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How To: Manage Windows Home Server 2011 From Any PC With Remote Desktop

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[box]The following How To Guide was submitted to WGS’ Tutorials section by forum user bobbycCheck out the Tutorial over at WGS Forums.[/box]

Ever wish you could sign on to your server’s desktop from your workstation or laptop? You can with Remote Desktop Connection (RDC).

RDC has been around for sometime, but has been primarily used by systems administrators to access their servers from their desk and avoid the long trip to the server room.

Now that servers are showing up in the home, it’s time to learn what system administrators have known for some time. You don’t need a monitor for every server and it’s easy! Let’s get started.

1. You will find RDC in the accessories folder in the start menu. Or, if you use Vista or Win7, click the Start button,  type remote desktop and enter.

2. If you do not see six tabs across the RDC wizard, click on the “Options” toggle at the bottom left corner. On the “General” tab, enter your server’s name in the computer field, your admin user name in the next field, check the Allow me to save credentials check box (if you don’t want to enter your password each time you remote desktop). Do NOT click Connect at this point, we still have more tabs to complete.

3. Select the Display tab. Choose the size and color depth of your desired Remote Desktop with the slider and drop down box, and check the check box at the bottom of the wizard.

4. Select the Experience tab. This will allow you to configure your RD experience.  Just remember that the more boxes you check, the more data that must be relayed via your network. So if you have a slow connection, reduce the number of checked boxes to improve your RD experience. Check the Reconnect check box, this allows your session to resume in the event it fails.

5. Select the Advanced tab. Choose the “Connect and don’t warn me” option from the Server Authentication section drop down box, this prevents annoying pop-ups.

6. Let’s Go back to the General tab and save our RDC profile. Click on the Save As button. Give your profile a meaningful name and click Save. This will bring you back to the RD connector. Now click on Connect. If you entered the correct server name and user credentials, you will soon be looking at your server’s desktop.

 

Now that you know how to log into your WHS remotely, please remember most administration tasks for Windows Home Server should be managed from the Dashboard, but if you need to get direct access to the desktop, now you can!

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Terry Walsh is the founder of We Got Served. He started the community in February 2007 with a mission to help families, tech enthusiasts everywhere figure out the technology needed to run the modern home and small business. He's the author of a number of guides to Windows, Windows Server and OS X Server and runs his own successful publishing business. Born and raised in Liverpool, England, Terry has been awarded Microsoft's prestigious Most Valuable Professional Award each year since 2008 for his work on We Got Served.
  • K_Rock

    When you type the server name, if you add “/admin” as in ServerName /admin this will load the rdp session onto the active console session (if one exists).

    Otherwise you will create a second login.

  • Merdzd

    I prefer live mesh no public ip need.

  • Wittgenfrog

    This also works if you are away from home. 

    All that’s required is to add the appropriate ports to your router to forward top your WHS and you can then login from almost anywhere!

    I’m not including the details here, as theyt are readily acessible and anyone who sets this up needs to be very confident about the security of their server.  However it might be worth an additional article….

  • Frustrated with WHS 2011

    I installed WHS 2011 on a freshly built server and continuously get the “The task you are trying to do can’t be completed because Remote Desktop Services is currently busy.  Please try again in a few minutes. Other users should still be able to log on.” anytime I try to use RDP with this machine.  Anyone else see this?  Can’t even logon locally when it starts this.  Waiting doesn’t seem to help.

  • Twaddle69

    As above just completed an upgrade from WHS v1 to WHS 2011 getting the same message “The task you are trying to do can’t be completed because Remote Desktop
    Services is currently busy.  Please try again in a few minutes. Other
    users should still be able to log on.”

    I’ve come across this http://social.microsoft.com/Forums/is/whs2011/thread/fed5fc88-3aff-425b-977f-c3dd3c119cdd but no resolution.  For the record I also have 8 Gb ram installed which may be a cause

    • Frustrated with WHS 2011

      Interesting, I have 12 GB in my machine.  Need to look at pulling 8 GB, getting it down to 4 GB and seeing how it works.  I don’t understand why Microsoft would put a memory limitation on a 64 bit OS.

  • Rjvc

    Great post.  Followed the step by step and it works like a charm.  Thanks.

  • I just felt the need to thank you for your forums and for this how to. I have had my server for almost a year now and have been terrified to remote in since I knew nothing of it. Being extremely unfamiliar with Servers you made this simple even for me. Thank You. Your forums rock as well with all the support I get from there I feel I owe you a donation or something.

  • ivada

    I’m trying to access my WHS using remote desktop but I just get the initial blue screen with WHS on it, no login box or anything. What am I doing wrong?

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