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Remote Desktop Connection auto find open computer

Last response: in Networking
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October 10, 2011 8:46:35 PM

We are upgrading machines in our office and have to keep a few windows xp workstations around to access some of our old data. I'm going to put remote desktop connection on approximately 4 machines. Is there any way I could configure a way for someone to have an icon on their desktop which after they clicked would look to see if any of those 4 machines is available, and if so, to attempt connection to the open one? Our users will be doing a fair amount of going back and forth, so I don't want to have them need to manually attempt each workstation to find one that's available to connect to.

Thank you
October 11, 2011 2:11:25 PM

I'm not sure remote desktop is practical, as if the user supplies the correct credentials it will kick off any other user accessing the computer.
You might want to look into a Terminal Server.
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October 11, 2011 3:45:05 PM

I have read before that I can configure it not to log people off automatically and deny a session if someone is currently logged in. Is this incorrect?
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October 11, 2011 3:52:57 PM

You might be able to do this through group policy, although I still don't think this is the most effective way of doing things.
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October 11, 2011 4:06:48 PM

Since I don't know a whole lot, can you explain how I would do it better? I don't really know what a terminal server is. Would this be an extra server that exists outside of our regular server? The only OS es that our Legacy program that is requiring this mess will run on is WinXP or earlier. Don't know if this matters. Thank you for your help.
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October 11, 2011 4:16:06 PM

A terminal server would allow multiple users to login and work with the program. You would need a server, most likely server 2003, because this is comparable to XP. You would also have to make sure there are no issues with the software and terminal services. But this is the solution we use to allow our workers to work with lagacy software.

This just came to mind also, have you investigated XP mode in Windows 7 pro. It allows you to run Windows XP within Windows 7 Pro, and it comes for free. I think this might be an even better solution.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/fe...
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October 11, 2011 4:24:02 PM

Our old server is microsoft server 2003. Does terminal server come with it? Can I just go to some configuration screen and install it? If I can run it the same time that server is serving us our files, that would be great. This is a small company, so it's not getting hammered all the time.

I will try that xp mode as well. Hopefully that might work. I currently can run the program with windows virtual pc, but it doesn't work perfectly and there are errors sometimes in the course of using the program.
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Best solution

October 11, 2011 4:37:47 PM

Windows Server 2003 does come with terminal services however you need licenses for however many users will be accessing it.

The more I think about it, I think the XP mode in windows 7 is your easiest and best choice. XP mode is much better then virtual pc as it integrates into the OS. So you can actually have an icon to a program in XP mode on the desktop of Windows 7. This way the user never knows they are even in XP mode. I would strongly encourage you to look at this solution first.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/install-and...
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October 11, 2011 4:45:33 PM

Thanks Jantech I will try that out. I can't today as the only win 7 machine at work currently is a home edition one, but tommorow I will bring my pro laptop and see. Thank you for the idea!
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October 18, 2011 7:18:14 PM

Just wanted to tell you that xp mode worked great. It took a lot of messing around to get it to run properly and show a shortcut that looks natural to our users, but now that it is running it looks perfect. Users don't even know they're inside a virtual environment.

Thank you!
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October 18, 2011 7:18:26 PM

Best answer selected by MachoManRS.
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