Use MSTSC /Admin instead of MSTSC /Console

In a post last year I talked about connecting to the console of a server using remote desktop.  With Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, it will no longer be possible to connect directly to the "console" session, because there really won’t be such a thing.  Shijaz Abdulla does a great job of explaining this in his post titled "No more MSTSC.exe /CONSOLE".

You can also read about it via the Performance Team’s blog here.

To connect to NON-Windows 2008/Vista clients (like XP or 2003) via the console session, you should now use the /admin switch instead of /console. 

Shadowing Console Sessions with Remote Desktop

I use remote desktop all the time to connect to servers. One of my favorite features that I discovered some months back was the ability to connect directly to the console session of a server by using the mstsc … /console command line switch or the “connect to console:i:1” entry in an rdp file. This is great when you need to connect to the console of the server to access programs that are running there. However, there can still be only a single person logged into a console at a time so when you connect remotely, you kick of anybody that might have been currently signed in there.

Today when I was bouncing around the net, I found another cool feature that allows you to shadow another session. I am sure all of this is old news to Citrix or App mode Terminal Services admins, but my limited experience with Terminal Services in the past makes this a gem of a discovery.

Basically shadowing a session allows you to watch via remote desktop what the user of the session is doing. You can shadow the console session itself by using the “shadow 0” (that is a zero) command line in another remote session.

Microsoft has a KB article that describes how to do all of this at:

Cool stuff!