Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Windows Mobile 6 Classic handheld device is not detected in a VMware Horizon View 6 virtual desktop as a USB device

I was recently asked by a client to look at an issue with a device that her land survey team used which was not being detected as a USB device in a VMware Horizon View 6 virtual desktop.  The device is made by a manufacturer named Nomad and its operating system details are as follows:

Windows Mobile 6 Classic

CE OS 5.2.1946 (Build 18550.0.7.4)

2007 Microsoft Corporation

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The device the user is using to access the virtual desktop is an HP t520 thin client with the Smart Zero operating system as shown in the following screenshot:

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The handheld device was previously working when the user used a full Dell PC to access the view desktop so the first item I checked was whether the device was detected from within the thin client’s operating system and I could see that the device was present and mounted.  I then went to check the Device Manager list of the VDI’s Windows operating system to see if the device was present but it wasn’t.

As I was beginning to run out of ideas, I went ahead and tried searching on the internet to see if there were any known issues with this device and was able to find the following Microsoft KB:

You cannot synchronize a Windows Mobile-based device by using ActiveSync 4.x
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/938323

Although the KB wasn’t specific to VDIs, I went ahead and tried disabling the Enable advanced network functionality on the device:

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I noticed that the virtual desktop immediately detected the device, started installing the driver and eventually displayed the device in Device Manager as a Portable Device with the name Tripod Data Systems Nomad:

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Windows Mobile Device Center was what the user used to access his files so I went ahead and launched the application:

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… and the application immediately displayed the status as Connected:

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I was also able to browse the device’s drive through Windows Explorer:

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Hope this helps anyone out there who may experience the same issue.

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