Remote Desktop Connection

Remote Desktop Connection

What is Remote Desktop Connection?

Remote Desktop enables you to connect to your computer across the Internet from virtually any computer or device. Once connected, Remote Desktop gives you mouse and keyboard control over your computer while showing you everything that's happening on the screen. With Remote Desktop, you can leave your computer at the office without losing access to your files, applications, and e-mail.

This page was written for those running Windows at both work and home. Other operating systems and platforms may be used to access your computer remotely as long as you are able to successfully connect to VPN through https://remote.bloomu.edu/.

Beginning Fall 2011, Remote Desktop is no longer wide open to the Internet due to denial of service cyber attacks. In order to connect to your office computer, you will first need to establish a VPN connection on the computer you are connecting from (i.e. your home computer). Details are below.


How to verify Remote Desktop settings on your office computer and obtain your unique full computer name

You will need to perform this step once on the computer you are connecting to (i.e. office computer).

You must first confirm that the Remote Desktop feature on your office computer is enabled and obtain your unique full computer name so that you can control it remotely from another computer (i.e. home computer). Generally, your full computer name is your userID followed by additional info such as "-01" and will always end with ".buad.bloomu.edu" (i.e. jsmith-01.buad.bloomu.edu).

  1. If your office computer is running Windows XP:
    • Right-click the "My Computer" icon on your desktop and click on "Properties". Click on the "Remote" tab. In the second section verify "Allow users to connect remotely to this computer" is checked.
    • Below that you will find your "Full computer name" which you will need to know when connecting.
  2. If your office computer is running Windows 7:
    • Click the Start Button and right-click "Computer" in the right column. Click on "Properties". Near the bottom of the screen, you will find your "Full computer name" which you will need to know when connecting.
    • You should also click on "Remote Settings" on the left to verify the Remote Desktop setting in the second section is set to "Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop". This particular setting is required in order for Connect Option #1 (WebVPN) to work.

IMPORTANT:

  • When you know you will want to connect remotely, your campus computer MUST be turned on and connected to the network. It doesn't matter if you stay logged in or log off before leaving work, just be sure NOT to shut the computer down (You can turn off your computer monitor if you desire, but must leave the computer itself on). If you are worried about leaving the computer on, you can lock your computer immediately (without waiting for the screen saver timeout) by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete keys and clicking the “Lock Computer” option - Tip: You can more quickly lock your computer by HOLDING down the windows key (the one between the ctrl and alt keys) , and then pressing the L key.
  • You will have to perform this step each time you get a new office computer or your current office computer gets completely wiped and restored because in both cases your full computer name will likely change.
  • If you try to connect to VPN from on-campus for any reason, even though it will appear that you've connected, this will actually break your connection to the campus network. Since you are already on campus, there is no need to VPN in, so do not attempt to VPN to campus when you are already connected to the campus network, even if you want to test connecting from a personal laptop to your office computer, for instance. No VPN connection is needed to Remote Desktop to a campus computer if you are already connected to the campus network on the computer you are connecting from.
  • Connect Option #1 - Use WebVPN to utilize Remote Desktop Connection directly from your web browser

    Do this on the computer you are connecting from (i.e. home computer) each time you want to connect.

    Please note: This option requires that you have working Java client software installed on your computer and enabled in your web browser. Not sure if you have Java installed?

    • Go to https://remote.bloomu.edu in a supported web browser (such as Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer).
    • Select the group "Faculty/Staff".
    • Enter your user name and password, as you do when you log into your office computer, and click Login.
    • Click "Remote Desktop (RDP)" from the menu on the left.
    • On the right side, enter your full computer name (i.e. username-02.buad.bloomu.edu) and click "Connect". If you don't know what your full computer name is, check the instructions at the top of this help page. Please note this is not your username, but rather your computer name that you should have acquired when you followed the instructions above under the section "...obtain your unique full computer name" [jump to section].

    • Assuming you already have Java installed and enabled, you will be prompted with a security warning to run the Cisco RDP java applet from remote.bloomu.edu. Click "Run".
    • After it loads, look for another window which includes the connection to your office computer and log in to access your office computer.

    Connect Option #2 - Use AnyConnect VPN client software and then utilize your computer's Remote Desktop Connection software

    Do this on the computer you are connecting from (i.e. home computer) each time you want to connect.

    Each time you wish to start a remote desktop connection, you will need to first start the AnyConnect VPN client ("Full Remote Access") from https://remote.bloomu.edu/, and then you will be able to use your Remote Desktop Connection software.

