Sunday, January 10, 2010

A Valca Oops! How to REALLY enable (hack) Windows 7 Home Premium to run Remote Desktop Connection as a Host

reposted and re-edited here for clarity and blog-time continuum harmony.

I get it now “Kevin” if you are still reading this blog "  ;-)

Gentle readers…it has come to my attention via the comments that the post title and content in the following (and now updated) Grand Stream Dreams post…

  • Run Windows Remote Desktop Connection on Win7 “Home” editions – Updated - Grand Stream Dreams

…might be a “bit” misleading.  That was not my intention, but after careful and objective reading of the post now, I clearly find that was the case.

To that end I want to make some important clarifications. 

Then, if you want to carry the Windows 7 RDC “client” binaries on your USB stick for whatever clever reason you need them for, please go on and read that post.

1)  My original desire in that post was twofold:

a) Run Windows RDC from my Windows 7 Home Premium laptop to control my desktop “faux-server” Windows 7 system (currently running Win7 Ultimate RC1), and

b) Be able to use the final Win7 RDC binaries at work on my XP Pro system to RD some XP Pro systems.


If that sounds like what you are interested in doing (and/or what the post title and/or Google led you here for)…then read these bits if you are curious and then hop over to that previous post

If not and you really do want to set up (hack/patch) your Windows 7 Home Premium to run RDC with a “host-mode” service not natively supported by Microsoft in that version, then keep reading down to item #5 below before deciding to stay or leave this post…you might be rewarded for doing so.

2) The original nomenclature I had used previously to refer to “host” and “client” in RDC was incorrect (or at least, muddled).  Here is the “official” definitions per Microsoft;  “Remote Desktop Connection is a technology that allows you to sit at a computer (sometimes called the client computer) and connect to a remote computer (sometimes called the host computer) in a different location.”  So the PC you are working at that you are initiating the RDC session from is the client end and the one you are actually remote-controlling is the host end. M’kay?

3) As the table below shows (but is a bit misleading without the above information) ALL versions of Windows 7 allow you to run the Windows 7 RDC client natively. That’s why (as some commenters pointed out) the binaries I noted are actually present on all the Win7 systems.  So following the earlier post instructions really are not necessary UNLESS you want to run the Windows 7 RDC client binaries from a non-Win7 system (XP/Vista/Server) and do so from a USB stick (unless you then offload them to that system locally).


creator unknown original image here.  Comment please and I will give credit

4) Based on #3 above, you just don’t need to do the solution (patch/hack) in this post UNLESS you mean to say you want to run Windows Remote Desktop on Windows 7 Home Premium as the HOST.  Then without following the steps in this post, you would be completely helpless (at least as far as using the specific tool Microsoft RDC) per the official Microsoft product description for Win 7 RDC: “You can connect to computers running Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, or Windows 7 Enterprise. You can't use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to computers running Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, or Windows 7 Home Premium.” 

Only you actually “can” with Windows 7 Home Premium (x32 or x64).

If that is what you came here looking for…continue on to see item 5 below.

5) To REALLY run Windows RDC in “host-mode” on a Windows 7 Home Premium system  you will need to perform the following steps.

Last course-correction warning: If all you want to do is just remote control another system to help a friend or mate or distant relative out, please look to the very end of this post as there are some great freeware solutions to do so without any mucking around and hacking/patching of Windows System 32 files that this requires (and brings with it possible heartbreak and system-break).

The Patch/Hack to enable Windows 7 Home Premium to run Windows Remote Desktop Connection as a HOST service

  • Note: ONLY do this if you understand what you are doing, what the consequences are, and will accept and adopt as your own blood any security issues or system-stability consequences that might arise if you decide to do this!  Pet hamsters might escape their cages. You might Black or Blue Screen of Death your Windows 7 Home Premium system that works just fine right now.  Seriously.  This really shouldn’t even be considered by anyone except advanced or professional Windows users and administrators.  Seriously. I mean it.  M’kay?  Still want to do it? Fine.  Keep reading then. I warned you that here be dragons and you just wouldn’t listen…

  • Probably want to start by manually making a System Restore Point. .

  • On the Windows 7 Home Premium system, go to Start --> Control Panel –> System.

  • From that window, check the sidebar and find and select “Remote settings” on the left-hand side sidebar.

  • In the “System Properties” window select the “Remote” tab.

  • Check (enable) the “Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer.”

  • Select “Apply” and “OK”.  Then close all the windows out.

  • Go to this page: How to enable Remote Desktop in Windows 7 Home Premium over at the Tenniswood Blog and follow the link to download the zip file. .

  • Unpack the zip file “”. .

  • Open up the unpacked folder and find the install.cmd file and run it as “administrator” .

  • (Note: On my Windows 7 Home Premium x32 bit laptop it worked fine out of the box. On my Win7 Home Premium x64 AMD system…it errored out as it said the termsrv.dll file didn’t exist.  A CLI search for the file did find it present (but cloaked by the OS) in C:\Windows\System32.  So I had to then disable UAC, reboot, re-run the install.cmd file as “administrator”.  It worked. I then reset UAC and rebooted….)


  • You will need to decide if you wish to allow “concurrent” (multiple) sessions (let a logged-on user work while you also work on it without force logging out the current user…I select “Y” myself,


  • and if you want to enable “blank” password for account login (not have to provide the password)…I select “N” for this.


  • Once done (and the process may take a while, particularly when it waits to listen to the service on port 3389) you will be directed to close the window out.  Then you are done!


  • Your Windows 7 Home Premium system should now be “patched” to run RCD as a HOST for incoming RDC sessions.

Observations:  This is a hack/patch/mod of a Windows OS file along with some other automagical system configurations that changes the code of the termsrv.dll file, adds the rdpclip.exe file to the system, starts the service, and adds Windows Firewall Rules.  It is completely unsupported by Microsoft.  Future Service Pack release and/or monthly OS security/updates might overwrite and/or break this whole house of cards.  I am a bit smart, but I am not a programmer and cannot certify that the documentation on file patching is all that goes on.  It might allow Martians to mind-control RDC your system.  I just don’t know.  As far as I can tell everything seems legit and quite effective, but your mileage may vary.

Also, if you are running a non Windows Firewall solution, you might need to do some more firewall rule tweaking to get the inbound RDC connection session past your firewall.  Can’t help you there….

Finally as mentioned in the second line of this post, I owe a GSD commenter to this post “Kevin” an apology.  Because my nomenclature was muddled up, I didn’t quite “get” the tipoff he was trying to pass to me on this very technique.  Kevin’s tip and information turned out to be MUCH more valuable (granted to a really small set of Windows Home Premium users) than I realized at the time…including myself!.  Great tip Kevin and a full hat tip to you, mate!

Patch/Hack Extras:

Freeware Solutions for Windows supported “Remote Control” Sessions (non RDC – based)

Probably most home users won’t need Windows Remote Desktop Connection nor will (or should) they muck around with this patch…no matter how effective, cool, or useful it might be.  Best left to advanced Windows users.

However, there are LOTS of easy to use and just/more than effective solutions to set up a remote-desktop control sessions between two windows machines.  Like when you want to help that friend or relative out who is stuck on their PC but you don’t want to drive across town in the dead of winter to do so…even for free beer or pizza.

Check these solutions out.

(Re)Listed in a particular order (to me).

Finally all recent Windows builds come with something most folks don’t know called “Remote Assistance” or “Easy Connect”.  It’s also pretty cool, free, and installed on all XP/Vista/Windows7 builds.

Sorry 'bout any confusion.

--Claus V.

No comments: