Sysadmin Lab

My lab environment and my findings

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Admin On March - 27 - 2010

Update 14th June 2010: At last they made this tool public. Download it here.

You RDP to a bunch of machines daily and you're still using the good 'ol built-in Remote Desktop Connection mstsc.exe?

Get in the game and use Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan.exe) - the single most useful tool I got as an Microsoft Sysadmin. Build a tree of your machines (each for each environment, each customer etc). You can even save the username password - sure, security-wise not a good idea, but entering your username/password hundreds of times a week take time. At least, make sure to encrypt the configfile - BitLocker or TrueCrypt anyone, or get SmartCard logins for your sysadmins.

You can also configure the RDP sessions in the group and then let it inherit (or not...) to all the servers in the group.

So every morning I connect to my lab or get to work, I can do a right-click of a group and select Connect Group and it will connect to all machines and will show me desktop thumbnails.

Categories: Windows

20 Responses

  1. Gerald says:

    Any idea how to make it work in console mode for the remote desktop?

  2. CE says:

    I recently downloaded this tool and really like it, but I am having some difficulty. An application on several servers that my team manages requires that we specify the /admin switch when using mstsc.exe to establish an RDP session. Is it possible to specify this switch using RDCM? I've poked around through the help file and various configuration dialogs but have not yet figured it out.

  3. Admin says:

    No problem - Properties on the machine, Connection Settings tab and there you have it - "Connect to console"

  4. Andreas says:

    I think it's rather dangerous to be able to work with the miniature windows. I'd prefer to have an option to disable that feature.

    I would really love to see a hot key for session full screen. How about Ctrl+F?

  5. Scott says:

    Ctrl-Alt-Break will toggle full screen on and off for the active window.

  6. Hotkey to switch to/from ServerTree Panel says:

    Is there hotkey to switch to/from Server Tree Panel ?
    RDCMan is super but I miss this hotkey ...

  7. notsteve82 says:

    Thank you SOO much for this post! I have been dreaming of this tool for the past 7 years!!

  8. Piotr says:

    'connect to Console' works like an old '/console' switch and is ignored when connecting using new mstsc. Any idea how to force '/admin' switch?

  9. Admin says:

    Hmm.. As far as I can see if I select "Connect to console" it actually connects to Console on the server both on Windows 2003 and 2008 R2. Doesn't it work like that for you?

  10. Greesh says:

    When I use Remote Desktop Conenction Manager and within the Local resources setting Tab of the server properties if I select Drives, it does not shows the native desktop's C drive in the remote desktop session to any of my servers. But I use the normal mstsc.exe and select drives in the resource settign Tab, I am able to see my desktop's C drive in the remote sesiion to any of my servers.

    Is there any difference between these two products as what resources can be imported/mapped inside the remote desktop session.

  11. Admin says:

    Sorry - I have not seen this problem and as far as I know, Remote Desktop Connection Manager should be using the same mstsc.exe as if you were to run it manually. I know in other Remote Desktop Tools (such as Vision App) you also need to enable Clipboard redirection when adding Disk Drives. Have you done that?

  12. Greesh says:

    The Clipboard redirection is also enabled but still it does not imports the C: Drive of the native desktop. However it imports the D: Drive and other network drives which are mapped to the native desktop. The only issue I am facing is that the C: drive of the native desktop doesnot comes up in the RDP session to any of my servers.

  13. Michael says:

    Is there any way to use RDCM to view multiple sessions on a Server? I have lots of RDP sessions opened on a Server 2012 box and I would like to be able to view all of those sessions in small windows on the same screen, just like RDCM does. I have tried RDCM but so far I am only able to get it to view just a single RDP session for my server.

  14. Admin says:

    I'm not using RDCM at the moment so I'm unsure, but I guess you have multiple sessions with different users to each server? Have you tried creating multiple entries in RDCM, each with a different users specified to login and then simply connecting with each entry?

  15. Razvan says:

    hello is there anyone who knows how to fix this, please help me.
    thank you in advance.
    Here is the info from the crash:

    See the end of this message for details on invoking
    just-in-time (JIT) debugging instead of this dialog box.