    Please note: This option requires that you have working Java client software installed on your computer and enabled in your web browser. Not sure if you have Java installed? Also, to connect successfully you cannot have "Internet Connection Sharing" enabled on your computer.

    Connect with AnyConnect VPN Client

    • Go to https://remote.bloomu.edu in a supported web browser (such as Mozilla Firefox, Safari, or Internet Explorer).
    • Select the appropriate group (Usually "Faculty/Staff", the default).
    • Enter your user name and password, as you do when you log into your office computer, and click Login.
    • Click "Full Remote Access" from the menu on the left.
    • In the middle of the page, click "Start AnyConnect".
    • Assuming you already have Java installed and enabled, you may be prompted with a security warning to run the Cisco java applet from remote.bloomu.edu. If so, click "Run".
    • If you don't have the newest version of the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client installed, the VPN Client Downloader and Installer begins running. If you are already have the latest version installed, this step will be skipped.
    • After it finishes connecting, your Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client will display the message "VPN connected to remote.bloomu.edu".
    • You can also check in the notification area of your taskbar for the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client icon which will show a gold lock if you are connected [note this could be a hidden icon which requires you to click the up arrow next to the other icons].

      You are now ready to open the Remote Desktop Connection software on your computer:

    • Open Remote Desktop Connection by clicking Start, point to Programs or All Programs, point to Accessories, and then choose Remote Desktop Connection. (In Windows XP it is under Communications inside Accessories)
    • In Computer, type the computer name for your campus computer. This is the "full computer name" that you should have acquired when you followed the instructions above under the section "...obtain your unique full computer name" [jump to section].
    • Remote Desktop Connection

      Note: To change your connection settings (such as screen size, automatic logon information, making local disks and printers available to the remote computer, and performance options), click Options before you connect. You can also save your connection settings as a shortcut you can put somewhere convenient, such as your Desktop, so you don't have to open Remote Desktop Connection from your Accessories menu in the future.

    • Click Connect. The Windows Security or Log in dialog box appears. Type your full email address as the username (i.e. jsmith@bloomu.edu) and your password, and click OK. IMPORTANT: Be sure to type in your full email address as the username because by default if you only specify your username it will attempt to authenticate against the local computer which will fail. Tip: If it is attempting to use an incorrect username such as one not in the form username@bloomu.edu, you can click on "Use another account" and then enter your full email address as the username.
    • Enter Credentials

    • The Remote Desktop window will open and you will see and be able to use your office computer as if you are sitting in front of it. Your campus computer will remain locked. Nobody will be able to work at your campus computer without a password, nor will anyone see the work you are doing on your campus computer remotely.
    • When you are finished, to close the remote desktop session, in the Remote Desktop Connection window, click Start, and then choose Disconnect from the various shut down options. If you choose "Log off", all opened applications will close. If you choose "Disconnect", all opened applications will remain open and will be accessible next time you access your computer (remotely or locally). In both cases you will still be able to re-connect remotely if you would like to since the computer is still turned on.

    Connect Option #3 (Only to be used if Connect Option #2 did not work) - Launch and connect with AnyConnect VPN client software manually and then utilize your computer's Remote Desktop Connection software

    This option is only for advanced users that do not want to use a Java applet or those people that cannot resolve Java errors by clearing Java cache, uninstalling old Java client software, and installing the latest Java client software from http://java.com/ and cannot otherwise connect successfully through https://remote.bloomu.edu/.

    If you don't already have the Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client software installed on your computer, obtain it from the "Full Remote Access" section of https://remote.bloomu.edu/. If the java install fails, you will have the option to Save the installer to your computer and Run the installer manually. Once you have the software installed, proceed.

    Please note: To connect successfully, you cannot have "Internet Connection Sharing" enabled on your computer.

    Do this on the computer you are connecting from (i.e. home computer) each time you want to connect:

    • Click on Start, Programs (or All Programs), Cisco, Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client, Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client (program shortcut) to start the software manually.
    • Be sure the server is defined as remote.bloomu.edu.
    • Select the group "Faculty/Staff" and type in your username and password and click "OK".
    • The Cisco AnyConnect Secure Mobility Client will say "Connected to remote.bloomu.edu". You may minimize this window. You will now find the gold icon in the notification area of your taskbar [note this could be a hidden icon which requires you to click the up arrow next to the other icons].

    • You are now connected and you can open the Remote Desktop Connection software on your computer by following the instructions above from Connect Option 2 beginning with the text "You are now ready to open the Remote Desktop Connection software on your computer:" [jump to section].