Enable Terminal Server on a remote machine

Date June 25, 2009

Well, sort of.

This is an old howto that I apparently missed. I really know so little about Windows administration that finding gems like this makes me really excited :-)

Anyway, it's possible to connect to a remote machine's registry, alter the data in it, then remotely reboot the machine so that it can come back up with the server running. That's pretty smooth!

Here are the details.

I know I'm missing tons more stuff like this. What are your favorites?

  • James

    1) Don't forget to turn off the firewall or otherwise permit inbound connections on TCP port 3389.

    2) Ensure that there is no power setting that is going to leave the PC in standby mode when you want to RDP into the PC six hours later.

  • Anonymous

    Bad url link in you post.

  • Matt

    @Anonymous

    Thanks for the tip, but I'm not seeing it. At least, I'm able to get to the O'Reilly site I linked to. What happens when you click on it?

  • James

    Forgot...

    3) Under the right conditions, Gencontrol can get RDP enabled without having to reboot the PC.

  • Les

    A long time ago when I did Windows Admin (Win2k mostly) I would use the Registry to enable Telnet w/ntlm auth then use "Computer Management" to connect to remote server to start the Telnet and/or RDP service.
    This can all be done via WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation)

  • Jordan Sissel

    Take a look at winexe, it is a handy tool for poking windows boxes from Linux if you need.

  • MAS

    I can't imagin how to administer a win box wihtout logon remotly. :)

  • Chris Wilson

    A very useful tool is the WMI Object Browser (its part of the MS WMI Studio). You can use it to make system changes via WMI (e.g stop-start-delete-add services, inspect detailed system info etc..)

  • Craig March

    If your on the same domain as the Window PC you can remotely deploy UltraVNC (or WinVNC) using psexec and a registry file.

    I wrote a script that does for me and find it incredibly useful.

  • Sam Powers

    If you have a windows domain, the STRCM tool (http://www.systemtools.com/strcm/index.html) is extremely useful.

    The idea is that you have a config file that tells strcm to connect to the remote windows computer and it pretty much does a remote installation of vnc or any other software, and then follows up by making a connection using vnc or any other software.

    So we don't leave vnc server installed on all of our computers all the time, we use strcm to add,view,remove on-demand -- just put in the hostname or ip address and away it goes, as long as the machine is joined to the domain.

    This is actually an open source component of the commercial program called Hyena, which I can also recommend.

  • Matt

    @Everyone

    Thanks very much for these great suggestions. I'm going to be checking these out throughout the coming weeks. I really appreciate all the feedback!

    @Sam

    Wow, that's a very cool tool. I'm surprised that's not used more. I'll definitely be looking into that, thanks!