How to Run Remote Desktop in Console Mode

mstsc /console

*How to Connect to the Console Session*
When you connect to the console session of a Windows Server 2003-based server, no other user should be logged on to the console session. Even if no one is logged on to the console, you are logged on just as if you were sitting at the physical console.

To connect from the remote Windows Server 2003-based computer, open a command prompt, and then type the following command:

_mstsc -v:servername /F -console_

where *mstsc* is the Remote Desktop connection executable file, *-v* indicates a server to connect to, */F* indicates full screen mode, and *-console* is the instruction to connect to the console session.

When you use this command, you open the Remote Desktop session, and when the logon is authenticated, you are connected to the console session that is running on the Windows Server 2003-based server. If a user is currently working on the console session at the computer, you receive the following error message:

The user domain\username is logged locally on to this computer. The user has been idled for number minutes. The desktop is unlocked. If you continue, this user's session will end and any unsaved data will be lost. Do you want to continue?The user of the current console session is then logged off, and you receive a message that states that the computer is currently locked and only an administrator can unlock it.

Note: If the console session user and the Terminal Services session user are the same, you can connect without any problems.

*How to Shadow the Console Session*
To shadow the console session, first open a Remote Desktop connection to the Windows Server 2003-based server from another computer. By default, the Windows Server 2003 Remote Desktop Connection utility is installed in all versions of Windows Server 2003. You can either use this or the Mstsc command-line utility that is described in the "How to Connect to the Console Session" section, but omit the -console switch. After you open this session, start a command prompt in the session and type the following command to start the shadow session to the console:

shadow 0

After you enter and send this command, you receive the following message:
Your session may appear frozen while the remote control approval is being negotiated. Please wait... In the console session on the server, you receive the following message:

domain\username is requesting to control your session remotely.

Do you accept the request?  If the user of the console session on the server clicks YES, you are automatically connected to the console session on the remote Windows Server 2003-based server. If the user on the server's console clicks NO or does not respond, you receive the following error message at the command prompt on the remote computer:

Remote control failed. Error code 7044

Error [7044]:The request to control another session remotely was denied. To disconnect the shadow session from the remote side, press CTRL + * (on the numeric keypad), and you are returned to the original session that you established to the Windows Server 2003-based server.

If you are logged on to the console of the server that is running Terminal Services, if you try to shadow another user's session from the console of the computer, you receive the following error message:

Your session may appear frozen while the remote control approval is being negotiated. Please wait...

Remote Control Failed. Error Code 7050.

Error [7050]:The requested session cannot be controlled remotely.

This may be because the session is disconnected or does not have a user logged on. Also, you cannot control a session remotely from the system console and you cannot remote control your own current session. If the Windows Server 2003-based server is not configured to permit remote control, you receive the following error message:

Remote control failed. Error code 7051

Error [7051]: The requested session is not configured to allow Remote Control.

To configure the Windows Server 2003-based server to permit remote control, follow these steps:

Open the Group Policy snap-in (Gpedit.msc).

In the left pane, under the Computer Configuration branch, expand the Administrative Templates branch.

Expand the Windows Components branch.

Click the Terminal Services folder.

In the right pane, double-click Sets rules for remote control of Terminal Services user sessions.

On the Setting tab, click Enabled.

In the Options box, click Full Control with users' permission, and then click OK.