Remote Desktop to Vista Home

Posted on May 18th, 2008 in Hardware & Software,Software Development by andrija

It’s well known that only Vista Ultimate and Business have the Windows Remote Desktop server so that they can be remotely controlled.  Fair enough.  Just use VNC for a free alternative, right?

Wrong.  But of course.  You should have expected that from Vista, no?

Due to change in the security model, software like this does not work any more.  For example, the perennial favourite TightVNC only works in user mode and only after you jump through a bunch of hoops – and the solution is not permanent so you’ll need to fiddle with it every time you reboot.  Of course that is not acceptable for a software which purpose is to remotely access a computer.  There are supposedly some alternatives such as UltraVNC but that one is not free, at least not the version that works on Vista.

Well, turns out you can enable windows’ remote desktop itself on Vista versions other than two previously mentioned.  Go here.  There are multiple version around and the one most frequently found does not work after you install Service Pack 1.  I believe the software simply copies a different version of terminal services DLL file  – likely from version of Vista where remote desktop works.  Just be sure you really want this since installing it will enable remote control of your PC (duh) and it looks like you won’t be as aware of it as if you had the actual "full service" version of vista.  For example it might let you log in even if your Vista is set to automatically log in a particular user without typing a password – something my Vista Ultimate does not allow if one is to use Remote Desktop service.