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  • Windows 8 Start Button, Charms and Remote Desktop

    My last post talked about using RDP 8.0 for multiple monitor support. It reminded me of something useful when accessing Windows 8 and Windows 2012 Servers remotely.

    When you’re working remotely getting access to the start screen and the charms can be a bit “fiddly” especially over slower connections.

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    Start screen? No where to click!

     

     

     

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    Charms? Swipe?

     

     

     

     

    The solution is actually pretty simple.

    When connected you’ll have the blue bar at the top of the screen.

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    Clicking the arrow on the left hand side brings up a menu which gives you access to some of the newer Windows 8 and 2012 features.

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    Hopefully this prevent some start menu related rage. Smile

  • Windows 7 Remote Desktop and Multiple Monitors

    It’s safe to say I’m a multiple monitor fan. It’s a setup I’ve been using for a long time and I really notice the difference when I have to use a single screen. (I use three in the office and two at home)

    Working remotely though can have an impact on this.

    Up until the recently the only option for multiple monitors was span mode.

    From the run dialog enter:

    MSTSC /span

    When you connect, the screens you’re using are treated as one huge entity. It’s a subtle difference that still makes use of your extra screens but you lose some of the benefits you get when managing multiple windows. For example, if you maximise an application it fills both screens instead of just the one. Some of the nice Windows 7 features such as “snap” don’t work in the same way either.

    So because of this I was really interested in the “Use all my monitors for the remote session” option in the latest version of the Remote Desktop Connection client.

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    However, just ticking the box doesn’t seem to do anything.

    You can also use MSTSC /multimon if you’re so inclined.

    After a bit of digging it turns out that it’s reliant on the RDP 8.0 protocol which needs to be specifically turned on.

    To enable RDP 8 in Windows 7:

    Install updates KB2574819 and KB2592687 on the Windows 7 system you’ll be connecting to. If you’re connecting from Windows 7 machine install them there too. Windows 8 is good to go without any changes.

    Enable RDP 8 via group policy

    • “Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Remote Session Environment\Enable Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0” should be set to “Enabled”
    • “Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Remote Desktop Services\Remote Desktop Session Host\Connections\Select RDP Transport Protocols” should be set to “Use both UDP and TCP”

    All of this is explained in the depth along with how the span options works in this really good Remote Desktop Services MSDN post:

    Using Multiple Monitors in Remote Desktop Session

    What it neglects to mention is that you only get multiple monitor support if the Windows 7 machine you’re connecting to is running Windows 7 Ultimate or Windows 7 Enterprise..

    Detailed here

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    I wasted a couple of hours trying to figure out why it wasn’t working for me…

    However, I can report it works quite happily when you’re connecting to Windows 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 Pro (no Enterprise edition needed)

    This will be a big help to me when working remotely but I wanted to make a note of the Windows 7 version restriction somewhere as I’m pretty sure I’ll have forgotten this in a few weeks time, plus it may help someone else out.  

    Some other useful Remote Desktop and multiple monitors I found while looking into this are:

    Remote Desktop Connection 7 for Windows 7, Windows XP & Windows Vista

    Get the best RDP 8.0 experience when connecting to Windows 7: What you need to know

    Remote Desktop Multimon – Just Kidding!

    Enhancing Windows 8 for multiple monitors