7 May 2009

LogMeIn to the Rescue Again!

Author: q | Filed under: Coolness, Tools

We use and recommend the use of LogMeIn for some of our clients who need the ability to remotely access their workstations while away from the office. True, in some situations that type of remote access tool presents potential security concerns, but in those cases where it makes sense, LogMeIn has been a solid tool. Today I was reminded of one other reason I use it.

It won”t come as a shock to anyone who reads my blogs that I”m primarily a Mac user. My main workstation is a Mac Pro (running several Windows "workstations" in Parallels and Fusion). It should also come as no surprise to know that every once in a while, a Mac will have some kind of problem and need a swift kick in the pants. Or at least a timely reboot (and I”m not talking about rebooting when updates come out). It doesn”t happen very often, but today was one of those days.

I was testing something for a customer and I lost the video display on my Mac. Completely. Both monitors, gone. Apps were still responding (I could tell, because I tried to switch around within apps and certain keystrokes would generate an alert sound) and I could access the few file shares I have open on the Mac. But I couldn”t see a thing, so I was driving blind, literally.

I didn”t want to just do the hard reset, because I had a large number of apps open in my main Vista VM. I also had my Windows 7 VM open, as well as a 2008 Terminal Server with a number of apps running. I had a few Mac apps open,but nothing that wouldn”t close down successfully with a normal shutdown.

I have LogMeIn installed on the Mac,so I first tried to access the Mac that way, in case it was a video card problem. Nope, when I opened the LogMeIn remote session, the screen was black and nonresponsive there, too.

I used RDP to connect into my Vista workstation, the Windows 7 machine, and the terminal server, and shut each of them down remotely. Then, just as I was about to go push the big power button on the front of the Mac, I saw the Options link in LogMeIn. Sure enough, in there was a button to initiate a restart of the machine, so I clicked it. And the Mac started a normal reboot process and came right back up.

I”m not sure what caused the display to go funky, but I was able to recover fairly easily. And I thought it was a tidbit worth sharing, since I hadn”t used that feature before.

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