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Managing Your Computing Environment

Managing Your Computing Environment

  • CCSS-RS Research (RSCH)

    The guides below are for users with research RSCH computing accounts.

    • The workspace is the area used to save your data. Regardless of the research server being used, your workspace is mapped to the U:\ drive. Desktop, Documents and Downloads are all part of your U:\ drive. Save your files to your U:\ drive Desktop, Documents or Downloads folders to ensure they are safe. The workspace is unique to your user account only.

      • Your workspace is located at your U:\ drive. Regardless of which research server you log-on to, you will always have access to the same files on your U:\ drive.
      • Every user account has its own workspace. If you have multiple user accounts, your U:\ drive will be unique to each of your user accounts.
      • Files stored in your workspace are backed up daily, protecting your work.
      • IMPORTANT: The C:\ drive is NOT part of your workspace. Anything you store on a research server’s C:\ drive will be deleted!
      1. Open the Start Menu.
      2. Go to File Explorer.
      3. This PC.
      4. Underneath "Network Locations" you will see your RSCH username, netid_RS. This is how you enter your U drive/workspace 
      • Create shortcuts to sub-folders in your workspace.
        1. Go to a sub-folder you want to make a shortcut to, and right-click on it.
        2. Select Send to.
        3. Select Desktop.
      • Create shortcuts to software applications.
        1. Go to Start Menu→All Programs, find the software application you want to make a shortcut to, and right-click on it.
        2. Select More.
        3. Select Open File Location.
        4. Right-click on the application.
        5. Select Send to.
        6. Select Desktop.
    • File paths that are longer than what Windows allows (over 250 characters), cause problems with the backup of your files. Please be mindful to not exceed the 250 character limit. The directory and filename combined should not exceed 250 characters. Please plan accordingly.

      An easy way to tell if a file is too long is to use dir from the command line. Even when you are sending the list to a txt file you will be notified in the command window when a path that is too long is encountered. The command will look something like this:

      U:\>dir /S /O:D /Q > U:\listofifles.txt

      The directory name is too long.

    • By default, Windows hides all recognized file extensions. You may change your settings to see all file extensions, and also to see full pathnames in the title bar

      Permanent

      1. Open the Start Menu.
      2. Go to Control Panel.
      3. Click on Appearance and Personalization.
      4. Click on File Explorer Options.
      5. Select the View tab.
        • Check the Display the full path in the title bar option.
        • Uncheck the Hide extensions for known file types option.
      6. Click Apply, and then the OK.

      Temporary

      1. Open file explorer.
      2. Navigate to specific folder.
      3. View -> File Name Extenstions, check box.
    • Once you start working on a server you may begin to wonder, how do I properly logoff or should I disconnect from the server? Can I run my programs in the background? What is the difference between logging off and disconnecting? How do I unlock my account? What if I need to stop my program from running, how can I do this? See the sections below to answer these and other session related questions.

      Closing Remote Desktop

      Note: All running programs and sessions are stopped during system downtimes, and are NOT automatically restarted when a downtime is over.

      Sign Out vs. Disconnect What is the difference between Log-off and Disconnect?

      Sign Out

      Disconnect

      Your Windows session ends. Your Windows session keeps running.
      You stop running programs and using the system, so you free resources for other users Your programs keep running, which is useful for calculations that require long processing time. However, you consume unnecessary resources and do not free up licenses for others. Disconnecting from a server you can run a long lasting program. Using a different server for quicker calculations. You must sign in to the same server to check on your long running program.
      Avoid account lockouts If you try to change your password on one research server while having a disconnected session in another, this may result in lockouts.
      When you reconnect, you start a new Windows session. When you reconnect, you can return to your previous Windows session, including programs and documents you left open.

      How Do I Close My Session?

      Two methods...
      1. In the Remote Desktop window, go to the Start Menu.
      2. Click the round grey person icon above gears icon.
      3. Select Sign out
      1. In the Remote Desktop window, press CTRL + ALT + END
      2. In menu that appears select "Sign out"

      How Do I Disconnect?

