Rebooting a Windows XP Computer Using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP)

We are frequently involved in projects with small and medium sized organisations. Due to the size of these organisations often the network infrastructure available is limited as a result of smaller budgets than their larger competitors. One side effect of this reduced budget is that our clients sometimes need hardware and software to function in ways it is not exactly designed for.

One example of this is often not being able to afford the licence fee for Windows Server and instead to use Windows XP Professional or even Windows XP Home to run a central file, print or database server. Clearly this approach would not work for a Microsoft Active Directory Domain Controller but can be used for many other types of server and there are times where there is no other option.

There are two usability downsides to be aware of for remote administration when taking the decision to use Microsoft Windows XP instead of Windows Server.

The first is that Windows XP Professional when accessed through Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connections does not display a log off button or a reset option on the shutdown – the only option is to shut down the server which is not ideal and will mean that it won’t restart afterwards; this can be solved.

The simplest way to overcome the problem is to create a batch file to restart the server, to do this:

1. Open Notepad (or another text editor)

2. Type: shutdown -r -t 5

3. Save the file somewhere sensible (such as the desktop) with a name such as restart.bat, the important thing is it ends with the extension of .bat

To run the file just double click it, the switches in the shutdown command are:

-r = restart (instead of shutdown)

-t 5 = the amount of time to wait before restarting in seconds – in this case 5 secs.

The second issue is that terminal services functionality available to facilitate remote administration through tools such as RDP is only sufficient to allow one user to log on at a time. This can cause problems if you use it as a development server for example, but as a file store it is unlikely you want more than one or two administrators – with a small number they can manage the situation by phone calls.

Techita would advise wherever possible to use the version of operating system designed for the role you intend the server to perform, however when this is just not possible this tip may make the management that little bit simpler.

Dave Hodgson is a technical consultant by career and a website designer for fun. He has spent time working for large systems integrators, small consultancy firms and on individual freelance projects. The articles written by Dave are in the nature of tricks and tips he has learned through his career and interactions with clients.

How To Remove Dell Wallpaper From A Windows Server

While working on a client site recently with a brand new Dell Poweredge 2950 Server with Windows Server 2003 R2 pre-installed by Dell we came had a problem with one of the settings that comes with the pre-installation and interferes with the ease of connecting via RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol).

This setting causes the a picture of the Dell server to be displayed prior to the login prompt; the problem is that the file size is almost 2Mb and very graphic intensive, so it slows down the speed that the log in prompt loads, following the steps below will help remove this setting.

Before starting this work please ensure you understand the warning below fully:

Disclaimer: You use Registry Editor (regedit.exe) entirely at your own risk. Incorrect or accidental usage of regedit can cause serious problems that may be irreparable without reinstalling your operating system. We offer this information freely however all risk is with you and we offer no liability for any damage you cause; accidental or otherwise.

  1. Open a RDP or console session on the server (waiting for the image to load!)
  2. Log into the server
  3. Open Regedit on the RDP session (Start > Run > Regedit.exe).
  4. Select the HKEY_USERS.DEFAULT/Control Panel/Desktop section from the left hand menu. In the right hand pane for the entry with the name of Wallpaper. Our server was set to: C:/WINDOWS/system32/DELLWALL.BMP
  5. Double-click on the Wallpaper value.
  6. Delete the contents and click OK.
  7. Close Regedit.

Another option would be to change it to point at an image of your choice however it will slow the loading speed down so we don’t advise it. As always with registry edits great care should be taken not to alter any keys you are not 100% sure of what they do – doing so can cause serious and irreparable damage to your operating system.

Dave Hodgson is a technical consultant by career and a website designer for fun. He has spent time working for large systems integrators, small consultancy firms and on individual freelance projects. The articles written by Dave are in the nature of tricks and tips he has learned through his career and interactions with clients.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1192410