You are checking the helpdesk and a new problem rolls in. You know the solution but you (the administrator) will need to login. You immediately remote into the machine only to see that the user is showing a presentation or actively using it.
A) Call the user and have them log off so that you can start fixing the problem. The problem will get fixed but the user is interrupted for 20 minutes.
B) Wait until later in the day and hope the user isn’t using their computer. The problem will get fixed at the end of the day but the user had to deal with it all day.
C) Use RDP and log into the computer. The user is able to continue the presentation. You are able to fix the problem in the background. Everybody is happy!
The answer is C!
“That’s wrong!”, you say! “Client OSs can’t have concurrent RDP sessions. When you try, you get an ugly message and the current logged in user is logged out!”
If Server can, the client can! All we have to do is trick it! How? Let’s find out!
Starting off, I am going to make two assumptions. One – you are an administrator of these remote machines. Two – you can already RDP into these machines when no user is logged on. If you aren’t sure or haven’t configured these settings, see this article on where to locate these settings.
Third Step: Download SysInternal PSTools. Copy PSEXEC.EXE from the download and paste it in the CRDP folder (under your local profile).
Last step! Create a batch file in the root of your profile named CRDP.bat. Paste these three lines into it:
xcopy “%USERPROFILE%\CRDP\*” \\%1\C$\Windows\Temp\CRDP\ /y
“%USERPROFILE%\CRDP\psexec.exe” \\%1 C:\Windows\Temp\CRDP\install.cmd multi
That’s it! Now, you can press Windows Key + R. Then type CRDP COMPUTERNAME
XCOPY will copy over all of the files and PSXEC will execute the script. After it has finished, you will be asked to login with your administrative account. Just to show you how awesome this is, take a look at these screenshots.
A Standard User Logged On
An Administrator Logged on at the Same Time (Notice the Task Manager).
Zoomed in Task Manager Showing User Sessions:
Pretty awesome right! Now you can work on a computer at the same time as a standard user!! There are some caveats to this method. First, it currently only works on Windows 7. I’ve seen some Windows 8 methods but they are quite shady. Second, Microsoft released an update to patch Remote Desktop Connection. This update (2984972) broke this tool. You can remove this update by running wusa /uninstall /quiet /norestart /kb:2984972 . A big thanks to TenNine for researching that problem!