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I am often asked about how to remote control or use a remote windows server.  Most people know how to use Remote Desktop to connect but do not know all the features available. 

The most common question I get is how to transfer files.  Built into The Remote desktop client is the ability to map your local drives to that server.  If you select OPTIONS | Local Resources | then select (Disk Drives).  To use the mapped drives you then select My Computer on the remote box and it will show your local drives and your machine name.  NOTE: it is not the fastest transfer method, but it does work well. 

Another nifty hidden feature that goes along with the above Disk Drive mapping is the Printer mapping.  If the server has the drivers for your printer you can also print back to the host box. 

A great trick for administrators is the -Console option.  This allows you to take over the logged in user session on Server.  Example, you start a session on that remote box (transferring files, or updating windows) you then travel back to your computer and want to connect back to the started session on the server.  You can send the -console option and connect as the local user on that server.  To do this, you need to find the executable: “%SystemRoot%\system32\mstsc.exe -console”.  That little trick has saved me many hours of work.  But don’t forget you are taking over a session on that box and if you did not start it, you may make some user unhappy. 

 I hope these little tricks help.  I have never really seen much on tips or tricks on how to use Remote Desktop (terminal service).  If you know of any more please send my way. 

Posted on Wednesday, March 22, 2006 7:17 AM | Back to top


Comments on this post: Remote Desktop tricks (Terminal Service)

# re: Remote Desktop tricks (Terminal Service)
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Great Tricks! One note though, these only work on Terminal Services 2003. They won't work on a server running Server 2000

Left by Lenny on Mar 22, 2006 7:50 AM

# re: Remote Desktop tricks (Terminal Service)
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Hey, that's great! Especially the -Console option. I've used the "Remote Desktops" mmc plug in for accessing the console, but I never knew you could do it with the regular RDC client. I just created a copy of the RDC shortcut, called it "Console Remote Desktop Connection", added the -console parameter, and now I can choose which way to go... Great for when you have old connections that the server thinks are still live, so you get that awful message saying the connection count has been exceeded, even though you know you aren't connected anymore. Now you can connect to the console, go to Terminal Services Manager, and disconnect the other session yourself...
Left by Brian on Mar 15, 2007 8:14 AM

# re: Remote Desktop tricks (Terminal Service)
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i have a problem of client access license which was of 90 days it has been expired and want to renew without any internet or telephone connection.
Left by ashu on Apr 08, 2008 2:50 AM

# re: Remote Desktop tricks (Terminal Service)
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That "Take over session" is a neat trick!, But i want some more.
I want to use Windows external desktop a bit different if posible!

I want to be able to start multiple sessions as always. This is not dificult. One session i am using for my livingroom TV. I want to be able to take over that session whit my laptop and still se the same screen (the same session) on my telivision. And when i turm my leptop of i still want the session on the TV to continiue. Is this posible?

Left by Jos on Sep 28, 2009 11:11 AM

# re: Remote Desktop tricks (Terminal Service)
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I Am not sure. This may be more of a task for vnc server
Left by Jim becher on Sep 29, 2009 3:18 PM

# re: Remote Desktop tricks (Terminal Service)
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The behaviour of mstsc changed since version 6 - it's not -console any more. The new switch to connect to a console is mstsc -admin
Left by Andreas Rehm on May 29, 2010 6:03 PM

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