Frequently Asked Questions
The performance of your PC depends on its software.
The only obligatory requirement for the hardware is the possibility of connecting at least six monitors. You can do it by using one video card with four outputs (if your motherboard has 2-3 outputs and your CPU has integrated video) or two-three video cards with two video outputs (For motherboards with at least three PCIx16b slots). It is essential that you use the power supply board with sufficient capacity (which should 1,5 times exceed the total capacity of your hardware). A separate video card should be used for the working station with several monitors.
An approximate PC configuration for 6 working stations:
- CPU IntelCorei5-4570 3.2GHz, which HDGraphics4600 allows connecting 3 monitors (performance is at the GeForceGT630 level)
- Motherboard ASUS LGA1150 H87-PLUS H87 with two PCI-Ex16 and three video outputs DVI/DSub/HDMI – In BIOS settings you should enable the possibility of using integrated video along with the discrete one.
- Video card PCI-EAsusGeForceGT 640 2048MB 128bitDDR3 which allows connecting four monitors
- RAM – at least 8Gb
- Power supply board - at least 600 W
This is an approximate configuration for assembling the desktop tower with the possibility of connecting six monitors.
General recommendations: install antiviruses while ASTER program is turned off, with mandatory reboot, and it is desirable only for the account of the first workplace.
Following antiviruses are tested: Kaspersky Antivirus for WindowsWorkstations, AVGAntivirusFree, AviraFreeAntivirus, G-Data, AvastFreeAntivirus, NortonInternetSecurity, Nod 32, Dr. Web.
On WinXP there were last 3 antiviruses gotten started only on the first workplace.
On Win7 there were all tested antiviruses gotten started on the extra workplaces, except Dr. Web. All tested antiviruses were eliminating a threat in case of detecting a virus, even if they got started only on the first workplace.
Known troubles and ways of solving: Some antiviruses (AVGAntivirusFree, AviraFreeAntivirus, NortonInternetSecurity) block working of the ASTER service. Wherein extra workplaces are not getting started, ASTER is turning on with the error “service denial code: 64.000000.000000 69.000000.000001”, and antivirus can show a message about a virus threat.
In order antivirus has not been blocking ASTER program working, add the folder with the installed ASTER to the exception - C:\WINDOWS\system32\mute32.dll for WinXP, C:\WINDOWS\System32\drivers\mutenx.sys for Win7/8.
While using Kaspersky Antivirus 2015 it’s necessary to disable self-defense in the antivirus settings additionally.
Presently Aster operates only with built-in video cards based on ATI/Nvidia/Intel chipsets. Monitors may be connected also by USB adapters on FrescoLogic chips, and a wireless monitor (WiDi) . DispalyLink-based USB adapters as well as external display software emulations of AirDisplay or IDisplay type are not supported.
First of all, create a personal account for every computer user. To make it, choose the option “Control panel” at the Start menu, and then click an element “Users’ accounts” twice.
Also you can set an automatic login with an account data of the certain user. You can do it at the “Enter” tab of the ASTER V7 Control panel.
To start Mozilla Firefox it has to be enough, and you’d better reinstall Chrome, set it for all accounts at the computer with the alternative setup file "Download the alternative installer Google Chrome."
* Note: It is recommended to install plugin AdBlock for any browser in order to avoid ads and some other stuff.
1. RDP connection.
The terminal computer access will work correctly only when TS is unblocked, i.e. the local user is not disabled when the login is remote. * The personal profile for RDP connection must have a password (RDP connection peculiarity)
2. Connection with such software as RAdmin, TeamViewer, UltraVNC, etc.
Remote access programs working in the utility mode and/or using the mirror-driver cannot be used for connecting to extra working stations in ASTER. In order to get the possibility of remote control of all working stations one has to use administration programs which can run as custom applications, and not as utilities, in other words several copies can work simultaneously.
The situation is as follows when we are talking about a particular program: Radmin is truly single-user software which can work only with the first working station in ASTER.
*For x64 systems extra settings are required for proper operation. (The case when the mirror-driver is displayed in the ASTER control panel).
In the ASTER control panel in the Video tab the monitors should be assigned to the working stations in the usual manner and the working station number should be erased for the mirror-driver. After applying these settings you must find parameter in the Registry editor. There could be several such parameters, but one of them will have the value 0xffffffff (4294967295). Set this parameter to 0 and reboot your computer. After this Radmin should start working again.
TeamViewer works properly in all working stations. You should by no means install the HOST version. It might also be started without installing. The drawback is the impossibility of connecting to several working stations simultaneously. If you run it in several working stations you will be able to connect only to the last launched client TeamViewer.
