Performance Issues with Microsoft Applications & Saving to Shared Drives

Update: Fri 02 Jun, Time 16:30

Now examinations have passed, the IT team are able to start pro-actively addressing this issue so that staff can return to a quality PC performance.

Way forward
Testing has identified a small collection of factors that may be contributing to the overall problem. Achieving the permanent fix will, therefore, involve applying a number of progressive changes – both in isolation and in multiple combinations until stable service is reinstated.

How can I help?

  • If you are an affected staff member, your cooperation is key. Each time a change is applied we need to communicate with you to determine its outcome.
  • As an aside, the team are focusing efforts on desktops. Evidence suggests laptops are not affected by this issue, but if you believe yours is, please do contact the IT Service Desk if you haven’t already done so quoting call # 1704-3524

Any changes that will result in a known impact will be communicated with you prior to application.

We understand this may be frustrating and would like to assure you your engagement with this process is not only very much appreciated, but also instrumental in restoring service to you and the wider staff community.

Update: Tue 16 May, 10:00

We are pleased to say IT Engineers have now identified the source of this problem and a plan of action to re-establish quality desktop performance has been pulled together, ready for implementation.

When will the fix be applied?
Safeguarding the ongoing examination diet is the University’s highest priority right now, so we aim to deploy the permanent fix towards the end of the month to prevent any impact to student experience.

What are we doing in the meantime?
The team have started to apply temporary changes to individual accounts that alleviate symptoms. Please make contact if you are heavily affected and would like to be prioritised in this process. The impact of these interim changes is outlined below.

How will this temporary fix affect me?
Temporary changes will mainly impact staff members who hot-desk (share workstations and computers) as many of your personal settings will be lost – i.e. they will not travel with you between the computers you log-on to. Things like Firefox favourites will need to copied locally (if used) by you to prevent this loss. For staff who do not hot-desk, impact should be minimal.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank those staff who have been affected by this ongoing issue for their continued cooperation. Your engagement has really been instrumental in determining root cause.

More information will follow on plans to implement the permanent fix and the impact this will have.

As ever, please do get in touch with IT via Help4U with any questions or if you require assistance in relation to this issue and quote 1704-3524.

Update: Wed 03 May, 18:20

We are continuing to investigate the issue with Microsoft Office that is affecting a number of staff. This problem is manifesting itself in one or more ways (or a combination), as outlined below:

  1. When saving files the following error message appears

  1. Office is hanging (unusable) for a period of minutes
  2. Unable to attach files to email / save files from email

What are we doing to resolve these issues?
We have a dedicated team of IT support engineers who are analysing the issue.

What can you do to help?
A temporary work-around is now available. Applying the following is resolving the issue for the majority of affected users:

Open Office Applications: File > Options > Save > Default local file location: Change to read H:\

Disable Box Add-in from running at startup:

  • In the run/search box from the Start menu, type “winword.exe /a” (this will load Word without any add-ins running)
  • Open a blank document
  • Click File
  • Click Options
  • Click Add-ins
  • At the bottom of the window, choose “COM Add-ins” from the drop-down menu and click Go
  • Remove the tick from the “Box.Word.AddIn” and click OK.
  • Exit and restart Word, it will now load without the Box-Add in running

This will only work for the user logged in at the time. Also, it will need to be applied in Word, Excel, PowerPoint etc separately.

If you are comfortable doing this yourself, please do. If not, please log a call via Help4U and we will allocate a technician to assist you.

Call Service Desk
on 01382 388000
(Office hours only)
Visit a Service Desk (e.g.
GF of Main Library)
(Opening hours)
To view your current calls visit Help4U, our self-service portal

Please ask colleagues to touch to let us know if they are also being affected by this and haven’t contacted IT already.

We appreciate your cooperation and support and assure you we are working with all technology partners to resolve this issue.

Update: Thu 27 Apr, 16:45

IT Engineers continue to investigate the root cause of these problems as a matter of priority so that a permanent resolution may be reached.

What has been achieved so far?
At present, a temporary fix has been applied that has provided inconsistent results – i.e. it has been effective at mitigating these issues for some staff more than others. Although we cannot report that this matter has been settled, we do want to assure you that this is being treated with the utmost urgency and care.

Who is working on this?
A full problem management team was assembled and the group continue to troubleshoot the University’s IT Enterprise with rigour so that we can re-establish a quality performance to your work computer.

We thank you for your patience and hope this gives assurance that the main aim of your IT Team at this point is to return a normal service to you as quickly as possible.

Original update: Tue 25 Apr, 11:54

Service Desk are aware that many users are experiencing a variety of issues at present. These issues are ranging from being unable to save to shared drives, attaching items in Outlook and general slowness using Microsoft Applications.

Our engineers are currently investigating the issue and will provide an update in due course.

If you are experiencing any of these issues or have similar symptoms, please contact detailing your issue and quote 1704-3524.