      Two methods... Locking your Session will leave the remote desktop window open on your local computer:
      1. In the Remote Desktop window, go to the Start Menu.
      2. Click the round grey person icon.
      3. Select Lock.
      Closing your session will disconnect and close the Remote Desktop window:
      • Click the X button at the upper right corner of the Remote Desktop window.

      Account Lockouts

      What causes account lockouts
      • When you mistype your password consecutively 3 times while trying to log on to a server, you will create an account lockout.
      • When you change your password on one server while having a disconnected session on another server, you may create an account lockout.
      • During the monthly maintenance window, you cannot log on to your account because the servers are being patched and restarted. Check System Status to see if it is a maintenance window.
      How can I unlock my computing account?

      Option 1. Research account lockouts automatically clear in 30 minutes. You can wait for the lockout to clear and then attempt to log back in to the system.

      Option 2. If you cannot wait 30 minutes for the automatic reset, you can use the password-reset application. Resetting your password will then unlock your account.

      Option 3. Email technical support at CCSS-ResearchSupport@cornell.edu

      To avoid account lockouts in the future, remember to log completely off the research servers when you’re not working (see Log off vs. Disconnect) before changing your password.

      Sessions and Processes

      Managing sessions and processes It is very important to manage your sessions and processes! You may have multiple sessions open sessions on different research servers. These sessions may be either “active” or “disconnected”. Disconnected sessions happen when you close your Remote Desktop Window instead of logging off. Each server runs independently and therefore applications on one server are not associated with another server. This means that if you are running a program on a research server and disconnect, you will need to log into the same exact server and session to return to your running program. [NOTE: This option is not valid if you left a disconnected session prior to downtime, as all sessions are stopped and servers rebooted.]
      Identify Open Sessions
      Use Task Manager to find out what processes you have running on the server currently logged into. 
      1. Right-click on an empty space on the taskbar and choose Task Manager.
      2. Select the Processes tab and you will see your current tasks and their status (i.e. "running", "not responding", etc).
      3. You can end tasks by clicking on the relevant task and choosing End Task.
      4. Options available under the Processes tab will also allow you to see a list of your current processes, monitor CPU usage, and end processes if you choose.
      5. By choosing the Performance tab you can see how much total memory and CPU are being used on that server (by all users).
      6. By choosing the Users tab you can see how much CPU/RAM percentage you or other users are consuming
      Directing program output
      Be sure to direct your program output to your own work space, which is the U:\, \\rschfs1x\userRS\ drive. NEVER save anything to the C:\ drive, as it WILL BE DELETED during the next downtime.
    • By default, only you have access to the files in your work space on the research server. To share space, you can either request a shared work space to be created for you, or you can give access for others to get to a folder in your own user space. In either case the other users must first have an active user account on the research servers.

      The research servers have an S:\ drive specifically for shared work spaces. Use the Shared Space Request form to have a project folder created for you and your collaborators to share, or add user(s) to an existing shared space.

    • There are many methods you can use to move your files back and forth from your local computer to the research servers. Your preferred method depends on your needs. Each method has advantages and disadvantages.

      Method Comparisons
      Method Advantages Disadvantages
      Link Local Files to Servers
      • Preferred method if you want to keep your files on your personal computer
      • Saving files makes change to file on local computer
      • Immediate access to files on your computer through the research servers
      • Easy copy and paste files from your RSCH server drive to personal computer or vice versa.
      • Configuration could be challenging for some users. Difficult steps to follow.
      • Your local computer’s files are visible on the research server, but the files on the research server are not visible on your local computer
      Google Drive
      • Easy to use
      • No need to install/configure
      • Unlimited storage for Cornell students with Cmail accounts
      • Unlimited storage for Cornell faculty and staff users with activated G Suite accounts
      • Possibility to share files with Cornell and non-Cornell users
      • User must have a Google account
      Cornell Secure File Transfer (formerly Cornell Dropbox)
      • Easy to use
      • No need to install/configure
      • Suitable for files less than 5GB per upload
      • Keeps files online for as long as 21 days
      • Possibility to share files with Cornell and non-Cornell users
      • Slow if uploading or downloading many files within one message
      • Hard to keep track of document versions
      Cornell Box
      • Easy to use
      • No need to install/configure
      • Cornell has Enterprise Account for Cornell users which includes unlimited storage
      • Keeps most recent 100 versions of each file
      • Share files with anyone
      • File size limit 15 GB
      • Limited external sharing
      Web Email
      • Easy to use
      • No need to install/configure
      • Most users are familiar with web mail
      • You need a web-based email account
      • Problematic with large files
      • Slow if uploading or downloading many files
      • Difficult to keep track of document versions