UltraVNC and similar software allows connecting to working stations independently. However, a further setting of the software might be required in order to be able to use different ports / connection screens, as well as ASTER setting for the application of different IP-аddresses.
Two ways of Aster reactivation are possible.
1. By spending the limit of serial number activations. It occurs always when Aster is activated via Internet as defined in User’s Manual Clause 3 . This method is acceptable only in case of PC replacement or replacement of your PC’s processor.
2. Without spending the limit of serial number activations.
You have to use this method when there have been no changes in equipment configuration. It may be required after OS reinstallation. For Aster reactivation in this case it is sufficient in a new OS to run reg file that Aster offers to store after reactivation by the first method. Make sure to store it in order not to spend activations in future, after OS reinstallation. A good choice is generation of an image of HD system partition from OS (adjusted if possible) which will allow in a matter of minutes to restore the system after any malfunctions including virus infection etc. and gain time on restoration. A number of activations fulfilled is given on page in section Serial number parameters.
Simultaneous start-up of the application Steam two or more times is possible using a special program (so called “sandbox”). There are several programs of this type including embedded in antivirus. Launching was tested by means of the program Sandboxie. Upon its installation in the shortcut context menu appears the menu item "Launch in sandbox". In the free version you can use only one sandbox at a time, however this is enough to start two copies of the Steam. For example, on the first work place we start the Steam in the usual fashion, and on the second in the sandbox. As a result, we get one copy of the Steam client on each work place (for each copy its own Steam account is required). In that manner you can also launch certain applications/games which don’t directly support the start-up of several their copies.
When problems appear, especially with online games, when you run Steam, in Sandboxie you should check the box "Run as UAC Administrator" . Game "Dota2" can serve as an example. Here you cannot start searching for the game while the players from Aster workstations are united in one group.
8.1 A PC-architecture computer, a notebook
It is recommended to use a notebook either with the discrete video adapter or the integrated video adapter.
Otherwise, if the notebook uses both video adapter types you will not be able to employ the discrete video card for ASTER needs.
8.2 ОС Windows 7/8/8.1 (except Win7 Starter, as it cannot be connected to several monitors)
There exists the formal support of server systems starting from 2008 R2 however ASTER has not been tested with them, and the correct performance of all server functions is not guaranteed. The user undertakes a commitment to perform preliminary testing of the required server functionality with ASTER.
* There are versions for Windows XP(x32), however their support is limited and no upgrading is underway.
8.3 The availability for every user of additional:
- entry units (keyboard/mouse);
- monitors or TV sets;
- required number of video inputs to connect all monitors.
8.4 Requirements to video cards: (refers only to ASTER V7)
- only GeForce, Radeon and integrated Intel series are supported;
- the video card must have an all-in-one WDDM-video driver;
- for multiple sets, it is desirable to use not the top display card models which take up one slot, but not overclocked ones, with a smaller video memory;
- provide good ventilation and sufficient video card power supply;
- not to use SLI/CrossFire modes.
- not install or at least not use the video driver applications with the ASTER power-on such as 3D Vision, HydraVision etc., to do it, during the driver installation you have to select a user-operation mode which allows for choosing the required components;
With Windows XP, the user has to test the required equipment with ASTER in advance and all by himself.
Requirements to input devices:
- not install any additional drivers/utilities for keyboard and mouse.
- if more than one wireless set is used the mutual interaction is possible so it is advisable to check their operation on buying.
The input devices such as joystick, touch input control, Xbox controller etc. can be used only in the first workplace.
The computer generated signature on eToken/ruToken also can be employed in the first workplace only.
The computer generated signature on an ordinary USB stick or floppy will be available for use in all workplaces.
8.5. The HDD volume should be sufficient for OS installation and requirements of all users.
In the case of the number of places more than one and depending on the tasks performed, the load on disk may be great particularly with the insufficient random access memory, so it would be better to choose a higher speed disk.
8.6. The RAM amount should meet the requirements of tasks to be run on PC.
In total, a number of RAM is a composite of:
- Memory necessary for OS run (Win XP – 64Mb; Win 7 and Win 8 – 1Gb/2Gb for x32 and x64 accordingly)
- 500 Mb on average for each workplace.
It should be sufficient for account loading and required applications’ start-up.
Accordingly, an approximate minimum amount of RAM for Win 7/8 per 6 users will as follows:
1 Gb (for OS) +500*6 = 4 Gb
Nevertheless, for 6- workplace configuration it would be better to use 6-8 Gb and more.
RAM is an easily scalable PC resource since at any moment a couple of RAM-cards may be added, and if the mother card lacks additional slots, the oversize modules can be used instead. However the best of all would be to follow the rule "the more RAM the better", naturally within reasonable limits. However for x32 OS versions more than 4 Gb cannot be used anyway, and due to redundancy of the part of address space for video RAM, the amount of accessible memory in OS can decrease to 3 Gb and less. So launching more than two ASTER workplaces on x32 systems may result in deficiency in RAM for resource-intensive application execution.
