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2011-12-06

A+: Remote Desktop use and configuration

Windows since XP Professional includes Remote Desktop, a feature that enables a user on that system to access the system remotely and use its desktop, programs, drives, printers, and other resources.

The Remote Desktop server program (a subset of Terminal Services) accepts remote logins, but you can also use other Windows versions as well for the Remote Desktop client. You can download the Remote Desktop client software from Microsoft’s website (www.microsoft.com); search for Remote Desktop Connection Software for current and older versions of Windows. The Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection Client for Mac 2, also available from the Microsoft website, enables MacOS-based systems to connect remotely to a Windows Vista or XP Pro system.

Ordinary Windows can handle only one remote connection at a time; if another user is currently logged on locally, he or she must log off to permit the remote connection.

Configuring Your Windows System to Accept Remote Client Connections

Windows since XP Pro automatically runs the Terminal Services service, which is required for Remote Desktop incoming connections. To accept remote connections, you must also:

    Step 1. Make sure the remote user has been added as a user for this computer and has a password. Use the User Accounts applet in Control Panel (Classic mode) to check this information.

    Step 2. Configure your firewall to permit connections via TCP port 3389. If you use Windows Firewall, selecting Remote Desktop on the Exceptions menu automatically opens this port. However, if you use a third-party firewall program or device, you might need to configure this setting manually. See your firewall documentation for details.

Step 3. Open the System properties sheet, click the Remote tab, and select the Allow Users to Connect Remotely to This Computer option in the Remote Desktop portion of the dialog

    Step 4. Click the Select Remote Users button to view the list of Remote Desktop Users. If the user you want to grant remote access to isn’t on the list, click Add. On the Select Users dialog, enter the name of the user, and click Check Names. If the name is on the list of users, the server name is added.

    Step 5. Repeat Step 4 until all remote user names are added. Click OK when finished.

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