How do I access Remote Desktop On a Windows 2003 Server?
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Get started using Remote Desktop with Windows XP Professional

Updated: July 25, 2006

Imagine that you recently started a small business and are trying to build your client base—salespeople out on the road every day, working on getting new business. You don't want your salespeople to be left without documents they need while meeting with important clients. You can empower your employees to have important data at their fingertips, at all times.

Remote Desktop, included with Windows XP Professional, enables you to connect to your computer across the Internet from virtually any computer, Pocket PC, or Smartphone. Once connected, Remote Desktop gives you mouse and keyboard control over your computer while showing you everything that's happening on the screen. With Remote Desktop, you can leave your computer at the office without losing access to your files, applications, and e-mail. Your sales force will be able to access the latest pricing sheet from on the road by using Remote Desktop in Windows XP Professional.

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To use Remote Desktop To use Remote Desktop
Connect your remote computer to the host computer Connect your remote computer to the host computer

To use Remote Desktop

With Remote Desktop, you can connect to your work computer from home and access all of your programs, files, and network resources as though you were actually sitting in front of your computer at work.

You need three things to create a remote location:


Microsoft Windows XP Professional must be installed on the computer containing the files and programs that you want to access from a remote computer. The computer must also be part of a corporate network in which Remote Desktop connections are permitted. This computer is known as the host.


The remote computer must be running Windows 95 or later. This computer must also have the Remote Desktop Connection client software installed. The remote computer is known as the client.


Both computers must be connected to the Internet through a VPN connection.

Note: If you're not connecting to the host computer through a VPN, you'll need to use the actual IP address of the host computer instead of the computer name.

To set up the Remote Desktop, start with the host computer, which in this example is your work computer.


Verify that you are signed in as the administrator.


Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Performance and Maintenance.


Click System.


Click the Remote tab, select the Allow users to connect remotely to this computer check box, and then click OK.

Next, make sure you have Windows Firewall set up to allow exceptions.


In the Control Panel, click Security Center.


Under Manage security settings for, click Windows Firewall.


Make sure the Don't allow exceptions check box is not selected.


Click the Exceptions tab, and verify that the Remote Desktop check box is selected.


Click OK, and then close the Windows Security Center window.
Your host computer is now set up to allow remote access.

You will need the name of the host computer.


In Control Panel, click Performance and Maintenance, click System, and then click the Computer Name tab.


Write down the full computer name, and then click OK.


Close Control Panel.


Leave this computer running, locked, and connected to the corporate network with Internet access.

Connect your remote computer to the host computer

To connect your home computer, which is the client (or remote) computer to your work (or host) computer, follow these steps:


On your home computer, click Start, point to All Programs, and then point to Accessories.


In the Accessories menu, point to Communications, and then click Remote Desktop Connection.


In the Computer box, type the computer name of your host computer, which you wrote down earlier.


Click Connect.


When the Log On to Windows dialog box appears, type your user name, password, and domain (if required), and then click OK.

The Remote Desktop window opens, and you see the desktop settings, files, and programs that are on your host computer, which in this example is your work computer. Your host computer remains locked, and nobody can access it without a password. In addition, no one will be able to see the work you are doing remotely.

To end your Remote Desktop session:


Click Start, and then click Log Off at the bottom of the Start menu.


When prompted, click Log Off.

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