Remote Desktop Tricks

Posted on 6/30/2006 @ 8:51 PM in #Vanilla .NET by | Feedback | 9837 views

I use Remote Desktop a LOT. So I thought I'd share a few tips and tricks I use often about RDP.

1. Create a new text file, call it “My Connection.RDP” (Note it's not .txt), right click -> Edit, and in there you will see a whole bevy of options. A few favorite ones I use regularly are -
   a) Save password, this way I can put many of these in my quicklaunch under a submenu, and simply click'n'connect'n'work.
   b) Change display to 32bit depth (seriously, broadband guys)
   c) Change the Experience settings - check everything BUT wallpaper. Wallpaper is such a drag IMHO on remote desktopping.
   d) There is a neat option to use local drives/printers etc. as drives on the remote PC - very nifty. Though, drives are hella slow - network mapped drives work better, unless of course you can't map drives, (say on the internet). ;-)

2. If you have a laptop, under the “Remote Computer Sound”, change this option to “Leave at remote computer”. That way, I can use my pda/laptop as a remote control to my airtunes connected to my home theater system.

3. Remote Desktopping in XP connects you to the same session, whereas in 2003 it forces you to create a new connection, I find that really irritating since I could leave a job running at work that I might want to monitor from home. You can easily get around that my passing in the “/console” commandline parameter to the executable msrtc.exe. So the entire command would look like “%SystemRoot%\system32\mstsc.exe MyConn.RDP /Console”, this would connect you to an existing session if you are already logged in. This is incredibly useful, few scenarios -
   a) Start a process at work, go home, VPN, connect and see progress
   b) Working on something? Lock your PC, grab your laptop, go to starbucks, connect over WiFi, Terminal Service in and continue working as if nothing happened.
   c) .. etc.

4. Two command prompt thingies - "qwinsta" and "rwinsta". RDP on Win2k3 will let you in only twice (2 sessions). This lets you get around that problem.

5. Can't shut down or reboot the remote PC? Use "Shutdown" or TSSHUTDN on commandline.

6. Use RDP over the internet - but make sure you change the port (y'know hackers n stuff).

7. Get familiarized with the various key combinations on RDP.

Sound off but keep it civil:

Older comments..

On 7/20/2006 4:19:24 PM Duncan Sluijter said ..
connect to console:i:1

Above statement edited in a RDP connection (Right click, Open With... notepad, paste at the bottom) will automatically connect to console. Lot easier.



On 4/9/2008 2:45:45 PM Josh Gough said ..
Hello Sahil,

I know you can map local resources and access them like \\TSCLIENT\C, but do you know whether you can establish a minimal connection to a remote client and PUSH files to it somehow?

Basically, I'd like to be able to transfer files from my machine directly to a machine running RDP.

I guess we could go the route of some other mechanism and just secure it with multiple layers, but just wondering...



On 6/2/2009 8:53:55 AM Dave said ..
You can also use the /admin parameter to allow shutting down the remote system the usual way. Just make sure you can connect to it again after it rebooted.

On 6/7/2009 5:28:06 AM Rami said ..
It didn't work out with me an error Message apeared "Invalid connection file (MyConn.RDP) specified"

I renamed the My connection.RDP to MyConn.RDP, still doesn't work


On 7/17/2009 8:48:41 AM verboze said ..
I was fustrated for the longuest time about #3... I'd have VMs running at work, then I'd go home and couldn't connect to them (I'd get a new session each time). Thanks for the tricks!

On 11/27/2009 4:03:46 AM drummerman said ..
Many thanks, I hated re-entering the password every time, but with this solution I could force the system to save it, it's really great!