Supporting remote systems is much easier thanks to Windows XP's Remote Desktop application. The application's biggest benefit is that it provides access to a desktop as if you were sitting in front of the system. In addition to receiving the actual desktop GUI, you can access network shares and printers as if seated at the PC.
While remote users can request help using Windows XPís Remote Assistance feature, often administrators must update settings and make configuration changes to remote machines. Occasionally employees must work from home, too. Windows XPís Remote Desktop simplifies the process. Follow these steps to configure Windows Remote Desktop and administer systems remotely.
Connecting to a remote desktop is fairly straightforward, but a few elements must be in place first:
Remote Desktop is an optional Windows XP Professional service. To install it on a host system (to enable a computer to accept a remote connection request), Microsoft recommends you:
Non-Windows XP systems can also access Windows systems running Windows Remote Desktop. The local system used to access the remote computer must have the remote connectivity client software installed. To install the required Terminal Services components:
The older Windows system can now open the Remote Desktop Connection menu by clicking Start | Programs | Accessories | Communications | Remote Desktop Connection or by opening a command prompt and typing mstsc.
Before attempting a Remote Desktop session, ensure the host systemís Windows Firewall is set to enable the connection. Follow these steps to confirm the Windows Firewall is properly configured:
When working with other firewalls, itís usually best that port 3389 (and port 80) be opened to enable Terminal Services traffic (and the connection to the Remote Desktop application). This is especially true when attempting to connect to Small Business Server 2003 desktops.
To ensure a remote system is configured to support Remote Desktop, follow these steps:
Next, you need to specify which users can access the system remotely. To do so:
|Confirm a system is set to enable a Remote Desktop connection using the Control Panelís System appletís Remote tab.|
By default, any members of the Administrators group can connect to the system, even if theyíre not specifically authorized using the Remote Desktop Users window. Should you wish to remove a userís permission to log on remotely, highlight that userís name and click the Remove button.
Once those conditions are met, users and administrators should be able to access systems using Remote Desktop by:
Alternatively, one can:
The Remote Desktop Connection Screen will appear. By default, an abbreviated version displays, as shown in Figure B
|By default, a simple Remote Desktop Connection menu appears.|
To display more remote connectivity options and configure additional settings, click the Options button. Clicking the Options button reveals five tabs, from which additional settings are configured, as shown in Figure C
|Clicking Options reveals a host of additional Remote Desktop Connection settings.|
From the General tab, you can enter the IP address or fully qualified domain name (FQDN) of the computer you wish to connect to within the Computer field. If you use the default menu shown in Figure A the remote computer will prompt you for a username and password.
However, from the General tab, you can specify the username, password and domain in the appropriate fields and skip the logon process. Saving this information makes quick work of logging on to remote connections, such as those used often by employees wishing to connect to their office desktops from home.
The Display tab, shown in Figure D provides options for configuring the desktop size. Itís important to match the remote systemís desktop size to the local PC, otherwise the user may go crazy trying to navigate menus that can consistently reach beyond his or her monitorís range if configure incorrectly.
|The Display tab enables changing desktop size and color settings.|
Use the Local Resources tab, shown in Figure E to set sound, keyboard and local device options. For example, you can configure remote system events to generate sounds on the local PC (by selecting Bring To This Computer within the drop down box within the Remote Computer Sound section or automatically connect to remote printers, disk drives and even serial ports (by selecting the respective checkbox from within the Local Devices section).
|The Local Resources tab provides access to remote printers and disk drives and enables triggering system sounds, among other options.|
The Programs tab, shown in Figure F, permits users to trigger a specific program upon establishing the remote connection. To enable the feature, check the Start The Following Program On Connection box and specify the programís location using the provided fields.
|Use the Programs tab to start a specific program upon connecting to the remote system.|
The Experience tab, shown in Figure G makes it possible to configure the remote connectionís look and feel. For example, you can set the connection speed to maximize performance, apply the remote systemís theme and even display its desktop background. Or, to optimize performance, you can turn off menu and window animation, forego displaying the remote systemís desktop background, etc.
|Configure options on the Experience tab to optimize the remote connectionís network performance.|
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