Posted Date: August 8, 2012

Author:  William Leith, Service Director, Program Management, Federal Student Aid

Subject: Testing of Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System with EDESuite PC Products

We have completed testing of Microsoft Windows 7 as an operating system for our EDESuite PC products and would like to communicate our findings. While this message does not constitute an announcement of official support for Windows 7, we are aware that many schools are already using Windows 7 successfully as an operating system with our PC products, and our testing results indicate that schools should be able to proceed with use of Windows 7 without encountering any major issues.

During our testing, we used the 32-bit Windows 7 Professional operating system on PCs with varying hardware for the following EDESuite products:

  • EDExpress for Windows 2012-2013, Release 1.0
  • EDExpress for Windows 2012-2013, Release 2.0
  • Direct Loan (DL) Tools for Windows, Release 12.0
  • Student Status Confirmation Report (SSCR) for Windows, Release 3.0

We identified several minor issues that occur while running EDESuite PC products in the Windows 7 environment. We provide details about these issues below, along with the applicable workaround/resolution, if available:

1) Issue: The Software Information tab of the System Information dialog box (accessible from the main menu by selecting Help\System Information…\Software Information) does not display the correct operating system for Windows 7. Windows Vista displays instead of Windows 7 in EDExpress and DL Tools, and in SSCR, the Service Pack information is displayed but not the specific operating system.

Workaround/Resolution: We are currently assessing options to resolve this issue in future software releases and will communicate further information to users when it is available.

2) Issue: When you attempt to access SSCR Release 3.0’s Help system, the software displays a “Failed to Launch Help” error message, followed by a Windows 7 help window advising that “Winhlp32.exe” is not included in Windows 7.

Workaround/Resolution: The SSCR Release 3.0 Help system is designed using Windows Help format, which is not supported in the default versions of Windows 7 shipped on new PCs. As a workaround, users can download the WinHlp32.exe file from Microsoft’s Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=6ebcfad9-d3f5-4365-8070-334cd175d4bb&displaylang=en&tm. This file must be loaded on all Windows 7 workstations that require access to the SSCR Release 3.0 Help system.

This issue does not occur in the EDExpress or DL Tools software, as the Help systems for both products were updated to Microsoft HTML help (.chm) format during the 2010-2011 cycle to resolve this issue for the Microsoft Vista operating system, which in turn also resolves the issue for Windows 7 users.

3) Issue: The “Return to Dialog” functionality in SSCR Release 3.0 software does not function correctly. If you have this option selected in setup and run SSCR on a Windows 7 workstation, the dialog you “return to” after running a major function (such as import or print) opens behind the main SSCR window and remains open, even if you access and work in a student record.

Workaround/Resolution: We are currently assessing options to resolve this issue in a possible future release of SSCR and will communicate further information to users when it is available. In the meantime, we recommend that Windows 7 users deactivate the “Return to Dialog” function in SSCR Release 3.0 to avoid this issue.

Note: All other EDESuite PC products were updated for the 2012-2013 cycle to resolve this issue for the Microsoft Vista operating system, which also resolves the issue for Windows 7 users.

Installing SSCR Release 3.0 in Windows 7

A September 18, 2008 electronic announcement posted to the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) Web site described the results of our compatibility testing of EDESuite PC products with the Windows Vista operating system. While all of the issues described in that electronic announcement were resolved for Windows Vista users – and, by extension, for Windows 7 users as well– in subsequent releases of the EDExpress and DL Tools products, users should still exercise caution when installing SSCR Release 3.0, which was not updated as a result of compatibility testing.

Most importantly, Windows Vista and Windows 7 users should be aware that programs installed to the Program Files folder (the default for the SSCR program) are installed “virtually” in both operating systems, which causes some of the significant database issues (i.e., error messages, multiple copies of databases) noted in the September 18, 2008 electronic announcement. We therefore reiterate our Windows Vista guidance for Windows 7 users and urge that you create a folder on the local drive outside Program Files and install the SSCR software to that separate folder to avoid these issues.

Contact Information

If you have any questions regarding this message, contact CPS/SAIG Technical Support at 800/330-5947 (TDD/TTY 800/511-5806) or by e-mail at CPSSAIG@ed.gov.

You can also post questions regarding EDESuite PC products on FSATECH. FSATECH is an electronic mailing list for technical questions about Federal Student Aid systems, software, and mainframe products. For more information on subscribing to FSATECH, go to http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSFAP/services/fsatechsubscribe.html.

   

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