Buy Admin RDP: We are frequently involved in projects with small and medium sized organizations. Due to the size of these organizations often the network infrastructure available is limited as a result of smaller budgets than their larger competitors. One side effect of this reduce budget is that our clients sometimes need hardware and software to function in ways it is not exactly design for.
One example of this is often not being able to afford the license 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 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 access 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 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.