Connect To a Console RDP / Terminal Server Session

1) Regardless of connection limits or licensing issues, you will always be able to connect to a server using a console session and an administrator account

2) The console session will often allow you to see errors and popups that won’t appear in other sessions

3) As documented in this MSKB article, you will also be able to have the local user see what you are doing in this session, and vice-versa. This is called a shadowed console session, and is very handy.

There are a few ways to get a console session in Windows 2000, XP, and Vista:

  1. Open your default.rdp file (typically in My Documents) and add the following line to the bottom: connect to console:i:1
  2. In the RDC window, after the address, use the switch /console
  3. From start, run, type: mstsc /console
  4. Make a shortcut to RDC, edit it, and add the /console switch to it
  5. If you are using visionapp Remote Desktop, there is a console session checkbox that you can use per connection

Connect to a Mac Remote Desktop using VNC

This will be a quick howto as it’s mostly a settings issue, but here goes:

Macs have come with a Remote Desktop server for quite some time now, and it’s great for using macs to manage macs remotely, though maybe not as nice as an NX or XMing solution.

When trying to manage an Apple computer using a Windows or Linux computer it’s a different story. When you attempt to open the connection the authorization works, but the window will close very quickly, with no apparent error.

The problem lies in the actual implementation of VNC in Apple’s Remote Desktop server (not to be confused with RDP – it’s MUCH slower). Apple has decided to only support one type of tiling, whereas most VNC clients will attempt to find the best solution in order to connect. Specifically, Apple uses HexTile, and if you specify this in the options or properties of your connection, it will work with no problems whatsoever.

If you’d like to make a .VNC configuration file in order to connect to your Mac server using a Windows VNC client (RealVNC used here), just take the following code and save it as a *.VNC configuration file, being careful to change the host from (null) to the remote Apple Remote Desktop server’s IP address (for example: 10.10.10.10).

[Connection]
Host=(null)
[Options]
UseLocalCursor=1
UseDesktopResize=1
FullScreen=0
FullColour=1
LowColourLevel=1
PreferredEncoding=hextile
AutoSelect=0
Shared=0
SendPtrEvents=1
SendKeyEvents=1
SendCutText=1
AcceptCutText=1
DisableWinKeys=1
Emulate3=0
PointerEventInterval=0
Monitor=
MenuKey=F8
AutoReconnect=1

I have tested this method on many Windows and Linux machines, using RealVNC, TightVNC, UltraVNC and even Chicken of the VNC for Mac OS X. It works fine, though I’d like to pound home again that I would really like to have the option to either tunnel application over SSH, or have some type of locally-accelerated RDP-compliant protocol (heck why not use LTSP 5.0?)
One can only dream…

Manage Windows XP with Run Commands

Here is my collection of all of the Windows XP commands that you can start from the Start -> Run dialog box in order to manage a Windows XP (SP2) workstation.

