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Internet Explorer warning
Posted by [ISS] Ian Spillane on 29 April 2014 10:19 AM

Internet Explorer warning


Microsoft has released an alert about a flaw in Internet Explorer that has the potential to be exploited by hackers, giving them control of the computer.

ISS advises that DCU staff should not use Internet Explorer for regular web browsing until a security patch is released by Microsoft. We will push out the patch automatically once it is released.

Staff should only use Google Chrome or Firefox to access the internet on DCU computers.

The only reason Internet Explorer should be used is to access internal systems such as ITS and Core Supervisor.


For further information, please see the link below;
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Goodbye Novell
Posted by [ISS] Ian Spillane on 07 January 2014 12:19 PM

Goodbye Novell

Novell is the network management system that DCU has used for many years, and it has served the University very well. However, all good things come to an end and it is now time to say goodbye.  Novell has now reached end-of-life and in order to fully implement and recognise the benefits of switching to Microsoft Active Directory as its replacement, Novell access will no longer be available from the 8th February, 2014.

Active Directory provides significant enhancements over Novell including improved security, helping to ensure that ISS can provide more reliable services going forward. Examples of these enhancements include:

  • Automated software delivery
  • Patch management
  • Remote inventory & administration
  • Improved desktop and laptop security
  • Better infrastructure management


What is involved in this change?

ISS have been migrating users across campus to Active Directory for some time, and all new Dell machines delivered to DCU are set up for it out of the box.

The migration from Windows XP to Windows 7 has also facilitated removing Novell from DCU machines, and most computers across the DCU community now use Active Directory. If you are still using a PC or laptop that uses Novell for network drive access, you will no longer be able to do so after the 8th February. However, you will still be able to log into the computer locally to use the software and files held on it. If you do not need network drive access, you can continue to access the computer in this way.

Please note

As most machines that use Novell are still running Windows XP, they will also need to be migrated to Windows 7 when possible, or replaced where the hardware is not capable of running Windows 7. Please see the link below for further information on migrating to Windows 7. If you have a computer that is connected to a piece of equipment or an analytical sytem, you will need to upgrade it or consult with ISS to investigate alternative solution.

Please note Windows XP will not be supported from 8th April 2014

Click here for information on the Windows 7 migration.

How do I know if I am still using Novell?

If you are unsure whether or not you are still using Novell, the folllowing screen shots are examples of how the Novell login box appears when you are logging into your computer;

Novell Login Screen SP4         Novell Login Screen SP5

What is Active Directory?

Active Directory (AD) is a software environment developed by Microsoft that provides directory services, network file and print services, and identity management. AD will allow us to consolidate a number of services and functions onto one platform. It will also allow us to provide critical services like network file share space and centralized printing to a large number of users including all students.

Who is affected?

All DCU Windows computers will be affected in some way. University-owned machines will need to be on Active Directory in order to work on the DCU network.

What happens to my network folders?

Once migrated, you will still have access to all of the data currently in your DCU network drives, such as the H: or L: drives. You will continue to have access to the files on these drives as normal.

Do I need to change my password?

The password that you currently use for Novell will continue to work with Active Directory. As long as your password is active, your should be able to access all services as normal.

What changes will I notice?

Your initial login process at computer startup will be a little different. You will no longer see the Novell login box, instead you will see an Active Directory login screen (see below). There you will login with your DCU username and password to access the computer. This will be the only visible difference now using Active Directory to login.

Windows 7 Login Screen

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Windows 7 Heaven!
Posted by [ISS] Ian Spillane on 27 November 2013 12:08 PM

Windows 7 Heaven!Windows 7 Logo

As a result of the investment in the migration from Windows XP to Windows 7, a common standing is being established across DCU which contributes to the move towards the 21st century digital campus. This is the first time that there will be a standard PC/Laptop computing architecture across DCU allowing for improved software distribution, remote support and automatic updates. The migration also brings industry standard security for DCU computers and the standardisation through the procurement of Dell machines has provided cost savings and an increased warranty leading to reduced running and maintenance costs over the lifetime of machines.

Benefits of moving to Windows 7

  • Easier to use
  • Self-Install software through Zenworks
  • Improved Remote Support
  • Increased Data security
  • Automatic Updates & patches
  • Future Proofing DCU machines
  • Reduced power consumption

Windows 7 is more powerful and you should notice the benefit from using it straight away. For those with higher spec machines, it will allow you to take full advantage of the hardware inside your computer. Most users will have Windows 7 on their home PC or laptop and will be familiar with the Windows 7 working environment. There is no longer any need to navigate through long and cumbersome start menus, just enter the first few letters into the search box at the bottom of the start menu and Windows 7 will find the search the Program list to find the software that you are looking for.

Purchasing a New Computer

A recent survey by SanDisk has shown that slow computers in the UK caused a loss of 5.5 days per year on average leading to lost productivity and frustration for the user.

