever you receive a new Mac or update your Mac operating system, there is always a chance that your current software, peripherals, or adapters may not be compatible. PC computers do not usually suffer from incompatibility as regularly as Macs, but you still might need to update your older software. Old software can be challenging to install, configure, support, not function well, and create security vulnerabilities.

Back up your data, free up space, and find your application installers

For computer replacements

  • Since we must reinstall applications during computer transfers, you need to ensure you have the application installer files and licenses for any software not provided or installed by IT. Please see our list of standard software installed by IT.
  • If possible, make sure you don’t have more than 200 GB of data on your storage drive (including OS). If you have more than this, we might need more than four hours to set up your computer and transfer all your data. Both Apple and Microsoft have recommendations for making space on your drive. Also, we request that you offload personal data to an external device or cloud storage. Please do not use 3rd party storage like iCloud or Dropbox for Biola data unless pre-approved with IT.

For OS upgrades only (no computer replacement)

  • It’s a good idea to back up your data before updating your OS. Ensure you have a complete and current Crashplan backup.
  • Since Crashplan Cloud doesn’t back up applications, you need to ensure you have the application installer files and licenses for any software not provided or installed by IT.
  • Make sure you have enough free space on your storage drive.
    • macOS upgrades: Up to 40 GB free, depending on the version.
    • Windows 10 build upgrades: Up to 20 GB free.
    • Please offload personal data to an external device or cloud storage. Don’t use 3rd party storage like iCloud or Dropbox for Biola data (unless authorized by IT).


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