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Installing and Using Remote Desktop, Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2


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Installing and Using Remote Desktop, Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2

This guide will teach you how to install and connect to remote desktop.  Remote desktop is an awesome tool used for connecting to a computer when you are either out of the house or in another room.  There are many programs that you can use to do remote desktop.  If you need a third party program either because your version of windows doesn't have remote desktop (if you need to download remote desktop you can get it at [url="http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/tools/rdclientdl.mspx"] http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/downloads/tools/rdclientdl.mspx[/url] - [msrdpcli.exe - 3.4MB] - it's a nice small download) or because you would simply like to use an alternative I would recommend that you use [url="http://www.realvnc.com/"]RealVNC[/url].  RealVNC isn't just an awesome program, it also has support for just about any platform which makes it ideal for linux.  I use RealVNC for servers but I personally prefer the windows remote desktop connection for my Windows XP machines.

Note: click on images to see a larger version of the image.


[*]Insert your Windows XP CD in CD-Rom drive. When the ?Welcome to Microsoft Windows XP? appears choose [b]Perform Additional Tasks[/b].
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[*]Then choose [b]Setup Remote Desktop Connection[/b].
[*] Here shows the InstallShield Wizard:
[*]Click [b]Next.
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[*]Choose  ?I accept the terms in the license agreement?, then click [b]Next[/b].
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[*]Fill in the correct information and click [b]Next[/b].
[*]Click [b]Install[/b].
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[*]Click [b]Finish[/b] to finish installation.
[*]Then [b]Exit[/b] the ?Welcome to Microsoft Windows XP?. Now Remote Desktop Connection software has been installed in the client.

Enable Remote Desktop Access on Host Computer

[*]Go to ?System Properties? first. There are two ways to go. Right click ?My Computer? on the Desktop, then choose [b]Properties[/b]. Or, [b]Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System[/b]. Then click [b]Remote[/b] tab.
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[*]In the Remote Desktop part, remember ?full computer name? for future use. Select the [b]Allow users to connect remotely to this computer[/b] check box. There might be a pop-up box:
[*]Click [b]OK[/b]. Click [b]Select Remote Users?[/b] on [b]Remote[/b] tab.
[*]Notice that Administrator and current user (having Administrator right) already has access. Edit the user list to make sure only valid users can access the computer from remote side. Click [b]OK[/b] to end setting.
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[*]Click [b]OK[/b] to quit System Properties. Leave your computer running (you might want to log off before you leave the office) and connecting to the network.

Enable in your router and/or Firewall

WARNING::  If you have a router and skip this step you will not be able to use remote desktop outside of your local network.[list=1]
[*][b]Log into your routers HTTP server - [/b]Open your internet browser then go to the URL (this URL is the first IP in the IP block your network is using, common router IP's are - - - if none of those IP's work you will need to go to the command prompt [start, run "cmd"] then type "IPCONFIG" the router IP is usually the IP that says "default gateway" - type that into your browser  and you will then be able to log into your router.) - If you don't know the username and password for your router it is most likely username:[b] admin [/b]password:[b] admin[/b].  If you have a hard time logging in then you will need to contact your router manufacturer to get logged in or talk to whoever setup your router to see what the password is (username is always admin).
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[*][b]Go to the Applications & Gaming tab (or the port forwarding tab in some routers)[/b] - Each router is slightly different, but what you need to do is the same.  Your goal is to find the "port forwarding" feature page and forward the remote desktop port (port 3389) to the IP address of the computer that you'd like to use remote desktop on.[list]
[*]Fill out the following information
Application >> "remoteDT"
Start >> "3389"
End >> "3389"
Protocol >> "Both"
IP Address >> "" (or whatever the IP address is for the computer you're setting up.  If you need to see what your internet IP address is you need to go to [start] -> [run] -> "cmd" and at the command prompt type "ipconfig" (no quotes).  That will return the IP address)
Enable? >> if you have this field you need to make sure the box [b]is[/b] checked.
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[*][b]Save Settings[/b][list]
[*]After settings are saved you will be able to access your remote desktop from computers outside of your local network (like a computer at a friends house).  If you have any firewalls or other programs that deligate your connection you need to make sure that remote desktop or the 3389 port have been enabled to give pass through.

Run Remote Desktop Connection from Client Computers

[*][b]Start -> Programs[/b] (or [b]All Programs[/b])[b] -> Accessories -> Communications -> Remote Desktop Connection[/b].
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[*]Fill in the blank the full computer name or IP address of the host. The computer name can be got from [b]Remote[/b] tab in [b]System Properties[/b] of the host computer.[list]
[*]The drives on the local client computer can be redirected in the session so that files can easily be transferred between the host and the remote computer. The drives includes local hard disks, floppy disk drives, and mapped network drives. If you want to do so, click [b]Options>>[/b] button, then click [b]Local Resources[/b] tab. Select the [b]Disk drives[/b] check box to enable the function.
[*]Make sure that everything in the Options is correct and click [b] Connect[/b] to connect.
[*]Very important... If you are connecting to a computer that is on your local network you need to make sure that you use you local IP address (like if you're connecting to a computer across the internet you then need to use your main IP address.  Remember, if you have a router you must do port forwarding to tell your router which computer to send the remote desktop request.  Also make sure remote desktop and port 3389 have been enabled in any firewalls (see > 'Enable in your router and/or Firewall').
[*]The desktop will turn black and a login box will appear. If you have Novell Client Services on your host, you will see the [b]Novell login[/b] dialog box; otherwise, a [b]Logon to Windows[/b] dialog box will appear. Enter your user name and password to login.
[*]During the remote access process, if you want to see the desktop of the local client computer, move the mouse to the top of the screen. From the appeared small connection bar, choose minimize.[list]
[*]If you want to return back to the remote desktop, click on the process on the taskbar that contains the computer name of the client computer.
[*]Click [b]Close[/b] on the connection bar of the remote desktop to quit out this session. An alternative way is to click [b]Start -> Disconnect?[/b] Choose [b]Disconnect[/b] from pop-up box.