If you are interested in purchasing a new DCU staff Dell PC or Laptop for your office please see the icons below for model information and the ordering process;

                                           New Laptop                                     New Dell PC

 Dell Laptop Procurement                                      Dell PC Procurement


Since late 2010, new computers supplied to DCU from Dell have had Windows 7 installed. The DCU version of Windows 7 arrives pre-loaded with Office 2010 as well as McAfee AntiVirus. You can install extra software yourself available through Zenworks.

The following page outlines the common computer models on campus and their suitability for Windows 7;

Please contact ISS if you are unsure if your machine can be upgraded and we can advise on the best course of action.

DCU Windows 7 Migration

Windows XP has served DCU very well as its main operating system for over 10 years but it is nearly end of life. In order to minimise disruption to DCU research, teaching and administration, the Windows 7 project is well underway. Presently there are over 1600 Windows 7 machines on campus and if you are one of the remaining XP users you should look to migrate.

The migration has also facilitated in removing Novell from DCU machines allowing the full benefits of moving to Active Directory to be implemented.

Please note 

Novell will no longer be available from the 8th February 2014

Windows XP will no longer be supported from 8th April 2014

If upgrading an older machine from Windows XP to Windows 7, or when receiving a new machine including Windows 7 it is important to have a backup of the data from your old machine so that you do not lose any important work. This can be done using Google Drive or an external hard drive.

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Spam Management During Move To New DCU E-mail System
Posted by [ISS] Justin Doyle on 30 September 2013 03:55 PM

We are in the process of moving to a new e-mail system - DCU Apps. The move to the new system will involve a change in how we scan DCU e-mail for spam and viruses. The full technical details of the changes are detailed further below.

In summary, until the migration is complete for all accounts we must continue to use the old DCU system for scanning e-mail. The performance of this old system has been very good over the years. However, in the last couple of years the amount of spam not caught by the system has increased. Once the migration is fully complete for all staff e-mail accounts, e-mail scanning will be incorporated with the new e-mail system. Until then, spam scanning may be less than optimal.

Technical Details

The statistics in the chart below summarise the volume of e-mail scanned in DCU since 2006. Approximately 81.5% of all DCU e-mail is rejected as spam before being accepted onto the DCU network. The remaining e-mail (8.5%) is scanned and filtered accordingly (clean & quarantined messages).

Spam & Virus Scanning Stats

E-mail Scanning

E-mail scanning in DCU is currently performed in two phases:

Phase 1) Technical Checks - 81.5% of all DCU e-mail rejected at this stage

  • Reject all invalid DCU address (4%)
  • Reject all e-mails from blacklisted senders (58%)
  • Reject all e-mails from senders who do not meet e-mail standards (29.5%)

Phase 2) Spam & Virus Scan - 8.5% of email accepted onto DCU network to be filtered

  • Quarantine all remaining spam and virus messages (3%)
  • Deliver 'clean' e-mails to DCU mailboxes (5.5%)

Of the 5.5% of e-mail which is considered clean, some messages may be spam. No spam scanning technology is 100% accurate, and there will always be some mails in this category. However, the number of these 'false negative' messages is currently slightly higher than it should be in DCU. The proportion of e-mails in this category will be significantly reduced once the e-mail migration process is complete.

Email Routing & Spam Scanning

Before migration:

During migration:

After migration:

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Roll forward of class and mailing lists for the academic year 2013/2014
Posted by [ISS] Ian Spillane on 06 September 2013 03:45 PM

Please note the following in relation to mailing and class lists for the coming academic year;

Class lists

e.g. CA1 - this displays a list of students registered for that course/module.

These lists can be viewed by DCU staff members here: 

Mailing lists

e.g. - lecturers and students can email class and module lists.

Information on mailing lists can be found here:

Roll forward

The class and mailing lists will display students registered for the academic year 2012/2013 until September 20th 2013.

On the 21st of September the lists will display newly registered students for the academic year 2013/2014.
New first year students will appear on first year mailing lists. Continuing students will move onto their new course/module lists depending on their year of study.


The mailing list for graduates is in the format of (class)-graduates-(year) 

e.g. bt4 graduates from 2012/2013 are moved to

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New DCU E-mail Security Feature: Last Account Activity
Posted by [ISS] Justin Doyle on 21 August 2013 09:13 PM

Staying secure in the digital world these days requires constant awareness and vigilance. E-mail phishing attacks and identity theft are now very common.

The 'Last Account Activity' feature in your new DCU Apps e-mail makes it very easy to monitor recent connections to your DCU e-mail account. This will enable you to check for any unauthorised access to your e-mail account.

In your DCU Apps e-mail scroll to the bottom of your inbox e-mail list. Click the 'Details' link below the 'Last account activity' line. This link provides information on the recent activity on your e-mail account. 

Last Account Activity details

Last Account Activity

This information is fully explained on this last account activity page. In brief, you can view all recent connections to your account and the location they came from as below. You also have control to disconnect all other active sessions connected to your account if you wish.

Last Account Activity Sign Out

Never Share Your Password

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you to keep your DCU password safe and private at all times. Never respond to e-mails seeking your password or personal details.

Migrate Now

  • Enjoy these added security features of DCU Apps and more ..
  • Follow the simple online instructions:

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