Hall Microscopes Facility
Making a Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) from
an office/lab/home/laptop/etc. to a campus desktop Windows Computer at UNC
- This is a brief guide of salient points for
UNC people connecting to a UNC Windows desktop computer. It is hoped
that this guide is of use. These remote desktop connection tasks can be
complex and technical. Once achieved future connections will be fairly
easy. People at UNC can ask the usual people for more details or
A SOM remote desktop guide is here (This guide assumes that your campus desktop
Windows computer is already setup to receive RDP connections. Apple
Mac information is also provided here.)
- Do the setup tasks listed below, especially the two "Important
- iOS and Android apps exist for making remote desktop
connections. (Search for "Microsoft Remote Desktop" in an App Store).
- iOS and Android apps exist for
Cisco VPN (Search for "Cisco
AnyConnect" in an App Store).
Setup (one time tasks - skip if your campus desktop computer is already
setup for remote desktop access):
- Ensure your campus computer is setup to receive Remote Desktop
- Add your account to the "Remote Desktop Users" group. This
step is unnecessary if your are a member of the :Administrators group.
Or assistance from OIS may be required.
- Find the i.p. number or DNS name of your campus desktop computer
- If off campus install
UNC VPN (Cisco AnyConnect) on your
personal computer. Version 4.10.0609, or laer, is now required to
- If off campus Get
DUO 2 factor app and setup it up to function with your Onyen
- Ensure the campus desktop computer will never enter sleep mode
- Ensure the campus desktop computer is on
- Ensure the BIOS is set up to power on the campus computer after a power
- Important Security: ensure ALL accounts on your campus desktop
computer have strong passwords
Important Security: ensure ALL accounts on your home computer or laptop have
Don't skip the above two steps. Failure to do so will put your
computer at higher risk of being hacked.
Making a remote desktop connection:
- If off campus run "Cisco AnyConnect" (UNC VPN)
- Provide your Onyen name, Onyen password and use the
DUO phone app to get a
6 digit number to enter at "Second Password" or use Push
Notifications (Push requires smart phone data).
- Run e.g. "mstsc /f /v:yourcomputer.med.unc.edu",
or e.g. "mstsc /f /v:yourcompute.ad.unc.edu"
- Your user name is "ad\youronyen"
- You will get a warning saying the identity of the remote computer
can not be identified - respond with yes
- Optionally view the certificate, but verifying is technical.
Just be expedient and ignore verification and continue.
- You will be "at" your campus desktop computer operating it remotely
with access to all that you normally do on campus.
- Ending a remote desktop connection:
- Do the usual steps to sign out (log off) especially if you are
accessing a communal campus computer
- Save data and shut down programs (Especially if
microscope control programs & database programs are being used)
- If you intend to leave programs running just "disconnect", but
remember in this state others cannot log into the campus computer. And
some programs can only be run by one user at a time. A second user
will not be able to run such programs.
- It is your responsibility to ensure programs are exited and you log
out when you are finished.
- Tip: Don't forget to disconnect from "Cisco AnyConnect" - While connected your home
computer/laptop is present and accessible to the entire UNC campus network!
- These notes are only a terse description of the steps
required to connect to a campus Windows computer
- Your campus desktop computer has not been setup for
Remote Desktop Connections
- Your campus computer is on the AD (Onyen) domain and
your Onyen is not a member of the SOM remote access security group
- The UNC VPN (Cisco AnyConnect) disconnects
automatically after four days
- Flakey internet connections can cause the Remote Desktop
disconnect or become unresponsive
- Tasks may be laggy and videos will not play well on slow internet connections
- These notes are Windows based. Sorry I've
never owned an Apple/Mac. However remote access is also possible on
iOS and macOS and Linux
- Harass Michael for assistance
- Contact OIS/ITS help