When using Automation Anywhere inside of a virtual machine, some issues can crop up causing disconnects and other similar errors. After some trial and error, we discovered the root cause of these issues is inherent to the virtual machine.
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When using the Automation Anywhere program inside of a Windows VM, a user might encounter a relatively silent error that pops up in the Windows notification center declaring that they've been logged out and their session will end soon, causing them to lose any unsaved work. The user can re-login (under the "Tools" menu) to avoid being disconnected, but the issue may continue to reoccur at seemingly inconsistent intervals.
We discovered that this error was due to duplicate hostnames on the same network. The two concurrent instances of the Automation Anywhere client were hosted on identical virtual machine images with the same hostname and connected to the same network.
This happens regardless of the control room used, or whether the other user is using a different control room or not. It appears that Automation Anywhere uses the hostname to check uniqueness. If two computers using the same hostname on the same network try to connect, it believes the same machine is connecting twice and forces a log-out for the user who logged in first.
Once we discovered the hostname was causing the issue, it was as simple as changing our hostname in Windows to resolve the issue and prevent further disconnects. To change the hostname:
- Open Settings > System > About
- Click "Rename this PC"
- Enter a new, unique name
Once this is updated, the user should not see any more notifications about being disconnected from the control room.