8.7 Processor throughput
There is no univocal correspondence between the number of active workplaces and processor throughput because it depends on the number of simultaneously working users, a total number of launched applications and a degree of their need in processor resources. Non-demanding (“light”) applications are standard desktop applications – Microsoft Word, Excel, browsers, e-mail clients, and alike, i.e. those which load CPU as small as possible. Among more or less demanding applications there is 1С:Enterprise with small databases (up to 2 Gb). “Heavy” applications are, for example, processing applications/photo rendering/video, games and similar software.
Therefore, having made a rough estimate of tasks to be run on PC, one can specify an approximate processor throughput. Generally, in CPU selection it would be better to follow the rule “one place one kernel”, in which case a CPU frequency is of little consequence.
8.8 A possible distance between workplaces is completely dependent on:
- type and quality of leads to connect additional workplaces;
- electromagnetic environment in cable runs and locations of remote devices;
- quality of power supply and specific features of devices themselves.
The lengths of different cable types without regard to impact of negative factors are given below, active cable lengths are given within brackets.
Depending on manufacturer and quality, the possible cable lengths may differ from those presented below.
USB 5 (25*) m - five 5-m segments.
On this basis, a distance up to 10m seems to be the best between workplaces and the system unit without using additional equipment to make the distance longer.
Before purchasing the cables it is advisable to clarify the specification with the seller or, better still to check on spot.
There is a lot of devices which allow for increasing this distance many times. They are different KVM extension systems as well as VGA/USB twisted pair extenders, but these solutions have not been tested in practice, and we do not guarantee the flawless operation of devices connected using extension systems.
Intrinsically, the Aster program practically does not increase loading upon system so an optimal computer configuration:
- for 2 users in most instances does not differ from an optimal single user (for given tasks) computer configuration. Except perhaps you may add 2-4 GB RAM – there is never too much memory.
- for 3-6 users it is a good idea to have CPU with a performance level 1-2 times higher, to increase RAM space in proportion to the number of users, install SSD and a PSU with power reserve. An optimal RAM space for a single user is about 2 GB for an office PC and 4 GB and higher for a multimedia/game-playing machine.
For a greater number of workplaces you need anyway the preliminary system testing and adjustment. Free downloading the 30-day version of Aster you may here: http://www.ibik.ru/ru/downloads, a tryout version has no functionality restrictions and is limited just by a free to use time.
1.Before you enable the ASTER V7 software on Windows 10, it is necessary to extend the desktop on all the displays and set desired resoluiton for each display.
2.Applications that change screen resolution may work improperly, particularly game applications may fail to enter fullscreen mode. For running games please use their windowed mode.
There are different types of licenses for ASTER software:
- Main – Pro licenses for2 or 6 workplaces. These licenses are indefinitely valid and in the course of a year are free for upgrading ASTER up to the latest version, if necessary, adding workplaces, or transferring the license (see the note) to another PC. Main licenses for 2 or 6 workplaces can be activated or transferred as one piece only – the partial activation on several computers is not supported.
- Additional - Pro-1 license for one workplace more, that is it allows for connecting additional workplaces subject to the existence of an already activated main license Pro-2, or Pro-6. The Pro-1 license cannot be activated on its own, without an a priori installed main license. This license the same as Main is indefinitely valid and can be transferred to another PC.
- Home – Home license allows for creating just 2workplaces per year. Home License is a one-year subscription, i.e. after 1-year use you have to purchase a new license. Please be aware that the Home license supports just2 workplaces and cannot be extended to a greater number of workplaces, and also cannot be deactivated and transferred to the other computer – this is an inexpensive option for personal use.
Activation of any license allows for receiving free of charge software upgrade within 1 year after activation. To receive upgrading upon the expiry of 1 year, the owners of Pro license will have to purchase a special license to renew the upgrade period. The periods of upgrading and HOME license validity are the same so you do not have to renew the upgrade period for this kind of licenses.
Replacement of keys of previous ASTER versions with new ones is possible less discount of 50% - just send the active activation key at email@example.com and we will send you a 50% discount coupon for procurement in E-shop.
Note. You have to get right the sentence «Transfer of a license to another computer». From the standpoint of ASTER licensing system, a computer is identified by a hard disc with installed Windows and a type of processor installed on the computer. So «Transfer of a license to another computer» means not only transfer to the really other computer (base unit) but also replacement of system disc and/or processor as well as reinstallation of Windows to another disc on the same computer (see FAQ item 12). All types of ASTER licenses can be simultaneously activated on one computer only. If CPU and hard disc of PC (where OS is installed) remain the same–a license will be valid with any other changes of hard/software. After disc formatting, reinstallation of Windows, etc., just repeat activation using the same key.
