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Virtual Desktop Image (VDI) FAQs

Duo two-factor authentication is required for off-campus access to Virtual Desktops.  Learn more about enrolling in Duo.

Who can access VDI?

William & Mary faculty, staff, and students.

How many people can use VDI at the same time?

This depends on what desktop pool(s) you have access to.  For instance, there can be 50 concurrent sessions of VDI for the Faculty/Staff pool of virtual desktops.  If all 50 sessions are taken, you must wait for someone to log-off before you will be able to access the VDI.  For the Student Labs pool of desktops, there can be 150 concurrent sessions.

For the installation, how can I tell if I have am running a 64-bit version of Windows?

Right-click on Computer in the Start Menu and choose Properties.  Next to System Type it will tell you either 32-bit or 64-bit Operating System. If you try to install the wrong version, you will receive an error message.  You can then download and install the correct version.

I'm from the Business School/VIMS.  Which username do I use to login?

Use your W&M Username (aka campus ID) and password to login. 

Seems like it takes a while to connect.  Is this normal?

Yes.  It takes one to two minutes to connect to the VDI.

How do I download the app for VDI on my tablet?

Go to your tablet's application store (App Store for iPad and iPhone, Play Store for Android) and download VMware Horizon View Client.  It's a free application.  Install and login to VDI as you would from a computer. 

How do I get the keyboard to function when using my iPad?

Tap the circle in the middle of the screen to reveal the keyboard.

Does it have TOAD?

No, due to licensing requirements, TOAD can not be used in the VDI but TOAD can be accessed via Remote Desktop on VPN.  However, SQL Developer has the same functionality as TOAD and can be used in the VDI (see next question).  

Does it have SQL Developer?

Yes, for faculty and staff, in the faculty/staff desktop pool. It is found in the Programs folder under ths Start menu. Instructions to set-up SQL found here. 

Does it have SSH?

Yes.  For faculty and staff, it is found in the Programs folder under ths Start menu.

VDI does not have the software (or software version) I am looking for.  Can I request it be added?

Yes, BUT, we cannot guarantee its compatibility with VDI, and we will require significant lead-time for your request.  There are many things that need to be done in order to integrate new software into the VDI desktops, so we require at least 2 months advance notice (but more is always better).

Can I remote desktop from VDI?

Yes, you can.  It might get confusing having three desktops open at the same time, but it can be done.

Why can't I save to the C: Drive?

All files are erased from the C: Drive after each VDI session terminates.  However, certain folders automatically save to your H: drive (aka campus home drive).  If you save items in your "Desktop", "Documents", "Music", or "Videos" folder, they will automatically be saved in corresponding folders on your H: drive instead.  Also, if you save an item on the desktop in your VDI connection, you will actually be saving it in the "Desktop" folder created on your H: drive.

I'm from the Business School/VIMS.  How do I access the files saved in the campus H: drive?

Business School and VIMS users may prefer to save to a thumb drive to transfer files from VDI as the H: drive is not automatically mapped to your local computers.  However, the campus H: drive can be manually mapped.  Instructions for mapping to the campus H: drive.

Am I able to print using VDI?

Yes, VDI will allow you to print to the local printer of the device you are using, IF you are using the FULL (not web) client.  So if you are using your home computer, VDI will print from your home printer.  You will not be able to send it to a non-local printer, like an office printer (as with VPN). 

I travel abroad lot.  Are there any concerns about using VDI in a foreign country?

There are a lot of variables that come in to play while traveling in a foreign country (Internet access, protective firewalls, etc).  However, this is dependant on the conditions of the country you are traveling in.  W&M does not restrict access to VDI based on country.

Are there time limits to VDI sessions?

Yes, you will automatically be logged-out after 10 hours of an active session.  The screen will lock after 20 minutes of inactivity, and you can unlock it with your password. 

Will I be warned before I get logged-out?

Yes, you will be warned by a pop-up window shortly before you are automatically logged-out.

What happens if my Internet connection drops?

If you login within 15 minutes (or 5 minutes for vBusiness desktops), your session will be restored.  After 15 minutes, you will have to start a new session.   Any files you were working on will be restored if you return to the VDI within the 15 minute window.  After 15 minutes, you session will be discontinued and your files will be lost (if they had not been saved prior to the connection drop).

What is the best way to Log Off?

There are several ways to end a session, but the preferred way if you are using the full client is to go to Options at the top of the screen.   From the drop-down menu, select Disconnect and Log Off.  This not only terminates your session but immediately frees-up the VDI computer for another person to use.  You can also choose Log off from the Start Menu.

If you are using the web client, you will see an overlaid button on the left side of your screen.  If you click on it, a control panel will slide in from the left.  At the top-right of that control panel is a menu button, which includes the "Log off" option.


Contact the Technology Support Center (TSC)
757-221-4357 (HELP) | [[support]] | Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm