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Remotely control XP ?

By mke ยท 13 replies
Dec 17, 2007
  1. Hi there.

    I wanted to ask what options are available in order to control remotely a desktop Windows XP pro system from a windows XP home and mandrake laptops on the same home network.
    Ideally i am looking to login e.g. to the desktop from the laptop running xp home and be able to do all kinds of work. from simple transfer of files and re-arrangement to administration and installation of applications.
    for instance i have a 1tb disk and 2x250 disks that i want to manage and re-arrange their contect as if i was sitting on the dekstop, while i am actually on the laptop on another room.
    Is that possible? any specific tools / application that i can use to do that, or any advice much appreciated.


    ps: should i be using an ssh server/putty? or something similar?

    thanks x2
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    If you want to manage files, then you can just connect to the administrative share (driveletter$ - c$, d$, e$ etc) using SMB.

    If you want to do stuff with Windows itself, then you need remote desktop control. You can enable the Windows native Remote Desktop thingy (connect using the Remote Desktop Connection app in Windows, rdesktop in Linux), or install some flavour of VNC (clients available for every OS and workable via a java-enabled web browser too)

    Yes, you can set up Windows as a SSH server, but it would be horribly crippled. Ever tried to manage a Windows machine using only the command line? :p

    SSH would be useful as a tunnel for doing the management over the internet or insecure wifi - RDP and VNC are unencrypted by default and in theory someone could look at everything you are doing.
  3. mke

    mke TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    Hi there Nodsu,

    thsnks for the reply. i am trying now to setup Remote Desktop Connection but on the available connections i have only serial showing up. not the network card or ip. I tried using the remote desktop client from one end when i setup the desktop to allow incoming conn as remote desktop but it doesnt allow me to enter even when i have allowed my user as the only user to be connected.
    Is there something i am missing?

    Also is the remote desktop from windows encrypted secure? what about the security on vnc / citrix? are there any free versions of them? what would be best for this type of setup?

    thanks again
  4. mke

    mke TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    Hi there again,

    i found what was the problem. I had remote desktop under control panel -> system --> remote tab unselected :) now i can login but the problem is that xp pro allows only 1 user at a time to login? or atleast i get an error saying that only an admin can login, but when i create a second admin account on the desktop server i still cant login from the laptop remotely. it keeps showing it up as if the main admin name is trying to connect, and when i accept that it logs me off from the desktop, even though i started the session and user credentials different that the desktop account.
    is that normal?
    can 2 users be simultaneously connect to xp pro with remote dekstop?



    hello again, found this on the net, anyone knows if this is safe to do?

    To get Concurrent Sessions in Remote Desktop working, follow the steps below exactly:

    1. Download the termserv.zip file below and extract it somewhere. (You have to be registered to see the file)
    2. Reboot into Safe Mode. This is necessary to remove Windows File Protection.
    3. Copy the termserv.dll in the zip to %windir%\System32 and %windir%\ServicePackFiles\i386. If the second folder doesn't exist, don't copy it there. Delete termserv.dll from the dllcache folder: %windir%\system32\dllcache
    4. Merge the contents of Concurrent Sessions SP2.reg file into the registry.
    5. Make sure Fast User Switching is turned on. Go Control Panel -> User Accounts -> Change the way users log on or off and turn on Fast User Switching.
    6. Open up the Group Policy Editor: Start Menu > Run > 'gpedit.msc'. Navigate to Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Terminal Services. Enable 'Limit Number of Connections' and set the number of connections to 3 (or more). This enables you to have more than one person remotely logged on.
    7. Now reboot back into normal Windows and try out whether Concurrent Sessions in Remote Desktop works. It should!
  5. mke

    mke TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    hello all.

    ok i tried the above method and tripple checked everything. no matter what i tried i cannot have 2 concurrent connections on the desktop. one is always loged out, doesnt matter what user or account i use.

    can someone seed some wisdom to this?

  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Yes, single simultaneous sessions are an artificial limitation of Windows. It's MS trying to get you to invest in Terminal Services for Windows Server. hehe.

    http://www.uvnc.com is what you need, my friend.
  7. mke

    mke TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    hi there again. i noticed now that microsoft did limit the concurrent sessions with remote desktop. however the article i posted above mentions that one can "hack" xp to allow upto 3 concurrent sessions. 1 being local on desktop and 2 remote. however i tried that guide to the spot, and double-tripple checked it but still had no success. it only allows me to have one login session no matter the username/account.
    The thing is that most people from that tutorial have posted positive results and some even login in with the same username.
    apparently windows did implement that functionality with Remote Desktop on their beta releases but the final sp2 build 5xxx didnt include that, and had the limit to 1 connection. possibly due to user rights limited to 1 license 1 pc....
    anyone that knows a way around this? i still wanna try and use the Remote Desktop as i believe its better to stick to the native solution. however uvnc i havent tried and dont know if i want to install another application on my systems since they are already crammed with tons of apps.

    anyhow. if one can help me out with this i would be grateful

    thanks again
  8. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    Even if we knew.. Circumventing software licensing terms is pretty much illegal.