       

      Instructions
      Method Instructions
      Windows Link Local Files to Servers
      1. Open the Remote Desktop Application
      2. Click the Show Options button in the lower left corner
      3. Next select the Local Resources tab (third from the left)
      4. Under the section Local Devices and Resource, click MORE (near bottom, left)
      5. The third selection will be Drives
      6. Select which local drives from your desktop you want available on the CCSS-RS RSCH server. C drive, external drive. etc..
      7. Login to the RSCH server NOTE: This must be a new login session
      8. Open File Explorer then This PC. You will see the local drive(s) that you selected
      9. Now the files of your local computer are mapped to the research servers.
      Mac Link Local Files to Servers
      1. Open Microsoft Remote Desktop
      2. Add new desktop or edit currently saved desktop more...
      3. Next select the “Folders” tab
      4. Check box that says “Redirect folders”
      5. At bottom of table underneath “Redirect folders” box click plus icon to add a folder/drive to be linked to the RSCH servers.
      6. Browse your filing system for the location of your desired drive and open it.
      7. Click Save
      8. Login to the RSCH server NOTE: This must be a new login session
      9. Open File Explorer then This PC. You will see the local drive(s) that you selected
      10. Now the files of your local computer are mapped to the research servers.
      Google Drive
      1. If you don’t already have one, obtain a Google account
      2. If you are Cornell faculty or staff who needs over 15 GB storage space, you must also have an activated Cornell G Suite account
      3. Login to the RSCH server
      4. From within your Remote Desktop Window, Open web browser. From start menu Firefox or Microsoft Edge are the best choices as you can upload multiple files at a time.
      5. Type https://drive.google.com/drive/my-drive into the URL textbox, hit Enter on your keyboard, then login to your Google account
      6. Right-click on My Drive and create a new folder, then double-click on your new Google Drive folder to open it
      7. Inside Google Drive Click “New” for new folder or file upload
      1. To download files from Google drive to RSCH servers first locate file in Google Drive.
      2. right click on file -> Download. Files will be saved to Downloads folder on personal U drive.
      Cornell Secure File Transfer (formerly Cornell Dropbox)
      1. Login to the RSCH server
      2. From within your Remote Desktop Window, open a web browser, suggested Firefox or Microsoft Edge
      3. Type https://sft.cornell.edu/ into the URL textbox, hit Enter on your keyboard, then login to Cornell Secure File Transfer
      4. Follow the instructions to sent transfer:
        1. Send/receive WITH a NetID, or
        2. Send/receive WITHOUT a NetID
      Cornell Box
      1. Login to the RSCH server
      2. From within your Remote Desktop Window, open a web browser, suggested Firefox or Microsoft Edge
      3. Type https://cornell.account.box.com/login into the URL textbox, hit Enter on your keyboard, then login to Box
      4. For instructions:
        1. Watch tutorial, or
        2. Read Getting Started with Box articles
      Web Email
      1. Login to the RSCH server
      2. From within your Remote Desktop Window, open a web browser, suggested Firefox or Microsoft Edge
      3. Navigate to your web email service and login to your web email account
      4. Send yourself your files as attachments

       

      Tip: whichever method you use, compressing the file(s) first will speed up the transfer.

    • To help conserve disk space on the research file server, please compress large files in your workspace.

      7-Zip

      7-Zip is a popular compression utility which copies files into zipped archives with a .zip extension. Each file can be compressed separately, or a group of files can be compressed together into one zipped file. This is the best method for file transfers. Tutorial for 7-zip

      To learn how to 7-Zip from a research server go to Start Menu→All Programs→7-Zip, click on 7-Zip Help. Data must be unzipped before it can be used by software packages on the servers.

      Compressing SAS Datasets

      The recommended way to compress SAS datasets is to use SAS to create compressed observations.  See the SAS tab on the FAQs page for instructions. 

