Windows how to

Find out how to run common programs in Windows.

Fixing Autodesk Products

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When starting any Autodesk product you may receive a license error dialog. This seems to be a bug in the Autodesk license server mechanism. It is inconsistent and transient. If you get this type of error, entering "" the the server textbox should fix it.

Sometimes Autodesk products such as AutoCAD and Civil 3D get corrupted settings and fail to load properly.
These products get confused, the applications don't really like roaming profiles; machine specific enteries seem to get saved to a users profile and paths get screwed up when on another machine.

Also when users are using more than one application such as plain AutoCAD and Civil 3D or using the software on both a 32 and 64 bit OS.

In all these cases blowing away the Autodesk profile seems to cure what symptoms are been exhibited.

We have a script to fix everything that is available on the Q-Drive on Engineering logons - First Logon and do not use any Autodesk product; then run the cmd file in Q:\cene\1 - Fixing Autodesk - this does all steps below for you.

The script automatically does the following steps:

  1. Open your Profile Folder shown on the desktop. Find the AppData folder.
  2. You may need to turn on "Show hidden files, folders and drives" in Tools > "Folder Options" > View.
  3. Then delete the Autodesk folder in BOTH -
  4. C:\Users\userID\AppData\Roaming and in C:\Users\userID\AppData\Local 
  5. On the Start Menu > Run > type cmd. 
  6. In the Command Prompt window type the following (just copy them from this window):
  7. reg.exe delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Autodesk /f
  8. reg.exe delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\Wow6432Node\CLSID\{B54F3741-5B07-11CF-A4B0-00AA004A55E8}" /f
  9. reg.exe delete "HKCU\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{B54F3741-5B07-11CF-A4B0-00AA004A55E8}" /f
  10. C:\windows\syswow64\regsvr32 vbscript.dll
  11. C:\windows\system32\regsvr32 vbscript.dll 
  12. Re-start the AutoDesk product. 



Capstone website help

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Initial webpage setup 

To get a Capstone website location created, email with the following information:

  • Group or Project name (3 words maximum)
  • Discipline (i.e. ME, EE, etc.)
  • Instructor
  • Group members' NAU Login IDs

The web directory will be created and access given to the group members.  You will receive confirmation that this has been set up along with the path to your Capstone website.

Webpage publishing

Once you have confirmation that your website has been set up and your groups web files have been created, you are ready to publish your site to the CEFNS web server.  Access to the web server is available via Secure Shell (SSH and SFTP) only.  Several applications exist for most operating systems and are available only.  On all CEFNS Windows computers, WinSCP is available for sftp and Putty for SSH.  On Solaris, Linux and Mac OSX machines, sftp is available in a terminal on the command-line.


Launch the WinSCP Client from Start, Programs, Internet Applications, WinSCP.  In the Host Name field, type Use your NAU username for the User Name field and click Connect.


If you've never connected to from your computer before, you'll be asked if you wish to save the host key identification to the local database.  Click Yes and enter your password when prompted.

On the left pane, you'll find files on your local computer.  Use this to browse to the directory where you saved your web files. The right pane shows the files on the remote computer.  You'll need to change this directory to the location given to you when your website was created.  To do so, click Remote, Go To, Open Directory/Bookmark, and type:


The discipline abbreviation must be capitalized, for example EE, ME, CS, BIO, etc.

Directory path example: /www/sites/capstone/projects/ME/2008/Prometheus


When your directory is selected, simply drag your web files from the left pane over to the right.

After uploading your web documents you can view your webpage from a web browser at<DISCIPLINE>/<YEAR>/<GROUP-NAME>

or find your page on the D4P Senior Capstone Design Projects page.

Important information

Many Capstone projects are completed in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint or other software.  The files generated by these programs are not "web" files and will not open automatically for visitors to your Capstone webpage.  To get a web browser to display a web page for your site you must create an "index.html" file.  This file is a plain ASCII text file and can be created from programs such as Microsoft Word by clicking File, Save As and selecting Web Page (html) as the file type.  More information on creating web pages can be found on the web.

