Remote Desktop Connections Tips

Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) in Server 2012Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop Connection

Type in a username before you make a remote desktop connection.


Remote Desktop Connection Tips

Local Resources –> Drives

The point of this RDC tip is to encourage you to check 'More…' options in general, and 'Drives' in particular. 

While there are many ways of copying and pasting data using Remote Desktop. I prefer to have the local drives available because it makes it easier to find the files when I need them later.

Remote Desktop Connections Tips 

Note 1: These screenshots were taken from the Local Resources tab.

I thank Paul DeBrino for this Remote Desktop tip:
For example, you have files on a USB stick in your laptop that you want to use on a remote system. You therefore launch RDP and click Local Devices and Resources, then click "More" button, then locate your USB drive in the presented list. Next, engage RDP and connect to the remote system. Once connected, open Windows Explorer to discover that your local USB drive is listed on the remote system … with full R/W access to its contents.

Of course, you'll first want to have confidence in the remote system not having viruses that could spread to your local device, as this RDP action is no different than inserting your USB directly into the remote system.

Additionally, the resources one chooses to make available in an RPD session are NOT available to anyone else who may be simultaneously logged into the remote system.

Troubleshooting Connection ProblemsAllow Connections from Computer running Remote Desktop

Check Allow Remote Connections to This Server

Go to the machine which is going to host the remote connection and review the Remote Settings on the System properties.

  • Start in the Control Panel
  • Find the System and Security, then System
  • Select 'Remote settings' on the left menu.
  • Place the radio button on:
    Allow remote connections to this computer.
  • Remove the tick from:
    Allow connections from computers running Remote Desktop with Network Level Authentication.
  • Click Ok.

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RDC Registry Setting – fDenyTSConnections

If you cannot connect to a remote machine because the Remote Desktop properties is set to: 'Don't allow remote connections to this computer' (see screenshot above), then there is a work-around involving regedit.

It won't be easy to edit the registry remotely, and change the value for fDenyTSConnections from 1 to zero, but this could be the only way to get RDC working without that long walk to the other machine.  If this troubleshooting technique is of interest, see more on fDenyTSConnections.

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Troubleshooting Techniques for Remote Desktop Connection

How to Install Remote Desktop:
There is no need to install anything because remote desktop is built-in to all Windows operating systems going back at least as far as XP and Windows 2000, all you have to do is allow the connection, see screenshot here..Cannot Connect Remote Desktop

Cannot Find Remote Computer…
The classical troubleshooting method is to find the IP address, ping it and if successful substitute the IP address for the hostname.

I have had more success with typing in a username as I make the connection, even better, choose a username that has previously logged on at that computer. 

Naturally, check that your selected user has permission to make the remote desktop connection.

As you configure the RDC setting in the control panel there is a prompt to create an exception.  However, sometimes people forget to click on the link, and I have seen computers where an exception is created for the public network but not the private network.  When troubleshooting connection problems I temporarily disable the firewall on both machines.

Once I establish the connection that icon in the notification area reminds me to turn the firewalls on.  When I do RDC invariably works just fine but turning off the firewall means one less factor to worry about when troubleshooting RDC problems.

Highlights of Windows 2012 Remote Desktop

RDC focuses on the RemoteFX technology.  This is what it delivers:

  • The Metro user interface.
  • Crisper graphics over WAN connections.  Adaptive graphics which can throttle the encoding depending on the bandwidth, or the available server processing power.  There is also better video codex.
  • Remote Desktop is available on an ever increasing range of tablet, slate and mobile devices.
  • USB Redirection.
  • Remote Desktop works well in Virtual Machines.
  • Look out for ‘Favorites’ they remind you of what you were doing the last time you used remote desktop.

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Irritations Once You Make a Remote Desktop Connection

Troubleshooting Remote Desktop Connection Windows 8If the remote desktop is not to my liking the first thing I do is Logoff.  Then I return to the RDC settings at the client end.

This time before I connect I click on 'Options' and check the settings underneath the six tabs.  I find most of my problems are related to the 'Local Resources'.

Aero Graphics
For a reason that I cannot fathom, the ‘Experience’ defaults to the slowest connection ‘Modem’, thus if you have a high speed connection you are going to miss out on Aero Graphics effects – unless you select ‘LAN’.

As usual, printers give their fair share of problems.  My advice is to go to the ‘Local Resources’ tab and experiment with, and without, the tick in the Printers box.

Full Screen Mode
Break out of Remote Desktop full screen mode with this keyboard combination:
Ctrl +Alt +Pause

Save Credentials
I like to reduce hassle by saving my credentials in the General tab. 

See more on Remote Desktop for Windows Server 2012 »

Remote AssistanceTroubleshooting Remote Desktop Connection Windows 8

One last option is Remote Assistance this allows an expert or a colleague to access your computer so that they can troubleshoot your problem.  It's a case of two heads are better than one, you can even share the mouse.


Summary of Remote Desktop Connection Tips

Start by reviewing the configuration choices on the Remote tab of the System Properties.  Another tip is to spring the 'Options' on the connection box.  I bet you will find at least one setting to change.

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Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Topics

Windows Server 2012 Home   • Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V   • Network Performance Monitor

Shutdown Windows Server 2012   • Remote Desktop Connection Tips   • Disable IE ESC Server 2012

Disable Shutdown Event Tracker Server 2012  • Windows Server 2012 Remote Desktop