How to enable Remote Desktop remotely

by Shijaz Abdulla on 03.05.2009 at 17:54

This article used to exist on www.shijaz.com before it was taken down in May 2009. Originally published in January 2008.

This article explains how you can enable Remote Desktop on a server that you do not have physical access to.

You’ve built new servers, updated them with the latest service pack, and even run Windows Update. Proud of the good job you done, you move upstairs to the comfort of your office to do the rest of the installation, away from the freezing server room. And then you suddenly realize that you did not enable Remote Desktop connections on your new server. Aw, now you need to go back all the way to your data center to enable RDP. The situation is even worse if you pre-configured the server without enabling RDP and shipped it to your branch location in Timbuktu!

Well, here’s the good news. You can actually enable remote desktop remotely. All you need to do is open up the registry of that server remotely, and make some changes and then initiate a remote restart of the server. Well, that’s the only downside – you normally don’t need a restart if you enable it physically.
1. On your Windows workstation, open Registry Editor (Start –> Run –> Regedit.exe –> OK)
2. On the File menu, choose Connect Network Registry.

Regedit1
3. Select the name of the computer that you want to enable RDP on. Make sure the logged in user has administrator rights on the remote server.

enable1

 

4. On the remote computer, Navigate to the key HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlTerminal Server. Find a value named fDenyTSConnection and change it to 0 (zero).

5. Restart the remote computer by typing the following command in the Command prompt of your workstation.

shutdown -m \myserver -r

where ‘myserver’ is the name of your server.

6. Wait for the server to restart and connect to it using Remote Desktop Connection (MSTSC) from your Windows PC.

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