Enabling Remote Desktop on a Remote Machine

by Mitch Tulloch [Published on 13 April 2005 / Last Updated on 13 April 2005]

What if you want to use Remote Desktop on a server that's already off-site? Here's how to do it.

You can access some properties pages of System using Computer Management by first connecting the console to a remote computer, then right-clicking on the root node and selecting Properties. Unfortunately however, the Remote tab is not available when you access System properties this way on a remote machine, so you can't enable Remote Desktop on a remote machine using this approach. But there's a workaround: start Registry Editor on your administrator workstation and select the Connect Network Registry option under the File menu. This opens the Select Computer search box. Either browse Active Directory to locate the remote server, or type its name in the textbox. Click OK and a node will be displayed in Registry Editor for the remote machine. Now browse HKLM on SRV to find the following Registry key: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server. Under the Terminal Server key, you'll find a REG_DWORD value named fDenyTSConnection. Double-click on that value to open the Edit DWORD Value box and change the value data from 1 (Remote Desktop disabled) to 0 (Remote Desktop enabled). The remote machine needs to be rebooted for the change to take effect, so open a command prompt and type the following command: shutdown -m \\servername -r

After the remote machine reboots, Remote Desktop should be enabled on it. To test this from your workstation, open Start --> All Programs --> Accessories --> Communications --> Remote Desktop Connection, enter the name of the remote server in the Remote Desktop Connection logon box, supply your administrator password when prompted, and you're in.

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The Author — Mitch Tulloch

Mitch Tulloch is a well-known expert on Windows Server administration and cloud computing technologies. He has published over a thousand articles on information technology topics and has written, contributed to or been series editor for over 50 books.

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