Attention! A maximum number of ASTER workplaces on one base unit - 12. In order to connect additional workplaces activate any Pro license x1/x2/x6, (the number of workplaces from several licenses is summed up to the full extent), but please be aware that the limit is 12 units. Prior to payment, you have to switch additional workplaces on in the test mode and check their operability with a specific configuration of hardware and software.
1. The new ASTER version allows for deactivating the license, for example, for transferring to the other hardware.
Below are listed the events when you have to perform deactivation on which completion the current keys become invalid and you will obtain new ones instead:
a) Transfer of the ASTER license to the other computer
b) CPU replacement
c) Replacement of the hard disk with Windows where ASTER is installed
d) Transfer of Windows from one hard disk to another.
e) Rejection of the product and request to refund money.
In other events of the change of equipment (for example, addition/replacement of network cards, memory upgrade, etc.), deactivation is not needed.
In case of an unforeseen replacement of HDD or CPU (as a result of failure thereof), you have to contact the support team and submit the technical report and ASTER activation codes which have been used on this computer.
If several ASTER licenses have been activated on a single PC (for example, through error) you may select the ones you wish to deactivate.
IMPORTANT!!!The deactivation procedure is applicable only for Pro license, HOME license cannot be deactivated.
2. Software reactivation in cases when deactivation is not required (for example, after reinstallation of operating system on the same HDD) may be carried out as many times as you wish using the available key (i.e. the same as during the first ASTER installation).
Personalization parameters are not linked with the working station and can be adjusted individually for each user account. Therefore, if you wish to have individual personalization settings, use a separate user account for each working station.
To run workplaces you have to link a monitor. However you may simulate a connected monitor by means of a dummy panel, or if the monitor has several interfaces (for example, VGA+DVI), you may connect one monitor several times, in doing so you may switch between workplaces just by selecting a required signal on the monitor.
In order to assign several monitors to one working station, you have to use a separate graphic card for it, as a working station with several monitors cannot share its graphic cards with another working station. However, NVIDIA Surround and AMD Eyefinity technologies give us a possibility to use extra monitors for a working station on the shared video card, and the working station can use only the monitors with the shared video card.
These technologies allow uniting several monitors, with the system treating it as one monitor, which might be assigned to one of the working stations in ASTER settings. However, one has to realize that the monitors, “grouped” in this way, present a single continuous screen and, consequently, cannot work in different modes.
Troubles with the PC operation, for instance, BSOD / freeze at the OS start or a blank black screen when turning on the PC, can be repaired in the following ways.
For Win 8-10:
- If you interrupt the system boot by pressing the "Reset" button, or, if you do not have this button, simply turn off/on your PC at the very start of ОS boot (right after the Windows logo and whirling dots appear), it will transfer ASTER into the safe mode for one boot in which you can disable or re-adjust ASTER.
- If you interrupt the system boot 3 times at a run (by the method described above), the recovery mode will start when you do it for the fourth time. In this mode you can select the safe mode boot or the other options which can recover OS boot.
- Moreover, you can go to the recovery mode with the help of recovery disc (CD/USB).
For Win 7:
If you press F8 before OS boost (before the Windows logo appears), you will see the menu in which you will have to choose one of the following options:
- F8 – safe mode (which allows disabling ASTER)
- F8 – disabling the obligatory driver signature check
- F8 – downloading the last successful configuration
- F8 – PC troubleshooting – return to the recovery point
After the normal boot of your PC you should send to the to the support service the technical report (created with the “Detailed troubleshooting information” option) containing a detailed description of the problem. However, after the return to the recovery point the technical report might not contain the data required for solving the problem, and the problem itself might not repeat in the future.v
Safe mode reboot options from the working OS are not presented here.
The software which is incompatible with ASTER can be conveniently divided into two groups:
1. The software which has to be obligatorily uninstalled before installing /starting ASTER. This group includes the whole list of ASTER analogues: BeTwin, SoftXpand, WM Program and other similar software.
2. Potentially/nominally incompatible software which has to be uninstalled in the first place, in case there are some troubles with PC operation – these are basically the utilities which are installed with the video driver automatically. The video driver should be installed in the selective mode only the video/audio driver. This is an incomplete list of utilities:
- NVIDIA 3DVision
- NVIDIA GeForce Experience
- AMD Gaming Evolved
This group also includes the software for the fine tuning of video card, benchmarks and other software working with the video driver at the low level:
- MSI Afterburner