Thursday, June 25, 2009

Enable remote desktop in Server Core

Remote Desktop Protocol is a fantastic way to manage Windows based machines. Even though Windows Server Core 2008 runs with a reduced GUI, there is still a GUI present so RDP is still the solution to use for remote management of your Server Core machine. To enable RDP access to the server, you will need to run these commands:
cscript C:\Windows\System32\Scregedit.wsf /ar 0
This will enable access for machines running an RDP client that supports the enhanced security mode that Microsoft debuted with Windows Vista. If you need to support older clients, use this command instead:
cscript C:\Windows\System32\Scregedit.wsf /cs 0
Now you need to open a port in the firewall to enable connections to get through. This is done by entering this command:
netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="Remote Desktop" new enable=yes
If you want to check the existing RDP settings, use this command:
cscript C:\Windows\System32\Scregedit.wsf /ar /v
If the output of that command is a one (1), RDP is not enabled. If the output is a zero (0), then it is enabled.

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