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How to launch RDA Remote Device Access on Windows 7

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Series 40
Created: CompassResearch (12 Dec 2012)
Last edited: BuildNokia (12 Aug 2014)

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As of August 12, 2014, Remote Device Access is no longer available. Therefore this article is obsolete.)

This article explains how to launch RDA (Remote Device Access) in Windows 7 - 64 bit


On my Windows 7 - 64 bit system I could not get RDA to start after reserving time on a Remote Access Device. I would select the device, reserve the next 15 minutes, and RDA would send me a launchdevui.jnlp file to run or save. When I ran this file (following the RDA Usage Instructions) a new tab/window opened in my web browser but it would be inactive/blank.

After some research I concluded that the *.jnlp applications and browsers are 32bit, and may be incompatible with the 64 bit javaws.exe on my system. I have therefore installed the 32 bit Java SDK and been able to use it to launch RDA.

The following section covers my "journey" to these conclusions, which may be useful to some readers. You can alternatively skip forward to the summary, which provides a simple step-by-step guide for solving this problem.

Debugging RDA

I researched Java Web Start and found that only Internet Explorer, Firefox, Opera, and Safari web browsers were set to work as the RDA instructions suggested. I had been using Chrome, which did not work. I tried IE and Firefox, but no joy. More research indicated that Java Console could be used to run the launchdevui.jnlp file. The Java Console can be reached in Windows by navigating Start, Control Panel, [Programs], Java (32 bit). Java Web Start documentation at indicated that the launchdevui.jnlp file could be seen in an application list on the General tab, which was not the case, probably due to my using JDK 6u27 instead of a newer version.

I am using JDK 6u27 because the Nokia Series 40 - Getting Started tutorial at stated, "To develop software with the NetBeans IDE and the Series 40 release SDKs or Nokia SDKs for Java it is recommended that you install JDK 6 Update 27. More recent versions of the JDK present an issue to the Series 40 and Nokia SDKs earlier than the Nokia SDK 2.0 for Java."

I found later, that the application list does appear from the Java Console, when you click the [View...] button on the General tab, and a sample application, "Notepad.jnlp" from the Java Web Start documentation, which I also tried and failed, showed in the list. Double clicking Notepad.jnlp failed to run the application using the Java Web Start Launcher. However, the "launchdevui.jnlp" application did not appear in the list, so, I could not select and run it.

More research revealed that Java Web Start Launcher is actually the file javaws.exe in the JRE, Java Runtime Environment, which is also included in the JDK, Java Development Kit. So, I reserved time on a device again, using RDA, and instead of trying to "Run" the "launchdevui.jnlp" file, I saved it to my downloads folder. Then I right clicked on the saved file and selected "Open with", "Choose default program", "Browse", and navigated to the directory C:\Program Files\JDK1.6.0_27\JRE\bin\ and selected the javaws.exe file, which still did not work.

But, I am using Windows 7 - 64 bit, so I conjectured that the *.jnlp applications must be 32 bit as are the default 32 bit IE and Firefox browsers, which might be incompatible with 64 bit javaws.exe in C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_27\jre\bin.

So, I also installed the 32 bit JRE 6u27 (just to match the version number of the 64 bit JDK which I am using). The 32 bit Java Web Start Launcher installed by default at C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\JRE6\bin\javaws.exe.

Alternatively, installing 32 bit JDK 6u27, created two instances of the Java Web Start Launcher, which installed by default at C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\JDK1.6.0_27\bin\javaws.exe ...and... C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\JDK1.6.0_27\jre\bin\javaws.exe.

Now, download and save the "launchdevui.jnlp" file, right-clicking on said file, clicking Open with, Choose default program ..., Browse, then navigating to C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin\javaws.exe (or one of the other javaws.exe files in the 32 bit JDK), Open. Make certain that you are in the 32 bit \Program Files (x86)\ and not in the 64 bit \Program Files\ directory to ensure that you are selecting a 32 bit version of javaws.exe.

At this point the "Open With" window appears again, with Java Web Start Launcher as one of the programs available in the selection list. Click to place a check mark in the box labelled, "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file", creates a file association within windows file manager so that *.JNLP files are automatically run by this 32 bit version of Java Web Start Launcher.

Select "Java Web Start Launcher" from the list and click "OK". The JNLP program is run successfully, or returns an error "Unable to launch the application", which I believe was caused by my reserved device time expiring.

Using RDA to select a device and reserve time again, gave me a fresh launchdevui.jnlp file to download and save. Now that the file association has been created, the application runs successfully and I finally have quality time with my chosen device. I also find that when the file is offered for Run or Save, the Run option shows and will now use Java Web Start Launcher by default.


Summary: RDA in Windows 7 - 64 bit can be launched by doing the following:

  1. Use the supported browser (IE or Firefox, not chrome)
  2. Install 32 bit Java JDK or JRE so that 32 bit javaws.exe (Java Web Start Launcher) is available. I left my Windows Environment Variables: PATH and CLASSPATH pointing to the 64 bit JDK which was previously installed and in use by Netbeans and Java ME.
  3. Use Nokia Remote Device Access (RDA) to reserve time on a device and Save the *.jnlp file offered by your web browser for Run or Save.
  4. Create a file association for Java Web Start Launcher by right clicking on the *.jnlp file just saved, to bring up the context menu and selecting "Open with".
  5. Select "Choose default program", " Browse". Navigate to C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre6\bin\javaws.exe and select "Open".
  6. Place a check in the box labelled, "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file",
  7. Select Java Web Start Launcher from the Open With dialog box and click OK.
  8. The Nokia RDA application runs, giving you access to your reserved device.
  9. The next time you select a device reservation, you can simply click "Run" instead of "Save" because the file association is now in place and Java Web Start Launcher is now the default program to run all *.jnlp files.
This page was last modified on 12 August 2014, at 00:06.
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