So, here’s the problem. I’m in the UK and I want to send a 15MB file to someone in Australia. My Windows Live SkyDrive and Mesh accounts have 5MB limits (and there is no Mac client for Mesh for a point to point connection). I have an FTP server I can use but I need to create a new user account and I’m many miles away from the server. Of course, being Internet-facing, the FTP server is in a DMZ, so I’m careful about which services it is running but I can use a Remote Desktop Connection to connect to another computer and then use a second remote desktop session to access the FTP server from inside the firewall. At least, I should have been able to, if I’d enabled remote desktop… and I hadn’t.
I tried to connect to the registry remotely and enable Remote Desktop using the method that Daniel Petri describes but that failed:
Error connecting network registry
Unable to connect to ipaddress. Make sure you have permission to administer this computer.
I wasn’t sure what was preventing access to the remote registry (the target is a fully patched Windows Server 2003 R2 computer) but I needed another method of access. That method was a Microsoft SysInternals tool called psexec
which allowed me to bypass whatever security I was having trouble with and run commands on the remote server. First I edited the registry to allow Remote Desktop:
psexec \\ipaddress -u username -p password reg add "hklm\system\currentcontrolset\control\terminal server" /f /v fDenyTSConnections /t REG_DWORD /d 0
and was pleased to see that:
reg exited on ipaddress with error code 0.
Next I checked the value I’d just set:
psexec \\ipaddress -u username -p password reg query "hklm\system\currentcontrolset\control\terminal server"
Before I restarted the server:
psexec \\ipaddress -u username -p password shutdown -f -r -t 0
After this, I could RDP onto the console and make the changes that I needed.
If all the command line exercise is a little daunting, then it looks as though Phil Morgan’s RD Enable XP will also optionally call psexec
to do the same thing…