Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Enable Remote Desktop... Remotely!

Have you ever installed a new server, either locally in a server room or perhaps even in a datacenter far far away, and only later realized you forgot to enable Remote Desktop?? I hate it when that happens... So how can you enable Remote Desktop connections without having to get out of your chair and go to the console?

Use this simple registry modification to make it happen:
Disclaimer: Don't mess up your registry, or you will hose your server!!! This is a blog, not a support service, so if you follow my advice here you do so at your own risk!!! That being said....
  1. Make a remote network registry connection to the server you need to enable it on.
  2. Once connected, browse the remote machine's registry and find the following key: HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server
  3. In there, find the following value: fDenyTSConnections.
  4. Double click it to edit the value, and change the setting from 1 to 0.
  5. Disconnect from the remote registry and close regedit.
  6. You should now be able to successfully connect to the server in a Remote Desktop connection!
And with that simple change you can save the long walk into the server room, or the embarrassment of having to call someone at the remote location - again...

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