    ************** Exception Text **************
    System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException (0x80070008): Not enough storage is available to process this command. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070008)
    at System.Windows.Forms.UnsafeNativeMethods.CoCreateInstance(Guid& clsid, Object punkOuter, Int32 context, Guid& iid)
    at System.Windows.Forms.AxHost.CreateWithoutLicense(Guid clsid)
    at System.Windows.Forms.AxHost.CreateWithLicense(String license, Guid clsid)
    at System.Windows.Forms.AxHost.CreateInstanceCore(Guid clsid)
    at System.Windows.Forms.AxHost.CreateInstance()
    at System.Windows.Forms.AxHost.GetOcxCreate()
    at System.Windows.Forms.AxHost.TransitionUpTo(Int32 state)
    at System.Windows.Forms.AxHost.CreateHandle()
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.CreateControl(Boolean fIgnoreVisible)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.CreateControl(Boolean fIgnoreVisible)
    at System.Windows.Forms.AxHost.EndInit()
    at RDCMan.RdpClient7..ctor(RdpClient parent, MainForm form)
    at RDCMan.RdpClient..ctor(MainForm form)
    at RDCMan.RdpClient.AllocClient(Server server, MainForm form)
    at RDCMan.Server.InitClient()
    at RDCMan.Server.ConnectAs(ILogonCredentials logonCredentials)
    at RDCMan.Server.Connect()
    at RDCMan.ServerTree.OnDoubleClick(EventArgs e)
    at System.Windows.Forms.TreeView.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.OnMessage(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.Control.ControlNativeWindow.WndProc(Message& m)
    at System.Windows.Forms.NativeWindow.Callback(IntPtr hWnd, Int32 msg, IntPtr wparam, IntPtr lparam)

    ************** Loaded Assemblies **************
    mscorlib
    Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
    Win32 Version:
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/Microsoft.NET/Framework/v2.0.50727/mscorlib.dll
    ----------------------------------------
    RDCMan
    Assembly Version: 2.2.2.426
    Win32 Version: 2.2.2.426
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Program%20Files%20(x86)/Remote%20Desktop%20Connection%20Manager/RDCMan.exe
    ----------------------------------------
    System
    Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
    Win32 Version:
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.dll
    ----------------------------------------
    System.Windows.Forms
    Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
    Win32 Version:
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Windows.Forms/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.Windows.Forms.dll
    ----------------------------------------
    System.Drawing
    Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.5467 (Win7SP1GDR.050727-5400)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Drawing/2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a/System.Drawing.dll
    ----------------------------------------
    System.Xml
    Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.5420 (Win7SP1.050727-5400)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Xml/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.Xml.dll
    ----------------------------------------
    System.Configuration
    Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.5420 (Win7SP1.050727-5400)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Configuration/2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a/System.Configuration.dll
    ----------------------------------------
    System.Deployment
    Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 2.0.50727.5420 (Win7SP1.050727-5400)
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System.Deployment/2.0.0.0__b03f5f7f11d50a3a/System.Deployment.dll
    ----------------------------------------
    AxMSTSCLib
    Assembly Version: 1.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 1.0.0.0
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Program%20Files%20(x86)/Remote%20Desktop%20Connection%20Manager/AxMSTSCLib.DLL
    ----------------------------------------
    MSTSCLib
    Assembly Version: 1.0.0.0
    Win32 Version: 1.0.0.0
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Program%20Files%20(x86)/Remote%20Desktop%20Connection%20Manager/MSTSCLib.DLL
    ----------------------------------------
    afvxqrqi
    Assembly Version: 2.0.0.0
    Win32 Version:
    CodeBase: file:///C:/Windows/assembly/GAC_MSIL/System/2.0.0.0__b77a5c561934e089/System.dll
    ----------------------------------------

    ************** JIT Debugging **************
    To enable just-in-time (JIT) debugging, the .config file for this
    application or computer (machine.config) must have the
    jitDebugging value set in the system.windows.forms section.
    The application must also be compiled with debugging
    enabled.

    For example:

    When JIT debugging is enabled, any unhandled exception
    will be sent to the JIT debugger registered on the computer
    rather than be handled by this dialog box.

  16. Vidushi says:

    Hi,
    I am using RDCMan for regression testing. I have to login to 15 HyperVs and run automation execution of more than 400 CodedUI test scripts. The only issue I am facing here is that script run fails with error that "Either window is minimized or locked" due to which run fails. Is there any resolution to this problem? I really wish to use this tool as it has made my work so much simpler.
    Please Help!
    Thanks in advance.

    -Vidushi

  17. Admin says:

    Sorry, I haven't tried what you're asking. Maybe you can evaluate one of the other products to see if those work better? Last couple of months I've been a fan of visionApp.

  18. Vidushi says:

    Actually I did surf many of these applications, but the simplest and easiest to understand was Remote Desktop Connection Manager. I will try visionApp as well.
    Thanks

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