    Use a Windows Server OS or some other remote control software.
  9. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    uvnc works VERY well, but I will agree that RDP is a better solution in that it is more responsive, because the protocol used is optimized JUST for Windows.

    uvnc does have its uses though. If you need to control the same screen as the current user, if you need cross platform access (You can control a Windows PC from a Mac or Linux etc..) then VNC makes sense. VNC is also very flexible with a number of compression techniques etc... But RDP seems to have better performance, overall.

    So if you really DO want to stick with RDP, keep in mind that implementing the contents of termserv.zip is against your user license (EULA), so definitely don't do this for a business. Whatever you choose to do at home though, is strictly up to you. :)

    If you followed the steps EXACTLY as you posted, they should work. The only stuff I might add is to just double check your work. You might want to go back over it and check that the settings and files you've changed are still the way you left them. That means:

    1. Use gpedit.msc to check that your 'Limit number of concurrent connections' value is still set to more than 1
    2. Double check the file sizes of termserv.dll in SYSTEM32 and SYSTEM32\DLLCACHE. They should be the same exact size in bytes as the SP2-beta one from termserv.zip (about 215kb).
    3. Check Start > Run > regedit for the key "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Terminal Server\Licensing Core". Make sure the value of "EnableConcurrentSessions" is to set as a "dword" and to the value of 00000001

    If all of the above things seem OK, it should be working. I don't have an explanation for you. If the file size is wrong (WFP may have 'fixed' your old .dll) or a registry setting is incorrect, then we know what the problem is and we have something to go on.

    And just an idea, but you should have your system updated with SP2. If you're running the SP3 beta, there's a good chance that SP3 will break your ability to have concurrent sessions with RDP. We won't know for sure though, until someone tries it. :)
  10. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Well, MS had originally planned this feature for SP2's release. Also, the information is very easy to find on 'reputable' sites, so I don't think there's much harm here in investigating it.

    I would certainly suggest using UVNC though. It may actually be an easier solution than trying to troubleshoot this mess... It does not blatantly violate the Microsoft Windows EULA.
  11. mke

    mke TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    hello all. back again. i tried uvnc and i can honestly i dont like it ;p i kinda hate it in a way. i dont argue that it can be good and ..blablabbla, but windows remote desktop seems much much much MUCH smoother and better and most importantly faster.

    any other alternatives to that? something to the lines of Citrix but free? we have citrix at work and works like a charm.

    anywho off for the night.

    if one can help out with the windows RD i would be grateful, also is it possible to login to windows RD from a linux system?

    what options are there avaible, since my laptop is dual booting and sometimes i may wanna use linux to log to the desktop on win xp pro.

  12. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Yes, using something like rdesktop. There are a number of RDP clients out there, sometimes they are included with your distribution.


    That's understandable - It doesn't perform anywhere close to RDP, Citrix or NX, but it does work and it does just about anything you need it to do and has a lot of bells and whistles... Like viewing your desktop without a client through an Internet browser using Java etc... At lower resolutions and with decent speed connections, it can work fairly well. There's plenty of tweaking you can do to optimize VNC, but like I mentioned, it will never run as smoothly as RDP.
  13. mke

    mke TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 90

    I tried using again VNC but due to the nature of work i intend to use it for it seems very very very slow. basically i am organising hd space and files remotely and files can be upto 30-300mb each and at a whopping 500gb total space, hence changing folders aint a breeze.

    Somehow i think my system has a corrupted registry and doesnt allow me to change any settings to it, since everytime i change something with regedit it restarts 4-5times till it drops the changes and when logged in windows, it has discarded the changes, hence i cant use the concurrent remote login with Windows Remote desktop.

    Any advice that I could somehow change registry value and not need a restart in order for it to be saved and that way i could try that registry hack to enable concurrent downloads?

    or possibly an alternate software that works at upto 100/1000 mbit connections? since i think VNC only works upto 2mbit? can that be right?

    thanks dudes
  14. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    When a registry change takes effect,depends entirely on the program that is reading these specific values. If we are talking about Windows core system settings, then these are read at system startup and there is no way around it. User-specific system settings are read at login, so a simple logoff may help.

    Uhm.. Why wouldn't VNC use more network bandwidth if it is available?

    Did you install the UltraVNC mirror driver? Play around with the compression options to see which one works best with your CPU and network.

    BTW, you shouldn't make any performance assumptions if your system is FUBAR (corrupt registry). Please format and reinstall.
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