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Academic Technology Launchpad: FAQs

Quick Guide to computer and academic technology resources for students.

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Why don't I see the virtual desktop I want to use? 

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How do I switch to a different virtual desktop? 

  •  Please log off, reconnect, and choose the other desktop from the list.

Sound/Audio/Volume issues?

On a cloud computer, you have two or three ways to control sound volume:

  1. The normal “Windows” volume control (the speaker icon in the lower right-hand corner of the desktop).
  2. The “Vol” button underneath the monitor on the right side. If the volume has been turned down or muted there (see below), Windows will not play any sounds.
  3. There’s often a third way as well: volume controls within the specific application you’re using (like iTunes, youTube or Skype).

Virtual desktop is locked?

  • After a Windows desktop has been left unattended for a few minutes, it will lock the screen as a security precaution. When the screen says “Press CTRL + ALT + DELETE to unlock this computer,” and the virtual desktop toolbar is visible at the top of the screen, you should click “Send Ctrl-Alt-Delete” on the virtual desktop toolbar instead of actually pressing those keys. The user who was logged in must then enter their password.
  • Using a virtual desktop on a zero client / cloud computer: If the user who is logged in is not available to enter the password, reboot the desktop. You can use the physical buttons or CTRL-ALT-F12.

cd imageHow do I use a CD/DVD?

  • There are external CD/DVD drives available for use with cloud computers in our college libraries and SACs.
  • For best performance when watching feature film videos, we have portable DVD players and laptops also available in our libraries. ​

Why did I get an All desktops are in use or All desktops busy message?

  • If you keep get this message when using a campus computer, let us know - contact Student Computer Help.

Why can't I see my USB device? usb drive

  • Wait a couple minutes for the device to install and appear. 
  • Try disconnecting the device and plugging it into a different USB port. 
  • Some USB devices may not work with virtual desktops. Try another device or method of saving your work. 

Can I access my physical computer’s hard drive (C:) or local drives using VMware View?

  • You can't directly open or save files to the hard drive or local drives when using VMware View.
  • To copy files from the physical computer to the virtual desktop, or vice versa, copy the files to a USB drive, network or H drive storage, and transfer from there.

How can I save work using a virtual desktop on my own personal computer?

  • You won't be able to see or use files on your device’s local storage, C: drive, or CD/DVD drive when using a virtual desktop.
  • You can't save to your personal computer's hard drive using VMware View, or copy and paste between a physical and virtual desktop.
  • However, you can connect USB drives to a virtual desktop. 
  • If you need to move files between your computer and a virtual desktop, you can either:
    • copy the files to a USB drive or network drive (like your H drive) 
    • save to a cloud storage location
    • transfer them via email.

My USB device does not install with the Virtual Desktop? usb drive

  • Wait a couple minutes for the device to install and appear. It may take longer than with a physical computer.
  • Check if the device appears in the “Connect USB Device” menu? If so, click on it there; it should install.
  • Some USB devices may just not work with virtual desktops. Try another USB device or another method of saving your work. 

My USB device does not appear in the “Connect USB Device” menu?

  • Try disconnecting the device and plugging it into a different USB port. The VMware View client may not work with USB 3.0 ports. Note:  USB 3.0 ports are usually colored blue or labeled SS.
  • Unplug the device, then log off, and then log back in. Plug the USB device in again and check the “Connect USB Device” menu. If the device name appears there, click on it and it should install and work as expected.

How do I switch temporarily back to the physical desktop using VMware View app?

  • Click on the minimize icon on the virtual desktop toolbar at the top of the screen, and the virtual desktop will minimize to the taskbar. When you’re ready to return to the virtual desktop, just click on the VMware View Client icon on the taskbar.

Why did I get an All desktops are in use or All desktops busy message?

  • In order to make sure we have enough licenses for classroom use, the number of roaming desktops is limited. If you get a message that all desktops are in use, you may need to wait and try again later to access that particular virtual desktop. If you keep getting the message, contact Student Computer Help.

Control-Alt-Delete works differently?

  • Ctrl-alt-del is a special key combination in Windows, wired differently than other keys. When ctrl-alt-del is pressed while connected to a virtual desktop, the keys are sent to both physical and virtual desktops. This means that you may have to repeat some actions twice after pressing ctrl-alt-del.
  • To send the ctrl-alt-del key press to the virtual desktop alone, click on “Send Ctrl-Alt-Delete” on the black virtual desktop toolbar at the top of the screen.

Can I access my physical computer CD/DVD drive using VMware View?

  • No, VMware View does not support access from a virtual desktop to a physical computer’s CD/DVD drive.
  • Workaround: Use an external USB CD/DVD drive. There are external CD/DVD drives available for use in our college libraries.

Virtual desktop is locked?

  • After a desktop has been left unattended for a few minutes, the screen will lock as a security precaution. When the screen says “Press CTRL + ALT + DELETE to unlock this computer,” and the virtual desktop toolbar is visible at the top of the screen, you should click “Send Ctrl-Alt-Delete” on the virtual desktop toolbar instead of actually pressing those keys. The user who was logged in must then enter their password.
  • If the user who is logged in is not available to enter the password: click the “X” button on the far right end of the virtual desktop toolbar to disconnect the session, then click “Yes” when asked if you’re sure. The display will return to the physical computer desktop.

What firewall ports need to be open to allow remote access to virtual desktops?

  • The following firewall ports need to be open to allow access to virtual desktops:  3389, 4172, 9472, 32111.
  • On a typical home network firewall, these are normally open by default.
  • Corporate and Public networks may or may not have these ports open which may limit use of remote access outside of your home network.
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Virtual desktop maintenance (downtime) schedule: Downtime / Outage - Virtual Desktops unavailable

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Routine Schedule = Nightly rolling outage window 1:00 am - 5:00 am & Monthly outage window every third Saturday 5pm - 2am