Remote Desktop, it’s better than ever

Remote desktop is something that we’ve all used.  It’s easy to find, right there under Programs > Accessories.  But there is so much more that you can do than simply connect to a remote session with it.  If you start the program manually from the run line by running “mstsc.exe” with some switches you can do some great things.

If you add the /console switch you will be connected to the actual console of the server, not the virtual session.  This is very useful if you need to interact with a service which is running with the “Allow service to interact with desktop” option enabled.  It allow may allow you to log in if both virtual sessions are already taken by someone else.  Do keep in mind that if someone is using the physical console (ie. the actual keyboard and mouse) then you will kick them off of the machine when you log in.

If you add the /span switch your remote session will span multiple monitors.  This is very useful for people who use more than one monitor at the office (I’ve got two 20″ wide screens and it’s great to have all the desktop space for my servers as well as my workstation).

If you add the /f switch your session will be started in full screen mode.  This is handy if you usually use it in a window, but want a one time full screen connection.

If you add the /v switch you can specify on the command line which server you want to connect to.  This is very handy if you have changed the port number that the Remote Desktop service listens on for security reasons as you can also specify the port to connect to.

What a connection window of a specific size that isn’t available by dragging the slider back and forth within the GUI?  Then the /w and /h switches are perfect for you.  You can setup the window to be any size that you’d like.

I know that I use Remote Desktop everyday and these switches have made things easier and faster for me.



2 Responses

  1. Any command switches for the shutdown? shutdown -i opens the interface, but I want to input parameters in the command line without using the UI

  2. There are tons of switches for the shutdown command.

    /l (lower case L) logs the user off
    /s shuts down the computer
    /r reboots the computer
    /g reboots the computer and restarts any registered apps
    /a aborts a scheduled shutdown or reboot
    /p shutdown the machine with no timeout or warning
    /h hibernate the machine
    /e document the reason for the shutdown
    /m specifies the machine to work with
    /t set the timeout of the shutdown or restart
    /c command on the reason for the restart or shutdown
    /f force running apps to quit
    /d provide a reason for the shutdown

    Lots more information can be found about these switches by running shutdown /? from a command prompt.

    (These switches are from the Windows Vista version of the shutdown command. Older versions have less/different switches.)

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