April 9th: All XP systems were removed from the Nebula domain

Per Microsoft's announcement, it will stop supplying fixes and security patches to Windows XP as of April 8, 2014.  Here is the timeline for the Nebula Managed Desktop Service and Windows XP: 

  • 12/31/13:  target for Windows XP systems to be retired or replaced within the Nebula domain.
  • 01/01/14: Nebula software packages no longer developed for or tested on Windows XP.
  • 04/08/14: XP computers are removed from the Nebula domain, with notice to managedBy contacts.

If you have a computer running Windows XP that you wish to continue using in the Nebula domain, you may request an exception no later than 04/01/13.  This will require approximately 2 hours of consulting services to ensure the XP system is "hardened" which may include, but is not limited to, the following: 

  • Move the system to the p172 subnet to limit the attack surface.
  • Limit membership in the local administrative group to a bare minimum.
  • Ensure that users of XP systems do not have local administrative privileges on any other systems.
  • Disable File and Print sharing.
  • Tighten firewall rules to permit network access only via RDP (which first requires a VPN connection from off-campus) and a small set of Nebula Managed Desktop Service systems.
  • Review I: drive directories to tighten protections and limit access to I: drive folders by accounts having administrative privileges on XP machines. Enact other procedures as needed to limit the potential spread and damage by compromised XP systems.
  • Increase audit logging and automate mechanisms to review logs for suspicious activity.

When An XP Computer Is Removed From The Nebula Domain

  1. You will not be able to log into your computer.
  2. You will not be able to connect to your computer via Remote Desktop.
  3. You won't be able to get to your Nebula H: or I: drives or any printers.
  4. Nothing on your computer will be lost or damaged, but you will need to use our consulting services to get your system running again.

Can I Upgrade My Computer from XP to Windows 7 or 8.1?

  1. Possibly.  Microsoft lists the minimum requirements for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 as 1GB of RAM; in practice, 2GB is much better, and 4GB is preferred.
  2. There is no upgrade path from XP to Windows 7 or 8.1; you must go through the rebuild process.

Last modified: April 9, 2014