What is a Virtual Machine?

A virtual machine (VM) is an emulation of a computer system. VMs provide the same functionality of a physical computer. We use VMs for a range of reasons, including to test the bespoke work that we've completed for a customer to ensure it works well with the system. This ensures that the bespoke work will not negatively affect the live system of the customer. This process also gives the customer a chance to test the bespoke work and make sure that it works as per the project requirements established at the start of the project.  

How to Access your VM

Once you've been told that a VM has been created on behalf of a company, you'll be able to access it from the Services Portal here. Here, you'll be able to log in with your portal credentials. 

Once you're logged in, you'll be able to access the 'Virtual Machine' page. You can do this by clicking on the tile or by using the left-hand side menu. This will take you to a list of VM's set up in the company's name.

Once you've established (if there are more than one) which VM is applicable for your testing, click on the asterisk (*). This will give you your username and password, which appear on the right-hand side of the screen. To log into the VM, you'll need to make a note of these credentials.

If the VM is turned off, you'll need to press 'Start' and click on the '>' button.

If the VM is already running, you can connect to it by selecting 'Connect' from the drop-down list and click on the '>' button. This will download the VM as a '.rdp' (Remote Desktop Protocol) file.

When you run the file, it'll ask you for login details. You'll need to enter the details that were given to you after you pressed the asterisk.

Once logged in, you'll be taken to the VM which will look something like the desktop below.


If you get the below error message or 'error 404', while trying to connect to a VM this is because the VM is displaying as running in error.

''Error returned from method: No valid IP address found''

To solve this issue, you should navigate back to the list of VMs and click on 'filter', this will refresh the page, this should be repeated until the VM is displaying 'start' rather than 'connect'.  At this point you will have to go through the normal stages to start the VM as demonstrated in the ‘how to’ section of the VM help guide.

If this error message occurs when trying to connect to the VM then please take the following steps:

You will need to follow the link highlighted above.

This will take you to the windows Help page for VMs, you will need to install one of the patches to your computer. Please select the relevant patch as per your machines capabilities:

Follow the guidance on the Microsoft help page from this point.

If the issue still persists, you will need to install a Microsoft update located on the same page:

Please follow this link on the Microsoft help page to download the update. When this update has been installed, you should be able to access the desired VM by following the ‘how to’ section of the VM help guide.

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