    • Option 1: Using the web application to reset your RSCH password (simple method)

      Read these guidelines before opening the password reset tool:

      1. Passwords cannot be reset on expired accounts.
      2. In order to prevent account lockouts, logoff all current sessions prior to resetting your password.
      3. When entering your “username” in the reset tool enter it as netid_RS, ONLY enter your username. Do not enter domain\username (i.e. enter abc123_rs not ciserrsch\abc123_rs).
      4. You will receive an email at the address you registered with CCSS-RS – most frequently this will be your Cornell email. If you do not receive an email within five (5) minutes, please contact us (CCSS-ResearchSupport@cornell.edu) to verify your user account email address.
      5. If you have trouble using the reset tool, contact us (CCSS-ResearchSupport@cornell.edu)

      Click the button below to open the password reset tool.

      Reset RSCH Password Now

      Option 2: Changing your password while logged into an RSCH server

      1. To display change password option:
        If using Windows: Press the Ctrl+Alt+End keys together.
        If using a Mac laptop keyboard: Press the Fn+Ctrl+Option+Delete keys together.
        If using a full-sized Mac keyboard: Press the Fwd Del+Ctrl+Option keys together. NOTE: The Fwd Del key has a right-faced arrow with an X in it (located below the Help key).
      2. Select Change a password…
      3. Make sure that your username is of the following form “ciserrsch\username_rs” . Otherwise you could be resetting the password for your local computer and not your RSCH account.

      Also see Password Reset Troubleshooting on the FAQs page.

    • You can see the printers configured to your current set up on the research server by clicking on Start Menu→ Devices and Printers.

      How do I Print to my local printer?

      By default, Remote Desktop Connection is set to allow printer connections. Your local printer should be listed on the research server’s Devices and Printers list with a green check as the default printer.

      • If your local printer is NOT in the Devices and Printers list, you can log off and re-configure your remote desktop connection, making sure that the Printers checkbox is checked within “Local Resources” tab.
      • Your local printer should be set to LPT1, USB, or COM port.

      How do I Print to a networked printer?

      If you are using a networked printer, such as in a computer lab, and the networked printer you are using is not in the Devices and Printers list, you can request that it be added.

      Send CCSS-ResearchSupport@cornell.edu a message containing the following:

      • Name of the server to which you are attached (e.g., he-grad.human.cornell.edu)
      • Share name of the printer (e.g., DNS-GRAD-LAB1)
      • Name of the research server that you usually use (e.g., rsch101)
      • The printer brand and model (e.g., HP)
      • The printer driver version (e.g., 5si laserjet)

      Windows 7 and later users: To find out what the printer driver version is, on your local computer:

      1. Go to Start Menu→Devices and Printers
      2. Right-click on the Printer in question
      3. Select Properties
      4. Click on the Hardware tab
      5. Select Properties
      6. Click on the Driver tab

      Note: If for some reason you are unable to print from the research servers you have the option of copying the files to your local computer and printing from there.

  • CRADC and Secure Standalone Enclave

    The guides below are for users with CRADC or Secure Standalone Enclave computing accounts.

    • The workspace is the area used to save all of your CRADC working data. Regardless of the CRADC server environment being used, your workspace is mapped to your project folder on the S:\ drive, and contains a collaborative project folder at S:\[CRADC Project Name]\Projects as well as a personal folder for your user account at S:\[CRADC Project Name]\[Your NetID_CRADC Project Name]. This mapped drive location will hold all of the files saved during your research and use of the CRADC servers.

