Multiple RDP sessions in Vista

7 11 2008

Hello there, all.

This time it’s short and sweet: Logging into Vista using Remote Desktop (RDP) without kicking the active user off of the machine.

This also means you can log into the machine multiple times with the same account, with multiple RDP sessions.

http://mjwii.com/prog/termsrv.zip

This zip file is composed of various files put together by the good citizens at http://www.greenbutton.com , who fixed this to work with Vista Home Premium, Business, and Ultimate editions, x86 (32-bit) and x64 (64-bit) versions, with or without Service Pack 1.

Installation requires  NO restart.  It’s just a batch file that automates the following process:  

  • Kills the svhost service, to allow some funny business with a system dll (which will be back’d up, of course).
  • Disables RDP entirely.
  • Backs up the %SystemRoot%\System32\termsrv.dll file to *.bak
  • Replaces the dll with an old Release Candidate version which supported multiple RDP logins concurrent with the active local login.
  • Imports a registry key which simply flags Terminal Services that multiple logins are acceptable.
  • Makes sure that blank passwords are not an acceptable login criteria.
  • Makes sure that the Windows Firewall has the right exceptions to let RDP requests through.
  • Starts Terminal Services back up.
  • Makes sure Terminal Services is listening on the right port (3389)

And there you have it.  To test this, I was running Windows Vista Buisiness Edition 32-bit in VMware.  From my native operating system (Ubuntu 7.10), I used the pre-installed “Terminal Server Client” program to log into my VirtualMachine of Vista, and performed operations on both the VMware console (my “local” login), and in the RDP program.  It worked flawlessly, and I had the little thing set up in one minute, tops.

Happy RDP’ing from multiple locations with multiple users or the same user, without bumping the local login into the Windows’s “Locked” screen.

PS- There’s an XP version of this floating around greenbutton.com as well.  Upon finding it, I began looking for the Vista version.  Just google it and I’m sure you’ll find it within moments.

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