Tech Tip: Enable Concurrent Desktop Sessions in Windows

By Julio Franco ยท 60 replies
Jan 6, 2012
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  1. I hope the author realizes that by enabling this "hack" he's actually breaching his Windows license agreement, and thus creating an illegal copy/installation of Windows on his machine. Better than that, he's practically recommends doing the same to others.
  2. I have a couple of PCs, the main one I'm using now runs Windows 7 Ultimate, and downstairs
    a PC running Windows XP Media Centre Edition ... so I expected there to be no problems.

    <=> I ran the patch as Administrator on the WXP MCE machine, and rebooted as prompted.
    <=> After waiting for reboot cycle to be completed I logged on to that machine as normal.
    <=> Came upstairs to this W7Ult machine, and RDC'd into the WXP MCE machine.
    <=> Went back downstairs to find it had dropped back to the WXP logon screen.
    <=> Logged back on to the WXP MCE PC and returned upstairs to this PC.
    <=> W7Ult says "Remote Desktop session has ended." . . .

    So basically ... the patch doesn't work.
  3. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,811   +472

    "For example, if you have a dedicated Media Center PC running in the living room, you'll be able to remotely access all files on the machine without interrupting the person watching TV."

    Exactly how I use it with this hack.

    "I hope the author realizes that by enabling this "hack" he's actually breaching his Windows license agreement, and thus creating an illegal copy/installation of Windows on his machine. Better than that, he's practically recommends doing the same to others"

    And I hope you realise introducing ridiculous artificial restrictions and draconian licensing is why people hate the record and movie industries. Microsoft has done well to embrace the open hardware platform and allow great flexibility in their software platform.
  4. Ask Steve Gibson from Gibson Research if he would ever recommend 'patching' a critical Windows DLL file. Not a good idea at all from a security perspective I'm sure.
  5. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,960   +218

    Is it possible to increase the limit on Windows Server editions from the normal maximum of 2 concurrent users without a terminal server license too?
  6. SeiveD

    SeiveD TS Enthusiast Posts: 37

    I'd like to know what kind of keyboard they have on the front page for this article.
  7. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,148   +915

    that is simply the coolest keyboard I've ever seen!
  8. The keyboard looks to be an Optimus Maximus, they are ~$2k IIRC
  9. SeiveD

    SeiveD TS Enthusiast Posts: 37

    Ah, Indeed it is. I'll wait until I'm filthy rich to buy one, then.
  10. Great tip. I've been using this for the last several versions of Windows thanks to these guys guide -
  11. Been doing this since the Windows XP days, should be a default feature of the Pro / Ultimate version of Windows.
  12. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,173   +989

    the article plainly states
    "This is not a technical limitation but rather a licensing one." so your comment is fact; this is hack that breaks the terms of the EULA. :blackeye:
  13. How can we be certain that the author of the patch has not installed his own backdoor, now allowing him full access to all patched systems?
  14. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    This patch *must* modify the termserv DLL by either reverse engineering it or replacing it with Windows Server version. Either method most certainly breaks intellectual property / copyright laws.

    Truth be told, the responsibility falls upon the developer, but I was surprised to see this here.

    I have not tried this, but I read by using the termsrv.dll from Windows Server Enterprise (not Standard or Business edition... Data Center would probably work too) and modifying the policy options under Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Remote Desktop/ Terminal services.

    If you're running Windows home and don't have gpedit, there is a registry equivalent, but I do not remember where to find it.
  15. KBadaloni

    KBadaloni TS Rookie

    Does this mean it will work on Windows Server 2003?
  16. Julio Franco

    Julio Franco TechSpot Editor Topic Starter Posts: 7,676   +991

    As noted on the article, Windows Server has this feature enabled by default (with a limitation in terms of number of users). What this hack accomplishes is to enable the feature in client versions of Windows XP, Vista, and 7.
  17. otester

    otester TS Rookie Posts: 43

    Microsoft supports SOPA, therefore everyone should be boycotting and sharing their stuff.

    Also US law doesn't govern the globe.
  18. If you need to share the desktop with someone why not just use Remote Assistance? Once you get the user's permission you can control/share their desktop legally.
  19. Teamviewer or VNC anyone?
  20. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +67

    This would work brilliantly at work if it didn't conflict with the EULA. To be able to log in remotely to a local admin desktop session to carry out tasks while the user is still logged in to the machine would save us so much money in wasted time as our users have a tendency to leave themselves logged in with the screen locked. To be able to still remote to the machine.. dream!

    Still, can't use it. Breaks licencing. Bummer..
  21. yukka

    yukka TechSpot Paladin Posts: 861   +67

    Remote assistance shares the desktop with the user. Being able to actually log in as admin means you could explore the setup of the machine as if logged in while the user still continues to work. Remote assistance means they have to stop what they are doing while you use their desktop. It also doesn't help if they have left the machine logged on and screen locked. You can't do anything without kicking them off.

    I know a number of mmc snapins work remotely but once you remote desktop to a machine then you can do absolutely anything which in some cases would be just awesome.
  22. I would love for all the sticklers to actually point out WHERE you are violating licensing. You're editing a DLL, not avoiding activation. By your same logic, everyone who has patched their UXTheme.dll to use custom windows themes are also pirates.
  23. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    First, the concurrent use of RDP is expressly prohibited:

    Secondly, that DLL "patch" required reverse engineering OR distribution of the original DLL (which is not yours to distribute, it is Microsoft's IP). It isn't some bit of novel programming and a registry change that allows Windows to have concurrent sessions of RDP, rather, it uses Microsoft's own technology, protocols etc...

  24. Microsoft licensing isn't designed to be fair, it's designed to extract the maximum amount of profit. Which is why any power-user worth his salt will already know about the patcher and have made up their own minds to simply accept the small possibility of any consequences of breaching the EULA.

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