      • Your workspace is located on the S:\ drive under your project folder. Regardless of which CRADC server you log-on to, you will always have access to the same files on the S:\ drive.
      • Every user account has its own workspace by specific project. If you have multiple user accounts, each account’s workspace will be unique to each user account and found on the S:\ drive under the relevant project folder for that account.
      • Files stored in your workspace are backed up daily, protecting your work.
      • Your account Desktop, Documents, Downloads on the CRADC server is part of your account’s workspace. Any shortcuts you place there will be saved.
      • IMPORTANT: The C:\ drive is NOT part of your workspace. Anything you store on a server’s C:\ drive will be deleted!
      1. Open the Start Menu.
      2. Go to File Explorer.
      3. This PC.
      4. Underneath "Network Locations" enter the S:\ drive.
      5. Select your Project Folder on the S:\ drive.
      6. The sub-folder S:\[CRADC Project Name]\[Your NetID_CRADC Project Name] is your account workspace. S:\[CRADC Project Name]\Projects is the collaborative workspace for the project.
      • Create shortcuts to sub-folders in your workspace.
        1. Go to a sub-folder you want to make a shortcut to, and right-click on it.
        2. Select Send to.
        3. Select Desktop.
      • Create shortcuts to software applications.
        1. Go to Start Menu→All Programs, find the software application you want to make a shortcut to, and right-click on it.
        2. Select More.
        3. Select Open File Location.
        4. Right-click on the application.
        5. Select Send to.
        6. Select Desktop.
    • By default, Windows hides all recognized file extensions. You may change your settings to see all file extensions, and also to see full pathnames in the title bar

      Permanent

      1. Open the Start Menu.
      2. Go to Control Panel.
      3. Click on Appearance and Personalization.
      4. Click on File Explorer Options.
      5. Select the View tab.
        • Check the Display the full path in the title bar option.
        • Uncheck the Hide extensions for known file types option.
      6. Click Apply, and then the OK.

      Temporary

      1. Open file explorer.
      2. Navigate to specific folder.
      3. View -> File Name Extenstions, check box.
    • Once you start working on a server you may begin to wonder, how do I properly logoff or should I disconnect from the server? Can I run my programs in the background? What is the difference between logging off and disconnecting? How do I unlock my account? What if I need to stop my program from running, how can I do this? See the sections below to answer these and other session related questions.

      Closing Remote Desktop

      Note: All running programs and sessions are stopped during system downtimes, and are NOT automatically restarted when a downtime is over.

      Sign Out vs. Disconnect What is the difference between Log-off and Disconnect?

      Sign Out

      Disconnect

      Your Windows session ends. Your Windows session keeps running.
      You stop running programs and using the system, so you free resources for other users Your programs keep running, which is useful for calculations that require long processing time. However, you consume unnecessary resources and do not free up licenses for others. Disconnecting from a server you can run a long lasting program. Using a different server for quicker calculations. You must sign in to the same server to check on your long running program.
      Avoid account lockouts If you try to change your password on one research server while having a disconnected session in another, this may result in lockouts.
      When you reconnect, you start a new Windows session. When you reconnect, you can return to your previous Windows session, including programs and documents you left open.

      How Do I Close My Session?

      Two methods...
      1. In the Remote Desktop window, go to the Start Menu.
      2. Click the round grey person icon above gears icon.
      3. Select Sign out
      1. In the Remote Desktop window, press CTRL + ALT + END
      2. In menu that appears select "Sign out"

      How Do I Disconnect?

      Two methods... Locking your Session will leave the remote desktop window open on your local computer:
      1. In the Remote Desktop window, go to the Start Menu.
      2. Click the round grey person icon.
      3. Select Lock.
      Closing your session will disconnect and close the Remote Desktop window:
      • Click the X button at the upper right corner of the Remote Desktop window.

      Account Lockouts

      What causes account lockouts Sometimes you can accidentally cause your own lockout:
      • When you mistype your password consecutively 3 times while trying to log on to a server, you will create an account lockout.
      • When you change your password on one server while having a disconnected session on another server, you may create an account lockout situation. Learn how to manage your sessions.
      • During the monthly maintenance window, you cannot log on to your account because the servers are being patched and restarted. Check System Status to see if it is a maintenance window.
      How can I unlock my CRADC computing account?

      Option 1. CRADC account lockouts automatically clear in 30 minutes. You can wait for the lockout to clear and then attempt to log back in to the system.

      Option 2. CRADC account lockouts can also be cleared by CRADC Data Custodian upon request.

      To avoid account lockouts in the future remember to log completely off the CRADC servers when you’re not working (see Log off vs. Disconnect).

      How can I unlock my Secure Standalone Enclave computing account? Account lockouts on the Secure Standalone Enclave can only be cleared by CCSS Secure Data Services staff upon request. To avoid account lockouts, remember to select Log Off on the Secure Standalone Enclave computer Start Menu when you’re not working.