Configuring OST

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Students using On-Screen Takeoff (OST) on the Remote Desktop servers or on engineering desktop computers will need to setup the data store paths for OST to work properly. What follows are instructions as to how to create the folders and then setup OST to use them. Please note that if your do this on the Remote Desktop servers it is different from a classroom or a computer lab like 317. If you use OST somewhere other than on a Remote Desktop server you will have to do step 2 again as settings are stored differently on the RD servers to desktop computers. The bottom line with this change is that students will have to run through a set up procedure in order to redirect their data to their own personal server space within their Engineering home drive.  The following are the basic steps in this setup procedure:

  • Create the OST File Folders:  From any Windows computer in engineering, open "Computer" on the desktop and access the I: drive. Enter the "My Documents" folder and create your own folder "OST-Files".OSTscreen1 
  • Although from a visual point of view you are working in "My Documents" the real folder path is actually I:\Documents
    Inside create 2 more folders named "Backup" and "Cache" which will actually have the paths
  • The next step is to open OST and redirect it to utilize the paths that you just created. Open OST; cancel any requests to create a new bid or project.  On the OST menu-bar click "Tools > Options > Folders."  In the Folders window you will need to change the paths as shown below. You could paste these in or use the browse button.  Please note, you do not change the 5th folder because that is the location of the program files and they will still reside on the "C" Drive.
    1. Database Folder:            I:\Documents\OST-Files
    2. Backup Folder:               I:\Documents\OST-Files\Backup
    3. Planroom Folder             I:\Documents\OST-Files
    4. Image Cache Folder:       I:\Documents\OST-Files\Cache
    5. Package Folder:             C:\Program Files (x86)\On-Screen Takeoff 3
  • Create a New MS Access Database in the New Data Folder: The easiest way to do this is to open a new project.  In the process of doing that, OST will ask you what type of database you want to use.  Select the MS Access Database option.  You can name it anything you want, but I would suggest you name it something simple without spaces.
    When you create the new database set the options to create a backup and compress as in this image:

That's it. If you follow all of these steps you should be back in business and ready to use OST.

Lastly, please remember that in order to use OST you must borrow a floating license. The server name where that license resides is ; (the semi-colon at the start is needed). You must type this in the License Server box on the License Manager tab under the path ‘File > Check Authorization’.  From there you hit the "Activate" button to activate the "tko" status down in the lower right hand side of the page.  If the program is not takeoff ready (tko), then you will not be able to do any takeoff.”


For more information on the use and operation of OST, visit the OST Training Videos website at: 

Connecting to Linux and running X applications

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In engineering some of our applications run on a Linux server. An example would be Mentor Graphics; a GUI application that is used by the Electrical Engineering department.

It is possible to remotely connect to these servers to run the application locally from a Windows or Mac desktop. To do this you have 2 choices:

  1. If you want to just get a connection going without installing any software you just need to remotely connect to and run the desktop short-cut "CEFNS Linux with XServer".
    See the How To page entitled "Remote Desktop Servers".
  2. If you want to have a direct connection you will need to follow the detailed instructions below.

The following instructions are how to do it for a Windows XP, Vista or 7 client.

  1. Download the following 3 items: SSH Client, XMing and XMing Fonts 
  2. Intstall SSH Client first, then XMing - when you install XMing select "Don't install an SSH client" and finally XMing Fonts
  3. Once all are installed run the XMing (you may get a firewall popup that you should allow) and then run the SSH Secure Shell.
  4. Once SSH Secure Shell is open, hit "Profiles" > Add Profile > give it a name e.g. CEFNS Linux. Then go back and Edit the profile you have just created.
    On the "Connections tab" type "" in the Host name text box and your NAU or NAU-STUDENTS userid in the User name text box. On the "Tunneling tab", make sure "Tunnel X11 connections" is checked. Click O.K.
    Then hit profiles and the connection name you just made. You will need to provide you logon password.
    Once the terminal session is running, a simple test to check if X11 is working is to type xclock and hit enter > you should get clock in a window opening.
  5. From this point on graphical applications can be run with the same command that you would use when sat in front of one of our Linux desktops.
  6. In the SSH Secure Shell window, clicking the icon that looks like a yellow folder with blue blobs will give you access to a file brouser for the connection.


Getting Solidworks

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Note: SolidWorks software is available to ME students and requires that you are running Windows. 

To download SolidWorks 2013-14 student edition (Good for 365 days) please follow the following steps:

  1. Point your browser to the following page
  2. At the bottom of the SolidWorks page click on "English SolidWorks Student Design Kit request form".
  3. Fill out the "Student Kit Form.” In the School license ID or SDK-ID field input 93201DDI
  4. Once you have completed the form SolidWorks will do two things:
    1. Email you the serial number to activate your software
    2. Direct you to the page to download either 32 or 64 bit student version of SolidWorks 2013-14
  5. Follow the instruction to download and install your software.

