How to Remote Desktop into your Machine at Work
You are home working on your laptop or home desktop machine. Suddenly you decide you need to finish a document you left on your machine at work. You would rather not drive back into the office this late. With Remote Desktop, you don’t have to. You can log onto your machine at work (from your machine at home), and remote control your machine at work. It is just like being there at your work machine, only you aren’t. Everything you do is just like as if you are sitting there. Anything saved will save on the work machine (or the I drive if you have it setup that way at work). Anything you look for on your C drive will have to be on your C drive at work. If you print it will print to the printer at work. You will not really have access to the local resources on your home system (printer or local C drive), just the printers and drives at work.
If a file is on the I drive and you have the I drive mounted on your home machine, you can simply log into the VPN, click on the I drive and access your file locally on your home machine. BUT if the file is on your work desktop machine (either on the C drive, or the desktop, or the I drive where you have not mapped the I drive on your home machine), remote desktop is for you. Another place where remote desktop works well is if you do not have REAL Outlook installed on your machine at home and you need to schedule a Lync meeting in Outlook Calendar. You can’t schedule Lync meetings in the web client for Outlook (OWA – Outlook Web Access), so you would have to use the Lync web scheduler, which is flakey, or you can remote into your desktop machine, fire up REAL Outlook, and schedule it there.
All of your desktop machines are configured for remote desktop. You do have to know your machine name AND your machine’s IP address. (It must be the INTERNAL IP address, not the external one). If you send an email to Scot or John D. they can tell you what it is. As long as you keep your desktop machine on, with only an occasional quick reboot, your internal IP address should not change. If you have left it off for a couple of days, you may want to ask the guys to check to see if it has changed. There actually is a website you can go to to find your internal IP address yourself. You need to do this when you are on your desktop machine. Go here:
The number will typically start with a 10 or a 160
Your computer name will typically be NDSONW followed by your property tag control number. So if the numbe is 11047 your computer name is: NDSONW11047. If you can’t find your property control tag, just click on the start or Microsoft Button in the lower left of your task bar, select Computer, then select System Properties at the top of that window. You will see the following screen that has your computer’s name.
So, you know your office work computer’s internal IP address and your work computer’s network name. Now go home and remote in. (BTW, you don’t just have to be home, you can do this from your laptop while you are travelling as well) Just make sure the computer you are using to log into your work computer (we will call the computer you are working from to log into your work computer, the “client” computer. So your laptop or home machine is your client computer here).
Now go to your client computer, bring up IE, put in the VPN URL (http://vpn.mc.vanderbilt.edu ), log in and launch the VPN. (NOTE: you MUST be on the campus network for this to work. Remote desktop ONLY works if your client THINKS it is on the campus network. If your laptop is in someone else’s office on campus and is on the campus wireless, then you do not have to launch the VPN first, however, if you are off campus you must get on the VPN to trick your client computer into thinking it is on campus. If you do not have the VPN client installed on your client machine, or do not know how to use it, go here to read about it. You WILL need to apply for a VPN account in order for the VPN to work.)
Learn about the VPN go here (it is embedded in this document):
To apply for a VPN account go here and click on “Request VPN Account” or see Ryan and we can do this for you:
If you aren’t sure whether you have a VPN account, go here (http://vpn.mc.vanderbilt.edu ) in your IE browser., try to log in and see if you get in (it will ask you, the first time, to download a little applet, if asked, please do so). If you do, you already have an account. Your username and password, when requested by the Juniper VPN client is your VUNetID and your ePassword. If you see this screen you are connected to the VPN:
You may minimize the above window. If you need to use IE you may either open a new IE window or click on a new tab.
Now click the Microsoft icon (or Start) and find Remote desktop. If you can’t see it you will have to search for it
If you don’t see it type remote desktop in the textbox. As you do, you will see it in the list.
When you click on remote desktop connection you will see this. Type in either the computer name OR the IP address in the textbox. Next time you use this, you should be able to select it from the dropdown list, you will just have to remember which computer it is if you remote into several different ones. After you enter the computer name OR the IP address click Connect.
If it doesn’t connect with the name, go back and try the IP and vice versa.
It will ask you to type in your credentials. Use your VUNetID and your ePassword. You may select “Use another account” if the default username it put in is not correct. Click OK.
You will see a box like this:
You may then either see a login screen or it will take you right in. It can take a few minutes, especially from home. Eventually the screen, with icons you see is actually your work machine. You may run it in a window or full screen. By default I believe it will come up full screen.
Everything you now do on that screen will be just as if you are there. When you are done click the X at the top. You will see this message. Click OK.
You are now disconnected from your desktop machine. It still stays on and continues to run anything you started but didn’t close. If you want you may now exit he vpn by signing out.
If you inadvertently closed that IE window you may go to your task bar choices and find the VPN icon. It looks like a little gold bugface.
Right click on the VPN icon and click Exit.