  1. Accessibility Controls – access.cpl
  2. Accessibility Wizard – accwiz
  3. Add Hardware Wizard – hdwwiz.cpl
  4. Add/Remove Programs – appwiz.cpl
  5. Administrative Tools – control admintools
  6. Automatic Updates – wuaucpl.cpl
  7. Bluetooth Transfer Wizard – fsquirt
  8. Certificate Manager – certmgr.msc
  9. Character Map – charmap
  10. Check Disk Utility – chkdsk
  11. Clipboard Viewer – clipbrd
  12. Command Prompt – cmd
  13. Component Services – dcomcnfg
  14. Computer Management – compmgmt.msc
  15. Control Panel – control
  16. Date and Time Properties – timedate.cpl
  17. DDE Shares – ddeshare
  18. Device Manager – devmgmt.msc
  19. Direct X Troubleshooter – dxdiag
  20. Disk Cleanup Utility – cleanmgr
  21. Disk Defragment – dfrg.msc
  22. Disk Management – diskmgmt.msc
  23. Disk Partition Manager – diskpart
  24. Display Properties – desk.cpl
  25. Dr. Watson System Troubleshooting Utility – drwtsn32
  26. Driver Verifier Utility – verifier
  27. Event Viewer – eventvwr.msc
  28. Files and Settings Transfer Tool – migwiz
  29. File Signature Verification Tool – sigverif
  30. Findfast – findfast.cpl
  31. Folders Properties – control folders
  32. Fonts – control fonts
  33. Game Controllers – joy.cpl
  34. Group Policy Editor – gpedit.msc
  35. Help and Support – helpctr
  36. HyperTerminal – hypertrm
  37. Iexpress Wizard – iexpress
  38. Indexing Service – ciadv.msc
  39. Internet Connection Wizard – icwconn1
  40. Internet Explorer – iexplore
  41. Internet Properties – inetcpl.cpl
  42. Keyboard Properties – control keyboard
  43. Local Security Settings – secpol.msc
  44. Local Users and Groups – lusrmgr.msc
  45. Logoff Windows – logoff
  46. Malicious Software Removal Tool – mrt
  47. Microsoft Chat – winchat
  48. Microsoft Syncronization Tool – mobsync
  49. Mouse Properties – control mouse
  50. Netmeeting – conf
  51. Network Connections – control netconnections
  52. Network Connections – ncpa.cpl
  53. Network Setup Wizard – netsetup.cpl
  54. Object Packager – packager
  55. ODBC Data Source Administrator – odbccp32.cpl
  56. On Screen Keyboard – osk
  57. Outlook Express – msimn
  58. Password Properties – password.cpl
  59. Performance Monitor – perfmon
  60. Phone and Modem Options – telephon.cpl
  61. Power Configuration – powercfg.cpl
  62. Printers and Faxes – control printers
  63. Regional Settings – intl.cpl
  64. Registry Editor – regedit32
  65. Remote Access Phonebook – rasphone
  66. Remote Desktop – mstsc
  67. Removable Storage – ntmsmgr.msc
  68. Removable Storage Operator Requests – ntmsoprq.msc
  69. Resultant Set of Policy – rsop.msc
  70. Scanners and Cameras – sticpl.cpl
  71. Scheduled Tasks – control schedtasks
  72. Security Center – wscui.cpl
  73. Services – services.msc
  74. Shared Folders – fsmgmt.msc
  75. Shutdown Windows – shutdown
  76. Sounds and Audio – mmsys.cpl
  77. SQL Client Configuration – cliconfg
  78. System Configuration Editor – sysedit
  79. System Configuration Utility – msconfig
  80. System Information – msinfo32
  81. System Properties – sysdm.cpl
  82. Task Manager – taskmgr
  83. TCP Tester – tcptest
  84. Telnet Client – telnet
  85. User Account Management – nusrmgr.cpl
  86. Utility Manager – utilman
  87. Windows Address Book – wab
  88. Windows Address Book Import Utility – wabmig
  89. Windows Explorer – explorer
  90. Windows Firewall – firewall.cpl
  91. Windows Management Infrastructure – wmimgmt.msc
  92. Windows System Security Tool – syskey
  93. Windows Update – wupdmgr
  94. Windows Version – winver

Also to note: any executables found in PATH folders, for example “Program Files” can also be run from the Start -> Run dialog as well. This means to start VMWare Sever, you can type in “vmware” and it will start for you!

Use RDP Client 6 (from Vista) on Windows XP

UPDATE! The newest client found in the release candidate of Vista does not require MUI files at all. There is some speculation that this may in fact end up as the Windows XP RDP 6 client. Download RDP 6 Client for Windows XP using this link.

I’ve been trying to get the Remote Desktop Connection v6.0 client from Vista to run on Windows XP for months now. Microsoft has announced many times that it’s available tobeta testers through the Connect site, but try as I may I still can’t find it (I’m not alone). So I went ahead and popped the new RDP 6 client from Vista onto Windows XP and tried everything from dependency walking to regsitry hacks to get it going but to no avail. So i kept testing, and set up a Google alert to let me know if anyone had found a method or any information that I could use to get this done.

I got results from the hook today, and what a big fish it was. It seems that I had probably fixed it early on, but hadn’t followed the proper procedure of changing one setting, testing, then moving to the next. I had simply set up all the hacks I thought were needed and plowed ahead. This is what happens when you test with a bottle in hand.

So here is what I found out today: originally from a thread by Caelum over at AtomicPC, this quick hack allows you to install the Microsoft Vista RDP v6 client on a Windows XP computer. Caelum was trying to get widescreen working in RDP on XP, and most of you know that works fine already. But Caelum, you’ve solved another problem in the process!

The 6th iteration of the MSTSC binary has a bunch of outstanding feautures. The biggest one for me is better support for sound and video over terminal services, but also includes ClearType support for those with LCD monitors so fonts look much nicer now.

Let’s get cracking.

1. Download this MSTSC zip(1.3MB)

2. Unpack the ZIP file to a folder

Vista MSTSC Folder

3. Run the “Install.cmd” file

4. Once the installation has completed, press any key to close the window

5. The script does everything but copy the MUI files to SYSTEM32, so we’ll do that now: open your Windows folder, then SYSTEM32, and then en-US. Copy the *.MUI files from your unzipped folder to the en-US folder

6. Run your remote desktop connection application the same way you normally would

RDP 6 Screenshot

Note: If you use Windows XP 64bit Edition you’ll want to grab the 64bit bit files from a 64bit version of Vista.

Now we can connect to Vista and Longhorn Terminal Server using the most up to date client and test the new features offered by Remote Desktop Client 6. I’ve tested this out on both using my VMWare Server virtual machines and the results are very favorable so far – it’s faster than before!