You will need between 2 and 5 GB of storage to download and install the software on your computer. If you have any question and\or need help with the installation please contact Perry Wood.


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NAU uses a Microsoft VPN (PPTP) server.

This setup can be done from either Control Panel or Taskbar Network icon > Network and Sharing Center:


  1. Click "Set up a new connection or network”; choose "Connect to a workplace", then next choose "Use my Internet connection (VPN)”:VPN2VPN3 
  1. Add the address: and give it a name for example NAU VPN, MAKE SURE YOU click "Don't connect now.”VPN4 
  1. Next enter your logon details and whether you want to save your password:
  1. Click "Create,” then on the next page click "Close" NOT "Connect.”
  2. Next go back to the Network and sharing center, click "Change adapter settings.” This takes you to the Network connections window:VPNwindow 
  1. Right click the connection you have just created and choose "Properties,” then click on the "Security" tab:
  1. Change the "Type of VPN” to "Point to Point Tunneling Protocol (PPTP)" and check "Automatically use my Windows logon name and password.”

That is all there is; you can connect from the Network Icon in the taskbar.

Advanced configuration

If you ever need to update your cached Windows password while in a remote location or another country and your password has expired because you needed to update it on CAS, then follow the instructions below:

  1. You need to follow the standard VPN setup instructions above, however on step 2 you need to select "Allow other people to use this connection" as well as the "Don't connect now" check-boxes:VPNboxes 

All the other settings are the same.

  1. Once this is done make sure you have an active wired Ethernet connection working: Log Off and choose "Switch User."
  1. At the bottom right corner of the screen you should see a "Connect to a Network Icon,” click this and enter either NAU\uid or NAU-STUDENTS\uid and your password.
  1. This logs you on with the VPN, before you log on to the computer; this updates your password that is cached on the local machine.


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This is probably one of the simplest things to setup in Windows.

The college has access to variety of servers that provide our connections to network printers.

For CEFNS staff and faculty we try to exclusively use a server named SERVICES.

For students there is a single server: ACADPRINT2.

Anyone who is logged on a Windows computer that is a part of the NAU network can connect to these servers.

It is a simply a matter of typing the path to the server in either the “run” utility on the Start Menu (CTRL +R key combination) or into the address bar in “My Computer” and pressing enter.

You just need to type one of these two: \\SERVICES or \\ACADPRINT2

If a printer you need is not on the list please contact our help desk 3-8084 or to check or get one created.printing1printing2 

Either method will open a “My Computer” window with the right-hand pane showing the “printer shares.”

In most cases we use the following naming convention: type of printer; building, room. So the dell3100-21-227 would be the Dell 3100 printer in building 21, room 227. If no middle number exists then that printer is in Engineering building 69.


All that a user needs to do is double-click the appropriate printer and that is it. The printer is set up on their computer and will remain so until it is deleted from the local printer’s folder.

In some case on SERVICES there are security restrictions for access to some printers.

The student print server is exclusively for printing in the computer labs.


If you use a Konica-Minolta copier where "Account Track" has been enabled follow the instructions below to set it correctly:
In your printers folder (found on the Start Menu) right-click the newly added printer and choose: “Printing Preferences.”

Down near the bottom or middle right of the setup tab on the dialog (depending upon the exact printer), click “User Authentication/Account Track:”printingtrack 

Then in the next dialog check "Account Track" and put you code numbering the Password text box:


You only have to do this once unless the code changes.

For some of the Konica-Minolta copiers they are set to prompt for a code for every print job - please check with your department administrator.

Remote desktop servers

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A “Remote Desktop Server” is a computer that allows multiple users to connect to at the same time. It can provide anything from the basic “Office Suite” to complex applications that may be available for students or staff to use. There are several of these servers on campus.

ITS provides a server with basic applications that is available for staff and faculty. Users can connect to: 

Academic Computing provides a similar server for students to use but this server provides more applications for class work: 

Here in the College of Engineering, Forestry and Natural Sciences we have a cluster of Remote Desktop Servers that provide users with many applications. Staff, faculty and students can connect to from anywhere in the world and work on many of the applications that are available in classrooms.

