[May 15, 2008: If you found this article from a search on XP SP3, please see XP Service Pack 3 -- Remote Desktop Change. Regardless, the answer to the following post can be found in the comments: Try
/admin instead of
Back in August, I wrote about how you can use Remote Desktop to connect to the console of a Windows 2003 server. It can be a helpful little trick, especially when using the “admin” mode of terminal services (2 seats) and you need a third seat for a quick look at something on the server.
Today, however, I noticed something quite odd. The
/console option doesn’t seem to work from my Vista machine! I’ve tried via the command line (as in the tip above), the Royal TS Client and the Vista Remote Desktop Gadget. No luck with any of those.
How could I be sure I wasn’t getting on the console? Well, I had the physical monitor connected to the server in front of me — and I made sure Task Manager was up and on display. If I’m “remoting” into the console on that server, I’d expect to see Task Manager, right? I never do when connecting from Vista.
However, it works just fine from my XP workstation. I see the same thing in my remote session as I do on the monitor connected to the server.
If I try to connect to the 2003 server’s console twice from the XP machine, the first connection is dropped. If I try to connect to the server’2 console twice from the Vista machine? Well, I get two separate sessions. Neither of which is the “real” console.
Now why would this be? I did some web searches, but haven’t found anything that would show this to be a common issue. Granted, how many people even give a dump about remote desktop to a server’s console — but I do! For example, with some apps that’s where the error dialog shows up.
Something to note: the XP machine is not running the optional upgrade of Terminal Services Client 6.0. Maybe that matters? I may have to do some experimenting next week.
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