      Sessions and Processes

      Managing sessions and processes on the CRADC servers It is very important to manage your sessions and processes! You may have multiple sessions open on different servers at any time. These sessions may be either “active” or “disconnected”. Disconnected sessions happen when you close your Remote Desktop Window instead of logging off. Each server runs independently and therefore applications on one server are not associated with another server. This means that if you are running a program on a server and disconnect, you will need to log into the same exact server and session to return to your running program. [NOTE: This option is not valid if you left a disconnected session prior to downtime, as all sessions are stopped and servers rebooted.]
      Identify Open Sessions
      Use Task Manager to find out what you have running on the CRADC server which you are currently using. 
      1. Right-click on an empty space on the taskbar and choose Task Manager.
      2. Select the Processes tab and you will see your current tasks and their status (i.e. "running", "not responding", etc).
      3. You can end tasks by clicking on the relevant task and choosing End Task.
      4. Options available under the Processes tab will also allow you to see a list of your current processes, monitor CPU usage, and end processes if you choose.
      5. By choosing the Performance tab you can see how much total memory and CPU are being used on that server (by all users).
      6. By choosing the Users tab you can see how much CPU/RAM percentage you or other users are consuming
       
      Redirecting program output
      Be sure to direct your program output to your own work space, which is the S:\ drive. NEVER save anything on a server’s C:\ drive, as it WILL BE DELETED during the next downtime.
    • Each CRADC account has access to a shared work space within the S:\ drive of the account’s project folder at S:\[CRADC Project Name]\Projects for researcher collaboration, as permitted under the data use agreement(s) of that project.

    • Secure Data Services file transfer options are governed by the regulations specified within the project data use agreement.

      Please submit a File Transfer Request or contact CCSS Research Support Secure Data Services for assistance.

    • To help conserve disk space on the research file server, please compress large files in your workspace.

      7-Zip

      7-Zip is a popular compression utility which copies files into zipped archives with a .zip extension. Each file can be compressed separately, or a group of files can be compressed together into one zipped file. This is the best method for file transfers. Tutorial for 7-zip

      To learn how to 7-Zip from a research server go to Start Menu→All Programs→7-Zip, click on 7-Zip Help. Data must be unzipped before it can be used by software packages on the servers.

      Compressing SAS Datasets

      The recommended way to compress SAS datasets is to use SAS to create compressed observations.  See the SAS tab on the FAQs page for instructions. 

    • Option 1: 

      Contact the CRADC Secure Data Services staff by email CCSS-ResearchSupport@cornell.edu or 607-254-6547. If you use CRADCVPN to access the CRADC servers, please indicate this in your email.

      Option 2: Changing your password while logged on to a CRADC server

      1. To display change password option:
        If using Windows: Press the Ctrl+Alt+End keys together. If Ctrl+Alt+End does not work try Ctrl+Alt+Del
        If using a Mac laptop keyboard: Press the Fn+Ctrl+Option+Delete keys together.
        If using a full-sized Mac keyboard: Press the Fwd Del+Ctrl+Option keys together. NOTE: The Fwd Del key has a right-faced arrow with an X in it (located below the Help key).
      2. Select Change a password…
      3. You should see screen similar to one below when resetting your password this way. Make sure that your username is of the following form “cradc\username_cr####”. Important part is that “cradc\” is present. Otherwise you could be resetting the password for your local computer and not your CRADC account.

      screenshot of changing a password in CRADC

    • For data security, there is no printing from the CRADC servers.

      So how can I Print?

      Although these is no printing from the CRADC servers, you can request a file be moved off the system and sent to you through the Secure File Transfer Request form (from outside the firewall).

      • All file transfers are governed by the regulations specified within the data use agreements relevant to that project. No files will be transferred to a researcher against the regulations stated within the project’s data use agreement(s) in order to ensure protection of the confidential and restricted data.
      • The CRADC File Transfer Request form is also available for requesting that files be uploaded to your CRADC project, as permitted by the regulations of the project’s data use agreement(s). In general, acceptable files only contain programming or non-confidential data.
Research Support Computing Account User Guide


User Guide

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