FAQs about labs | onlinechemlabs

We welcome your questions and suggestions to improve the quality of your virtual laboratory experience. Here are some frequent questions that we receive.

The lab window will not load on my computer.

You must be using a web browser that supports Microsoft Silverlight. On PCs  you should use the Internet Explorer browser. On Macs, use the Safari browser. Chrome, Firefox and Edge do not support Silverlight and will not allow you to open a lab window.

Microsoft Silverlight must also be installed on your computer. Open our home page. If you see the light-blue Microsoft Silverlight text in the lower right-hand side slowly fading in and out, then you have Silverlight loaded and it is working properly. If you do not see this animation, then you do not have Silverlight running loaded, and the lab window will not open. You can click on the link to Install Silverlight.

If you tried installing Silverlight but still have trouble, check the following:

If you use a Mac: Under Safari/Preferences/Security make sure that "Internet Plug-ins: Allow Plug-ins" is checked, and also make sure the "Allow Silverlight" option is selected if that appears. If you're not sure how to find these options, this page may be useful:

If you use a PC:  Uninstall Silverlight using the Control Panel on your operating system. Then reinstall Silverlight by clicking on the "Install Silverlight" link in the lower right-hand corner of our home page.

If you are using Windows 10, the default Edge browser will not run Silverlight. You can click on the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of the browser window, and then click to "Open in Internet Explorer".

If you are using Windows 8 -  you cannot open a lab window using the IE app on the Start Screen (sometimes called the Metro Screen). Instead, you must first open the Desktop. From the desktop, you can open Internet Explorer by clicking on the IE icon in the tray at the very bottom of the screen.

I am logged in. How do I get to my labs?

When you first log in, you will see the Settings page. To see your courses, click on My Courses. To see your labs, click on My Labs.

Click on the name of the lab you want to work on. This will take you to the Lab Details page for that experiment.

From the Lab Details page, click on the Open Lab button. After about 10-20 s to load Silverlight and the lab file information, you will see the experiment lab tools on the left side of the screen and a text description of procedures to follow on the right. Your computer's screen resolution must be at least 1024 x 768 to best view the lab window.

How can I change my computer's screen resolution?

This depends upon your computer and operating system. On a PC running Windows 7 or 8, you can right-click anywhere on the desktop and then select Screen Resolution. For earlier PC operating systems, right-click anywhere on the desktop; select Properties>>Settings>>Screen resolution. On a Mac, open the Apple menu; select System Preferences>>Screen resolution.

How can I change my personal settings, such as name, email address, password, and so forth?

Click on the link named My Account. On the page which is shown, several links will appear on the left. Click on the one named My Profile. This will display a form containing all your personal settings. If you make a change to your email address, you will be required to perform the Verification sequence again (to make sure the new email address is correct).

When I try to transfer the filled weighing pan to another location, it jumps back to the balance without transferring the sample.

Usually this is because the reagent bottle was not returned to its storage location. It is also possible that another required step in the procedure was skipped. Read the text panel directions very carefully.

When I try to move a laboratory object, it jumps back to its original location.

This often occurs for one of the following reasons:
(1) The object was not positioned close enough to the target destination (the brown box that appears temporarily around the destination will turn yellow when the location is correct).
(2) One or more required steps were not completed prior to moving the object (re-read the instructions carefully).

When I attempt to perform a step, a dialog box pops up saying, "Can't do that."

The previous steps were not performed correctly. For example, the mass weighed out was not in the required range, or one of the required steps was skipped.

I cannot enter my data (such as the sample mass) in the input box.

Many input boxes in the experimental sections can only be filled in by clicking on the RECORD button on the appropriate lab apparatus (such as the balance or calorimeter). These input boxes do not allow typed entries.

The TLC plate will not drop into the trough.

The plate may not have been prepared correctly: you may have skipped a step in the preparation, or performed a step improperly. Read the instructions and try again with a new plate. You may discard an unusable plate in the trash can.

I can't pick up the capillary when I want to deliver a drop of reaction mixture to the TLC plate.

Look carefully for the mouse cursor to turn into a hand; this indicates that you have selected the capillary tube. Then click and hold down the left mouse button while moving the capillary. (Read the instructions carefully.)

When I try to place a developed TLC plate under the UV lamp, it jumps back to its starting point.

Most commonly, this occurs when the previous plate was not removed from the lamp and placed in the trash.

The NMR tube will not drop into the spectrometer.

Check if the previous tube was ejected. If not, you cannot add another tube.

In the Absorbance lab, I don't know how to get the equation from the data.

Review the Linear Regression or Spreadsheets lab procedure, and find the section describing the steps to obtain an equation to fit a data set.

After I complete a lab, the Lab Details page still says that it is "In Progress."

Before you begin an experiment, the status is "Untouched." After you have begun to work on the experiment, and even after it is completed, the status will be "In Progress."