Remote Desktop Connection

10 pts.
Tags:
Networking
Tech support
I work in an office that has Windows XP loaded on all computers. I am in charge of doing the updates on all of these computers and I was wondering if using Remote Desktop connections would be a way that I could tap into each persons machine and do this or even troubleshoot. It would sure save me time running around to everyone's desk. I have tried setting it up on a computer and it doesn't seem to work... i can get into our server just fine but that is it. The first step I was instructed was to go into System Properties to the Remote tab. Put a checkmark in the box that says allow users to remotely connect to this computer (to be done on all other computers). Then select remote users. When I click on Add in that screen it brings me to another screen with Object types, location that sort of thing and I am lost. I can't search for myself on it at all. Now the location I notice is just that computer rather than the domain if this matters. Anyways, any help anyone can provide would be appreciated. Or perhaps there is a different method. Thanks.
ASKED: June 1, 2006  11:19 AM
UPDATED: June 8, 2006  9:39 AM

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When you do select that check box and you have the place where you can enter in “usernames” it is looking in the format of domainusername. For example, your domain name was example.com and username of jbow you would enter in EXAMPLEjbow and click on add or ok. Once that is done, then try the remote desktop connection again. This should get you going on this.

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  • Jade0571
    As I mentioned in my previous email.... the location is of the workstation and not the domain so what it does is try to find the user on the workstation. How can I change the location to be my domain? When I click on Location it only lists the current workstation.
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  • Slashman
    Are you using active directory? If you are then doing so should work. Also, does the workstation have XP SP2? If you are using active directory then you should be able to change to entire directory. If you can't do that but are on a domain, then you need to be logged on the workstation with a domain administrator account to change the settings. If you are on a domain and CAN NOT do any of these items, then the computer is not joined to the domain properly.
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  • Tmac24
    Do you admin rights to the domain? Are you sure the pc is a memeber of the domain?
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  • TheVyrys
    FYI, you can settings in group policy to automatically download and install the updates for you. You would have to set the policy on each machine if you are not in a domain.
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  • Jade0571
    I have Active Directory on my server but am not doing any of my work using it. I am sitting at each workstation individually and going through the steps. All workstations have Windows XP SP2 installed. All computers login to the domain each morning so I am pretty sure they are set up correctly. how come I can easily login into my server sitting at my machine and I am experiencing such difficulty with the others? :) As I mentioned.... when I click Add Users to Remote Desktop the location isn't the domain name but the actual workstation... how do I get this to reflect the domain? i think that might be a start.
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  • TheVyrys
    log in on the workstation as the domain administrator (or with any domain admin account) when you click the add button to add a user, then click the 'location' button. You either should see both the local machine name, and the 'Entire directory' or you will get a box asking for credentials. If you see the entire directory, select it and then search for names. If you get the box put in your domainusername and password....then you should see the entire directory listed.
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  • Slashman
    You can put in domainusername in the white space below the local computer name in that window without any errors. The username that is currently logged in at the time of unchecking the box is automatically allowed as a remote desktop user as well. As a test I just did that to 5 computers with XP SP2 with no problem. If you want to try something different, here is a non-microsoft product that can work for what you are looking to do. http://www.vnc.com/
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  • Stevebryant
    Don't forget to check that Remote Desktop and/or Remote Assistance is ticked in the Firewall Control Panel - Windows Firewall - Exceptions (that's assuming firewall is active)
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  • Ladrick
    Hi, If your working in an active directory environment then I would seriously be thinking about deploying WUS (Windows Update Services) you could run this virtually or on a spare box. That way you can just approve selected updates across the network and you will just have to check the logs occasionaly to make sure WUS is doing the job. Basically its Microsoft Update but in LAN... As for remote desktop: I would use a version of VNC (RealVNC) is my favourite. Or once again AD environment you could try the active directory "remote control" add-on. Tai
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  • Stevesz
