Enabling Remote Desktop access in XP Pro/Windows 2003 workgroup environment

In an XP Professional/Windows 2003 workgroup environment, Remote Desktop is installed by default.

But even after enabling it and "Allowing users to connect to this computer" is enabled, remote users are still not able to connect to the systems. In a domain enviroment it works fine. But to enable this in a workgroup enviornment requires a registry tweak.

Here's the process:

  1. Before editing the registry, make a registry backup.
  2. Click Start-Run.
  3. Type Regedit.
  4. Browse to HotKey Local Machine-Current Control Set -Control -Terminal Server.
  5. On the right-hand side, change the value of the key TSAdvertise from 0 to 1.
  6. Close the registry editor and restart the system.

Note: This process only applies to XP Pro and Windows 2003 systems. Remote Desktop software is installed in Windows 2000 Pro systems, which can access XP and Windows 2003 in a workgroup environment. But XP Pro and Windows 2003 systems can't access Windows 2000 Pro; it's technically not possible.

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This was first published in March 2007

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