Microsoft has a utility called “Microsoft Remote Desktop Services Client”. This is a little application that enables a user to connect to a desktop session on another computer. This application is available on Windows XP, Vista, Server 2003 and 2008. It can also be installed on any other version of Windows by obtaining the installer from the Microsoft Download site by searching for mstsc.

To run the application it can be found in the Start Menu under Accessories or by typing “mstsc” in “run” on the Start Menu if it is available.

Using either method you get:


Clicking the “Options Button” provides you with a series of tabs where you can tailor your connection. The “Experience” tab is particularly useful as you can specify a setting depending upon the speed of your network connection:


This means of connecting can be done from off campus and it does not require the VPN to be enabled. However you would need to know and use the full DNS name of the computer you are connection to as in this image:


When you click the “Connect” button you will, in most cases have to provide a user name and password to a dialog:


You will have to provide NAU\ or NAU-STUDENTS\ in the username field depending upon which domain you have a user account on.

This method of connecting is very useful for connecting to your office machine from home and to one or more “Remote Desktop Servers” that are available on campus. Once the remote computer authenticates the user and full desktop session is provided to the local machine.


We have recently changed the way users connect to in order to speed up logons to one particular server. Unfortunately this has had the effect of logon problems for some uses.

If you find you receive the error dialog below, please follow the following instructions and images.


Make sure that:

  1. your domain\username is included in the Options > General tab > User name text box and the "Allow me to save credentials" is checked.
  2. on the Options > Advanced tab > "If server authentication fails" is set to either "Warn me" or "Connect and don't warn me.”
  3. On subsequent connections, you may be able to uncheck the "Allow me to save credentials" box.

This is what you should have:RDhave 

Trouble connecting from Windows XP: 

Recently we have increase the level of security that is required to connect to all our remote desktop servers. All versions of Windows from XP to 7 are capable of connecting as is Apple OSX. However you must be running the most recent client version of Remote Desktop Client and if you are running Windows XP, it must have service pack 3 installed and the settings described on this page enabled. The simple way to enable this for XP is to download and install the "Fix It" item noted on that page.

Engineering applications: 

AISC, Altera Quartus, Interactive Thermodynamics, National Instruments LabView, On Screen Takeoff, Westpoint Bridge Designer.


General applications: 

7-Zip, Adobe Acrobat Pro, Microsoft Office, Notepad++ and PSPad text editor.


GIS applications: 



Graphics applications: 

IrfanView and Paint.Net


Internet applications: 

Adobe Contribute and Connections to CEFNS NIX or XServers


Math applications: 

A variety of Calculators, Fathom, GSP5, JMP, Mathcad, Mathmatica, Matlab and R for Windows


Programming applications: 

Alice, BlueJ, Dev-C++, Eclipse, Greenfoot, NetBeans IDE, Python, Racket, TortoiseSVN and Windows Powershell


CEFNS remote desktop servers use policy: 

  1. We do not allow disconnected sessions - users are logged off after 1 minute
  2. We have an idle limit of 1 hour - idle is defined as no mouse or keyboard activity. Users are logged off after 1 hour idle time

Shared drives

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Virtual private networks

People often need to connect to the NAU network from home or when they travel for sending and receiving email and getting at their files on campus. However most people who live off campus tend to have their own internet service provider. As a consequence these users must create what is called a VPN connection back to NAU. This effectively creates a secure tunnel from their ISP back to NAU and allows those people to securely send and receive email and get at files.

If you are not familiar with creating a VPN connection please see the information at the following ITS site: VPN Help.


Mapping drives from off-campus - updated for new home drives (8-10-2013)

Once you have a VPN connected many users would like to map drives that they are familiar with back on campus.
We have created a little utility that can be installed on a Windows 7 or 8 computer that will automatically map drives for you. Screen shots are shown below. When the utility is first opened it checks for drives that already mapped and gives you the option to disconnect.




THEN YOU MUST ALSO RIGHT-CLICK AND CHOOSE "Run as Administrator.” If you do not do this it will not install correctly. 

You install this application by double-clicking it [Or in Windows Vista or Windows 7, by right-clicking and choosing "Run as Administrator"]. This launches a WinZip installer:SD2 

Just click Unzip, and then Close. DO NOT change the "Unzip to folder" from C:\ as the installer places the files in the correct location on you computer. You should get a desktop shortcut like this:



Windows 7 and 8 

Video conferencing

There is video conferencing equipment in 2 rooms in the engineering building 69. These are available to anyone in CEFNS . Bookings can be made by contacting the engineering building front desk 3-5251/2 or emailing: 

We use Polycom room cameras that can be accessed by any H.323 client, including Ekiga ( for Windows and Linux or XMeeting ( for Mac.

