Using Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD)


Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) is the recommended way to access services which are normally only available on campus. The name of this service has changed to WVD from Virtual Windows Desktop (VWD). 

 

Overview:

If you are experiencing any issues please refer to Windows Virtual Desktop FAQs

What can I use WVD for?

You can use WVD to access your personal network (M:) drive or any shared network drives (eg. N:) that you would normally use when logged into the campus network. Any data saved here will be accessible from other systems that you can also access your network drives from, such as your on campus PC. Please note that it isn't possible to access any encrypted network drives from the virtual desktop.

You can also access web services, such as library resources, ESS/MSS (Employee/Manager Self Service) and some websites which would normally only be accessible while physically on campus.

Some staff will also be able to access SAP (a market leader in enterprise resource planning software) GUI (Graphical User Interface) and Banner ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) (see Who can access it?)

Students and teaching staff will also be able to access key software (see Who can access it?). Software is available in Academic using AppsAnywhere. For information on using AppsAnywhere please see KB0014827

Who can access it?

Staff

Students

How do I sign in?

Install the desktop client

Please follow the instructions in knowledgebase article KB0014480 to install the desktop client.

Although it is possible to access the service via a web browser, to get the best performance, we strongly recommend that you connect using the desktop client. It is particularly important that you follow the instructions about disabling the 'Use multiple displays' setting below.

NB: Linux users need to use the web client as currently no desktop client is available. More information can be found at KB0014480

Multiple Displays

1. After installing and signing into the desktop client (see: KB0014480), right-click on the instance of WVD (e.g. Academic or General) and select Settings.

Highlighting in red the 'Settings' button when right-clicking on an available virtual desktop

2. Click on 'Use default settings' to turn it off.

3. Click on 'Use multiple displays' to turn it on.

Settings screen in Microsoft Remote Desktop, highlighting in red the 'Use default settings' and 'Use multiple displays' buttons

You can keep the 'Use multiple displays' setting activated if you have more than one screen connected to your device and require virtual desktop to span multiple screens. However, if you experience any performance issues, or a black screen at login, we recommend you deactivate 'use multiple displays'.

Launch the Windows Virtual Desktop

Available Virtual Desktop icons in Remote Desktop

1. Select the virtual desktop you require by double clicking on the icon (by default you will only see one virtual desktop)

The first time you sign in to the service, if the following pop-up appears:

Access local resources check box

NB: Local printer access is not available.

2. Enter your University username and password and click "Submit". It does not matter whether you add @leeds.ac.uk after your username:

Virtual Desktop sign in box

3. Read the legal notice and click "OK" if you are happy to proceed:

Legal Notice pop up 

4. You will then be presented with the virtual desktop:

the virtual desktop once logged in

5. Select full screen mode (top right, in the banner):

Full screen icon

6. You can now use the Windows Start Menu in the bottom left to access your drives or search for pieces of software:

Windows start menu icon

Please Note: If you leave your virtual desktop unattended, then you will be automatically signed out after 2 hours of inactivity. Any unsaved work will be lost.

What is available?

There are three desktops available:

Academic - for teaching staff and students 

General - for staff requiring generic access to University systems

SAP & Restricted - for staff requiring access to restricted applications such as SAP

FeatureAcademicGeneralSAP & Restricted
Microsoft OfficeMicrosoft Office is available on the Academic desktopMicrosoft Office is available on the General desktopMicrosoft Office is available on the SAP & Restricted desktop
M & N DrivesM&N Drives are available on the Academic desktopM&N Drives are available on the General desktopM&N Drives are available on the SAP & Restricted desktop
Teaching Software via AppsAnywhere*Teaching software via AppsAnywhere is available in the Academic desktopTeaching software via AppsAnywhere is not available in the General desktopTeaching software via AppsAnywhere is not available in the SAP & Restricted desktop
On-campus websites**On-campus websites are available on the Academic desktopOn-campus websites are available on the General desktopOn-campus websites are available on the SAP & Restricted desktop
Printing (local printing and MyPrint)Printing for local printers and via MyPrint is available on the Academic desktopPrinting for local printers and via MyPrint is available on the General desktopPrinting for local printers and via MyPrint is not available on the SAP & Restricted desktop
ArgosArgos is not available on the Academic desktopArgos is available on the General desktopArgos is available on the SAP & Restricted desktop
BannerBanner is not available on the Academic desktopBanner is available on the General desktopBanner is available on the SAP & Restricted desktop
Banner ODBCBanner ODBC is not available on the Academic desktopBanner ODBC is not available on the General desktopBanner ODBC is available on the SAP & Restricted desktop
SAPSAP is not available on the Academic desktopSAP is not available on the General desktopSAP is available on the SAP & Restricted desktop

*For information regarding AppsAnywhere please see the article at KB0014827.

**Some websites may not be available. If you believe a website should be available please speak to the site owner, who can make it available on WVD.

Saving your work

Make sure you save your files to your personal (M:) or shared (N:) drives, or upload them to OneDrive. WVD does not provide a copy of the desktop PC you normally use at the University, and you must not save any work to local hard drives, including desktop. Once you sign out, any work saved on local drives (C:, D:, or desktop) will be permanently lost.

If you are saving work to OneDrive, then we recommend you ensure that files have been uploaded successfully to OneDrive before logging out. You can do this by visiting https://office365.leeds.ac.uk and clicking 'OneDrive'.

How do I access my personal and shared drives (e.g. N:, M:)?

1. Use the "File Explorer" button from the Windows Start menu or desktop icon: 

File explorer button

2. Expand the option for "vwdXprd00X-XX" to access your personal (M:) and shared (e.g. N: S:) drives:

NB: The option name may vary depending on the instance of WVD being used.

Screenshot of file explorer side menu with computer name vwdgprd003-6 highlighted in red

Please note: You will not be able to access any documents on your network drive which have been encrypted using Sophos Safeguard.

How do I sign out?

1. Please ensure you sign out via the Windows Start Menu or the Log Off shortcut on the desktop. This ensures your session is closed and there is availability for someone else to sign in. Do not just close the browser window (with "X").

It is very important you do not save anything on local drives (C:, D:) including desktop, as it will be permanently lost upon sign out.

2. From desktop, click on the 'Log Out' icon:

Log Out desktop icon

From the Start Menu select 'Sign out':

Sign out buttons

What if I accidentally close my browser window whilst logged in?

If this happens, open a new browser window and reconnect using the instructions above. If you do this within 30 minutes of closing the window, you will reconnect to your previous desktop session. If you try to reconnect after this time,  any unsaved work will be permanently lost.

How do I get support?

If you're unable to resolve Windows Virtual Desktop issues using this guide (or the 'WVD FAQs page') please log an incident using the 'Something broken?' link, and enter "Windows Virtual Desktop" in the subject line. 

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