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DOWNTIME - 3pm - 8/23/2017 - Windows File Server
Written by Janaka Jayawardena   
Monday, 14 August 2017

[Note - this is a downtime during “business hours”.]

We will be shutting down KHENSU, our main Windows File Server, on Wednesday afternoon, August 23, at 3pm. This outage is to install some critical updates on all its disks and operating system.

While this affects all our CAT supported Windows users in MCECS, please note that the outage will particularly impact departmental offices in the late afternoon. Unfortunately, we need to do this during “business hours” due to the critical nature of the updates - if there are any problems, we want to be able to work with Dell immediately. The work could take up to 3 hours (but if all goes well, it should be much shorter).

This downtime will not affect any of our Linux systems.

FAB/EB Powerdown Schedule - Aug 29/30/31
Written by Janaka Jayawardena   
Tuesday, 01 August 2017

The dates for electrical work that involves building-wide power outages have been set. The start times for the work haven’t been locked down yet but we are expecting a start time of around 8pm and extending into the wee hours of the morning. The data center and other UPS backed up areas are expected to stay up - barring a major emergency encountered during the work. CAT staff will be on hand in case of emergencies.  

Tuesday night - 8/29/2017

FAB/EB power outages as new EPO (Emergency Power Off) controls on the building power feeds are installed and tested.

Wednesday night - 8/30/2017

FAB/EB power outages as the annual generator tests are performed with PGE and other vendors.

Thursday night - 8/31/2017

Reserved just in case the work from the previous night may require further testing. After the Wednesday night work is over, we will announce if the Thursday downtime is no longer needed.

PPTP VPN service will shutdown for good on 6/22/2017
Written by Janaka Jayawardena   
Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Before we switched to OpenVPN some years back, MCECS had an old VPN (dating back to 2003). This old VPN service has been on life support for the past few years and will be finally decommissioned on June 22. The underlying technology it uses (PPTP) has been proven to be insecure and many new operating systems no longer support it.


If you are a current MCECS OpenVPN user, you have nothing to worry about.


On the other hand, if you have some computers that are still configured to use the old VPN but only connect occasionally, please set them up to use OpenVPN. We have sent targeted warnings to recent users of the old VPN but we may not have seen you if you haven’t connected in the last two months.  


Instructions on how to setup OpenVPN for MCECS can be found here:

Last Updated ( Thursday, 08 June 2017 )
Windows 10 Starter Info for MCECS faculty and staff users
Written by Janaka Jayawardena   
Monday, 03 April 2017

Selected MCECS faculty and staff members are starting to receive new computers that come with CAT supplied Tier 1/2 Windows 10 loads. Transitioning from Windows 7 can pose a culture shock for some users.

We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions about our Windows 10 environment in this document:

We hope this will help you get you started.
Microsoft Word issues after recent Windows update
Written by Janaka Jayawardena   
Monday, 27 March 2017

We have had a few isolated reports from users running into problems while viewing equations in Microsoft Word documents. The problems seem to have emerged after the most recent batch of security updates from Microsoft.

We have not seen any new updates from Microsoft regarding this problem. If you feel you are experiencing this issue, please contact the CAT with details about what you are running into.

Using OIT's Cisco AnyConnect VPN to connect to MCECS resources
Written by fester   
Thursday, 16 March 2017

Since going down to a single VPN solution in MCECS (OpenVPN), we have had a few instances where some users:

  1. Have trouble getting OpenVPN to work on their specific system

  2. Have issues using OpenVPN from some locations where OpenVPN may be blocked (such as PCC’s Willow Creek campus)

Having diverse VPN options is a good thing. While we are working on setting up a second VPN system in MCECS, we have also been working with OIT to configure their Cisco AnyConnect VPN service to access protected MCECS resources as well. You can now use this VPN to access the following MCECS resources:

  • Remote Desktop to Windows computers that you have access to

  • Access file shares/folders (on khensu, UNIX/Linux home directories, stashes)

  • Print using the msprint print server

  • SSH into computers that are on private addresses (such as ECE’s eve/walle/mo, the CS Particle lab)

Explorer Freezing on Windows 10
Written by thyme   
Monday, 03 October 2016

Recently Windows Explorer has become unresponsive and freezing on Windows 10. This causes the Start Menu, Taskbar and Desktop to become unresponsive.

We are researching the root cause. In the meantime we have a few troubleshooting steps. 

Last Updated ( Friday, 21 October 2016 )
CRAM - for MCECS Account Activation and Password Changes
Written by johnj   
Friday, 15 August 2014

CRAM is the CAT Remote Account Manager.  If you have an active Odin Account (because you are an active PSU Student, Faculty or Staff member), then you can use it at:

You must use your Odin ID to get into CRAM.

Last Updated ( Thursday, 22 October 2015 )

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