How To Transfer a File Between Host And Client

[*]You have to setup the feature when connect to the host from client. Go to [b]Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Communications -> Remote Desktop Connection[/b].
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[*]From the [b]Remote Desktop Connection[/b] dialog box, enter the host name in [b]Computer[/b] first. Then click [b]Options>>[/b].  Select [b]Local Resource[/b] tab. Select [b]Disk drives[/b] check box to enable redirection of the local drives in the remote access session.
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[*]Then click [b]Connect[/b] to start the session.
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[*]Go to [b]My Computer[/b] on the remote desktop. You will see each redirected drive here in [b]Other[/b], in the form as ?C on [i]computername[/i]?. For example, if the name of the client is CA3LE, then C drive on the local computer is redirected, the drive is displayed in the remote session as ?C on CA3LE?.
[*]From here you can do file transfer or other disk operation between host and client drives.  Pretty cool, huh!

Remote Desktop Web Connection


The first step in enabling Remote Desktop Web Connection is to install the necessary software on the host computer. Remote Desktop Web Connection is an optional World Wide Web Service component of Internet Information Services (IIS), which is included by default in Windows XP Professional. IIS responds to requests from a Web browser. Have your Windows XP Professional CD handy, and follow these steps:

1.  Open Control Panel click Add or Remove Programs, and then click Add/Remove Windows Components.

2.  Click Internet Information Services, and then click Details.

3.  In the Subcomponents of Internet Information Services list, click World Wide Web Service, and then click Details.

4.  In the Subcomponents of World Wide Web Service list, select the Remote Desktop Web Connection check box, and then click OK.

5.  In the Windows Components Wizard, click Next. Click Finish when the wizard has completed.

6.  Click the Start button and click Run. Type Net Stop w3svc, and click OK. This temporarily stops the World Wide Web service to keep your system safe while you update it with security patches.

Enabling IIS without installing the appropriate security patches can make your system vulnerable to intruders. For more information, read Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-018 and Security and Privacy for Home Users.

To check for updates:

1. Click Start, point to All Programs, click Microsoft Update, and then click Scan for updates. Follow the prompts to install all critical updates. If prompted, restart your computer.

2. Click Start, and then click Run. Type Net Start w3svc, and click OK. This starts the World Wide Web service.

I highly recommend using Automatic Updates, especially after installing Internet Information Services.

Configure Internet Information Services

By default, IIS is identified on your computer by the TCP port number 80. The steps in this section change the TCP port number and make it much more difficult for a potential attacker to communicate with your computer. The steps in this section are optional, but if you do follow them, you'll dramatically improve the security of your system. If you are already using your computer as a Web server, you should leave the TCP port number at the default setting of 80.

1. Open Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, and then click Administrative Tools. Double-click Internet Information Services.

2.In the ISS snap-in, expand your computer name, expand Web Sites, right-click Default Web Site, and then click Properties.

3.On the Web Site tab, change the value for TCP Port. Enter a number between 1000 and 65535 that you can remember easily, such as the month and day of a birthday or anniversary. You'll need to know the TCP Port when you connect to the computer in the future.

4.Click OK, and close the Internet Information Services snap-in.

Configure Your Router

If you use a router to connect to the Internet, you probably need to configure it to allow the Remote Desktop connection to your computer. For more information on routers and firewalls, see my Internet Firewalls column. You need to forward two ports to your Windows XP Professional-based computer: TCP port 3389, which Remote Desktop requires, and the port you specified in the TCP Port field in Internet Information Services (or TCP port 80 if you did not change the default). If you use Internet Connection Firewall (and you should!), see How to Manually Open Ports in Internet Connection Firewall in Windows XP for instructions on allowing traffic by TCP port.

Connect to Your Desktop

Computers are identified on the Internet using a unique IP address. To connect to your home computer from the Internet, you'll need to know your home IP address. Visit one of these sites from your home computer to learn your IP address: What Is My IP, What Is My IP.com, or Atlantic PC Solutions. Your IP address may change occasionally, so always check your IP address before you plan to connect. When you're ready to connect to your host computer, follow these steps:

1. Open Internet Explorer, and enter the URL http://ipaddress:port/tsweb/. For example, if your IP address is, and you chose the TCP Port 1374, you would enter the URL

2. If you're prompted to install the Remote Desktop ActiveX control, click Yes.

3. On the Remote Desktop Web Connection page, shown in Figure 2, click Connect. You don't need to fill in the Server field. If you leave the Size field set to Full-screen, the remote desktop will take over your local desktop.

4. Enter your user name and password at the Windows logon prompt, as shown in Figure 3, and then click OK. You'll see your desktop, complete with any windows that were left open the last time you used the computer.

When you're done, disconnect by closing the browser, or clicking the X at the top of the screen in full-screen mode. Be sure to close all browser windows. Your user name and password aren't stored, so you don't have to worry about someone else accessing your system.

If you're Internet-savvy and plan to connect to your home computer regularly, you can get a domain name to save yourself the trouble of writing down your IP address every time you plan to connect to your computer. You're already familiar with domain names; they're the ".com" names Web sites use to identify themselves. For example, the domain name for this Web site is Microsoft.com. If you have your own domain name, you can enter that into a browser to connect to your home computer, instead of the unfriendly IP address. For information on getting your own domain name and associating it with your home computer, visit the Dynamic DNS Providers List.

If you have Windows XP Professional and an always-on Internet connection, you can securely access your applications and data from work, an Internet caf

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