Troubleshooting VCAP/VCIX Live Lab exams (DCA, DTA, CIA, NV)

Problems don’t usually crop up during VMware’s Live Lab exams, but if they do, here are some steps you can take.

Poor performance
If you see poor performance as soon as you connect to the remote lab, make sure you alert the local proctor and demonstrate the issue to them and ask them to call “VSS” (Pearson support) to investigate. Make sure you get a ticket number as the investigate notes and performance tests will be tracked there.

Note that some slowness is expected. Molasses-but-usable is the bare minimum.

Note that if the performance is initially fine but suddenly degrades during the exam the issue is usually (not always) something the candidate has done, so double-check your work!. Also, make sure you only have open the connection you need. Keeping several RDP windows, VM console connection, every PDF etc open will just use up resources – primarily RDP bandwidth. If you need to RDP, use fullscreen and close when you are done. Use SSH instead of VM consoles where you can. Close PDFs when you are done and preferably use the HTML documentaion (all but NSX API docs are accessible via HTML). (Thanks Frank)

Wrong passwords
Keeping in mind that hundreds of people take these exams, an actual problem is unusual. However, an incorrect password is practically impossible due to how the exams are constructed (shout out to the person affected by 5.1 SSO-password-times-out-in-365-days issue).

What is very common is a foreign keyboard not sending the characters expected by the US-English virtual machines.

This is a big problem on the initial log in, after that point (for all exams except DCA510) you can set the keyboard in the default desktop and any RDP session.

For the initial log in, try typing the password into the username field so you can see the characters that are being entered, then work out what keys you need to use to type the correct password.

Shift-key. You might notice the shift-key occasionally acts up. You might need to press-shift/hold-shift, press character to shift, let off character to shift, wait a millisecond, let off shift.

Major problems in the kit

If you suspect something major has happened in your exam outside of your control, ask the local proctor to call “VSS” (Pearson support) and get them to call VMware support. Note, if you stop working on the exam due to this issue and it is determined to be a mistake (either a problem you caused and can fix, or not actually a problem at all) you will most likely not receive that time back.

If there is a problem you did not cause you should be credited (extended) with the time spent to fix it.

Good luck!

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One Response to Troubleshooting VCAP/VCIX Live Lab exams (DCA, DTA, CIA, NV)

  1. Pingback: vUnhandledException » VCIX-NV exam experience

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