    You do not mention how many desktops you have, but if you have more than a few, it is probably worth the time to down load and install WSUS from Mircosoft to handle the update procedures. WSUS will not only handle OS updates and patches, but also for a number of Microsoft products, such as Office. For 50 users, we have a server set aside to handle both WSUS and the A/V central management. Definitely cuts down on the workload. The initial setup can be a bit daunting, what with having to go through all the released updates and patched to approve the ones you want, and not approve those you don't. Be sure to approve all th eupdates for the OS's you are using (it does servers as well), because if you just start at the level your machines are currently at, when you install a new machine, it may need some of the patches that the others already had prior to your installation. We have found remote Desktop to be somewhat flakey and use VNC to connect to all the desktopps for troubleshooting issues. We set it to require approval prior to our connecting, and the user can see what we are doing (some are overly concerned we can steal their data--if they only knew). It works well for us, and is free. Since we still have a number of W2K machines, we do not have to worry aobut Remote Desktop and connecting to them. You can find information about WSUS at: www.microsoft.com/windowsserversystem/updateservices/default.mspx Information on VNC can be found at: www.realvnc.com/ Steve//
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  • Spadasoe
    BAck to your original query: To change locations click the locations button. The default is the local machine. Below the machine name you will see "entire directory". Click the + sign to expand the entire directory to get to the domain, or if a single domain, click entire directory and click ok. You should be able to browse the directory for the group or user account to add. I believe you can also push this through a GPO to make it a lot easier
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  • Ursulus
    I'm a bit surprised to hear that you are having problems.. I use remote desktop all the time and have set it up so that all users can remote access their own desktops remotely using specified external ports.. The setup is usually simple.. when you attempt to connect to a PC are you getting a login prompt or is the connection timing out? If you aren't getting a login prompt then the firewall is getting the way, open port 3389 on each PC. Also, you can enable remote support. This is connected to MSN Messenger so you would need to allow everyone to run messenger.. set yourself up with messenger and set your contact up on everyones messenger in the office. When someone has a problem, they can call you using messenger and request that you help them.. you get a messenger call and if you accept, you are co-controlling their desktop and can troubleshoot that way.. there are a number of third party products that do the same thing.. but messenger and remote desktop works just fine! Ursulus
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  • TracyP
    Check the Windows Firewall - Exceptions. Make sure it is set to allow remote desktop connections.
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  • Chmiro
    Hi.
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  • Chmiro
    Hi. Try to add the user to the Remote Desktop Users on the local Workstation. Here you can add any user, local or domain. This should grant the user(-s) remotly access to the workstation.
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  • Davbrown
    A couple of things to remember: 1. All domain admins have the ability to use remote desktop if the checkbox is checked in System Properties however, if you are using an account that is not a domain admin account and you are using active directory you need to ensure that in the Remote control tab that you have checked the box that says "Enable remote control" after that is completed then you should add those users to the remote users group on that workstation. 2. If you are part of an Active Directory domain and can not add domain users on the workstation, provided that you are logged on as a domain administrator, then it is possible that you are having domain naming issues and that the account that you are logged in with is cached. 3. Another thing to consider is connecting to the workstations not only through the UNC but also through the IP address to ensure that you are not having any DNS issues. 4. Logging on as a local administrator on a workstation that is part of the domain will not allow you to add users because local admins do not have those privileges. You must be logged into the workstation through the domain with appropriate rights and privileges to do this. I hope this helps.
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  • Jspainhour
    If you are on a small LAN, VNC is probably your best bet for a simple, easy to setup (and free) screen viewer/sharer. You can even set it to run as a service so you can see/access the login prompt if you need to login as an admin, etc. for troubleshooting. The only downside we've seen to VNC is over a WAN the screen refresh is pretty bad, whereas Remote Desktop or Remote Assistance (both free, but requiring a bit more setup time) are quite usable on a T1/cable modem type connection. I've even done Remote Assistance to a person on dial-up through the internet, and while it's not fun, it can be done. The other thing to remember about Remote Desktop is that it locks the PCs screen when you use it, so you can't really walk someone through a problem they are having with it. For that, Remote Assistance is much better. And, you don't have to have Messenger to implement it. When the end-user is creating the remote assistance request, they can choose to send it via email or messenger. When you first connect, they have control and you are just watching, but you can click to ask for control, and the end-user has to allow it (very nice for their comfort level). The recommendations to use Software Update Services are good ones. You are basically saving your bandwidth to the internet by only downloading each update once, then your clients point at your "download server" to get them. More efficient, and allows for quicker updates across all your workstations.
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