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Remote Desktop

What is Remote Desktop?

With the Remote Desktop feature in Windows XP, you can remotely control a computer
from another office, from home, or while traveling. This allows you to use the data,
applications, and network resources that are on your office computer, without being in
your office. In the Illustration below, you can see that an Systems Administrator can
quickly (and securely) get into their corporate offices and do that, system down, no
problem, you can fix from anywhere you can find an Internet connection that is stable
enough to let you work.

Remote Desktop is the new name for the older Windows based Terminal Services Client
that (like with Windows 2000), would allow you to connect to and manage a server
remotely for up to two connections, allowing you to do maintenance on the server and so
on. Remote Desktop (Windows Server 2003 / XP), allows the same functionality, except
it's enhanced and easier to use.
To use Remote Desktop, you need the following:

Windows XP Professional installed on your office computer, or whichever

computer you plan to operate remotely. This computer is known as the host. This
article was written using Microsofts most current operating system Windows
XP Professional.

Display data and keyboard data are sent over a WAN or Internet connection so
make sure that you are working over a good connection to use Remote Desktop
over a slow connection could be a burden. It will work, but it may not respond as
well as you would like. You can use low bandwidth connections, it will allow you
to remotely control a system.

Get started using Remote Desktop with Windows XP


Get Remote Desktop

The Remote Desktop Connection software is pre-installed with Windows XP so to

verify that you have it, use the following URL:
o Start => All Programs => Accessories => Communications, => Remote
Desktop Connection
If you dont have it, then you need to get it. There are options. First, you can get
the Remote Desktop Connection software on the Windows XP Professional and
Windows XP Home Edition product CDs
If you dont have a CD, then you can get it online. Use the links I provided in the
links and references section to get the clients if you dont have it currently
available on your system.

The Remote Desktop Connection software can be installed on any supported Windows
platform. One you get it, install it and open it up.
Lets look at how install Remote Desktop (if not already installed)
To install Remote Desktop Connection software on a client computer
1. Insert the Windows XP CD into your CD-ROM drive.
2. When the Welcome page appears, click Perform additional tasks, and then click
Setup Remote Desktop Connection as shown below.

3. When the installation wizard starts, follow the directions that appear on your
4. You will have to agree to the license agreement

5. Enter your personal information and click Next

6. Finish the installation and you will now have Remote Desktop Installed on your
XP system.

Enable a Computer as the Host

1. Verify that you are signed in as the administrator.
2. Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Performance and Maintenance.

3. Click System.

4. Click the Remote tab, select the Allow users to connect remotely to this computer
check box, and then click OK.

Firewall settings
Make sure you have Windows Firewall set up to allow exceptions.
1. In the Control Panel, click Security Center.
2. Under Manage security settings for, click Windows Firewall.
3. Make sure the Don't allow exceptions check box is not selected.

4. Click the Exceptions tab, and verify that the Remote Desktop check box is selected.

5. Click OK, and then close the Windows Security Center window.
Your host computer is now set up to allow remote access.
You will need the name of the host computer.
6. In Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, click System, and then click
the Computer Name tab.

7. Write down the full computer name, and then click OK.
8. Close Control Panel.
9. Leave this computer running, locked, and connected to the corporate network with
Internet access.

Connect your remote computer to the host computer

To connect your home computer, which is the client (or remote) computer to your work
(or host) computer, follow these steps:
1. On your home computer, click Start, point to All Programs, and then point to
2. In the Accessories menu, point to Communications, and then click Remote Desktop

3. In the Computer box, type the computer name of your host computer, which you
wrote down earlier.

4. Click Connect.
5. When the Log On to Windows dialog box appears, type your user name, password,
and domain (if required), and then click OK.

The Remote Desktop window opens, and you see the desktop settings, files, and
programs that are on your host computer, which in this example is your work computer.
Your host computer remains locked, and nobody can access it without a password. In
addition, no one will be able to see the work you are doing remotely

To end your Remote Desktop session:

1. Click Start, and then click Log Off at the bottom of the Start menu
2. When prompted, click Log Off.

Accessing Problem:
Problems do occur, most commonly its just that the connection is either refused or it
timed out because of latency. Here is a commonly seen error message:

Advance Settings:
To display more remote connectivity options and configure additional settings, click the
Options button.

Clicking the Options button reveals five tabs, from which additional settings are
configured, as shown in Figure

From the General tab, you can enter the IP address or fully qualified domain name
(FQDN) of the computer you wish to connect to within the Computer field. If you use the
default menu the remote computer will prompt you for a username and password.
However, from the General tab, you can specify the username, password and domain in
the appropriate fields and skip the logon process. Saving this information makes quick
work of logging on to remote connections, such as those used often by employees
wishing to connect to their office desktops from home.
The Display tab, shown in bellow Figure provides options for configuring the desktop
size. Its important to match the remote systems desktop size to the local PC, otherwise
the user may go crazy trying to navigate menus that can consistently reach beyond his or
her monitors range if configure incorrectly.

Use the Local Resources tab, shown in bellow Figure to set sound, keyboard and local
device options. For example, you can configure remote system events to generate sounds
on the local PC (by selecting Bring To This Computer within the drop down box within
the Remote Computer Sound section or automatically connect to remote printers, disk
drives and even serial ports (by selecting the respective checkbox from within the Local
Devices section).

The Programs tab, shown in bellow Figure, permits users to trigger a specific program
upon establishing the remote connection. To enable the feature, check the Start The
Following Program On Connection box and specify the programs location using the
provided fields.

The Experience tab, shown in bellow Figure makes it possible to configure the remote
connections look and feel. For example, you can set the connection speed to maximize
performance, apply the remote systems theme and even display its desktop background.
Or, to optimize performance, you can turn off menu and window animation, forego
displaying the remote systems desktop background, etc.

To open a saved connection

1. Saved connections are stored in youre my Documents folder
2. Windows Explorer => My Documents folder
3. Click the .Rdp file for the connection you want to use
A Remote Desktop file (*.rdp) file is a profile that holds a bunch of settings. You can
make copies of them as you would any other file and just change the options internally to
that profile and save it with another name. You can copy all the *.rdp files and store them
in a folder on your desktop; you can even edit the Start Menu and make a folder called
RDP with all your profiles in it. Whatever makes it easy for you to manage
To edit an *.rdp file and change the connections settings it contains, right-click the file
and then click Edit.