Rooms 102 and 322J are set up similarly. The silver remote control is for the television. If the LCD on the remote shows anything other than "TV" as selected, press the "Mode" button to select "TV." The power button on this remote will now turn on the television. If not, it is possible someone turned off the main switch. This is a push button located underneath the television towards the left side. Please use the remote to turn the TV on and off, do not use this main switch.

The TV needs to be set to the "Video1" input. Use the "Input" button on the remote to select this input. If there is no video, press the "Home" button on the black remote to wake the camera.

To call a remote location, use the black remote to enter the address on the screen and press the green "Call" button.

To receive a call, an "Incoming Call" message will appear on the screen. Use the arrow buttons on the black remote to select "Yes" and press the center button. Multiple calling parties will result in a split-screen effect.

Remote parties can call the video conferencing systems by connecting to one of the following two addresses:

  • EGR Room 102:
  • EGR Room 322J:

In a call, you can control the camera with the arrow buttons on the black remote. Use the buttons with magnifying glass symbols on them to zoom in and out. By default, the remote location will be full-screen and the local location will be presented in a small window, so you will always be able to tell what the remote party is seeing.

Depending on the remote hardware, the "Near" and "Far" buttons can be used to control the remote camera. Pressing "Near" controls your camera, pressing "Far" controls the remote camera.

To end a call, press the red "Hang Up" button.

When finished using the conference room, please turn the TV off with the silver remote and close the door. The video camera will stay on.

Both rooms can also be used for presentations from a laptop. The TV can act as a second monitor. For this, change the input to "RGB_PC" using the Input button on the silver remote. Room 102 has a VGA cable on the conference table. Room 322J has the VGA cable on the small table. The VGA cables have audio connections that can be plugged into the headphone jack on a laptop. Once plugged in, most laptops require that the external VGA port be activated (Fn-F8 on Dell laptops - other manufacturers use different methods). The TV can support up to 1024x768 resolutions - you may need to adjust the resolution on your laptop to match this.

Both our video conferencing rooms use a single LCD TV monitor for the conference. If a user needs to present work from a laptop at the same time, then this must be provided. Also in this case a separate projector and screen needs to be set up. 

Working from home

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This page describes how you can connect to your office computer from off campus.

The explained process is for computers with Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7

Setting up your Windows office computer to accept connections - this must be done first 

For this whole process to work your office computer must always be on and not go into sleep or hibernate mode

1) While you are in your office log on to your desktop computer.

2) Find the name of your computer > Either right-click the "My Computer" icon on the desktop or "My Computer" in the Start Menu choose Properties. In the dialog that opens click the Computer Name tab. You need to know the full computer name. It will look something like Write down this name as you will need to know it later.home1 

3) Next, open "Computer Management" again, either right-click the "My Computer" icon on the desktop or "My Computer" in the Start Menu but this time choose Manage.
This opens the Computer Management utility:home2 

In the left hand pane expand Local Users and Groups and then click on Groups. In the right hand pane double click on Administrators.
a) If your user ID is listed in the dialog your computer is already setup ready for you to connect.
b) If your user ID is not in this group please contact our help desk 3-8084 or asking for your user ID to be added to the Remote Desktop Users group on your desktop computer - PROVIDE THE COMPUTER NAME you recorded in step 2.

We will contact you when this is done.


Making a connection from your home or off-campus computer 

1) Log on to your home or off campus computer; again this assumes XP, Vista or Windows 7

2) You need to run a little application called Remote Desktop Connection; it can be found in the Start Menu under Accessories or by typing “mstsc” in “run” on the Start Menu if it is available.

Using either method you get:


Clicking the “Options Button” provides you with a series of tabs where you can tailor your connection. The “Experience” tab is particularly useful as you can specify a setting depending upon the speed of your network connection:


This means of connecting can be done from anywhere in the world and it DOES NOT require the VPN to be enabled. At this point you enter the complete computer name you recorded in step 2 into the text box named Computer: 


When you click the “Connect” button you will, in most cases have to provide a user name and password to a dialog:


You will have to provide NAU\ or NAU-STUDENTS\ in the username field depending upon which domain you have a user account on.