MSTSC – Windows CMD Command
Connect and login to a remote machine using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) also known as Terminal Server Connection (TSC).
MSTSC /Edit "ConnectionFile"
ConnectionFile The name of an RDP file for connection
/v:<server[:port]> The remote computer to connect to
/console Connect to the console of a server (NT/XP)
/Admin Connect to a session for administering the server(Vista/2008)
/f Start in Full Screen mode
/w:width Width of the RDP screen
/h:height Height of the RDP screen
/span Match the Remote Desktop width and height with the local virtual
desktop, spanning across multiple monitors if necessary.(Vista/2008)
/public Run Remote Desktop in public mode. (Vista/2008)
In public mode, passwords and bitmaps are not cached.
/edit Open the RDP file for editing.
/migrate Convert a legacy Client connection file into an .RDP file
To connect to a remote computer the user account must be a member of the local group ‘Remote Desktop users’ on the remote server (either directly or inherited via a global group) in addition the user account needs the privilege SeRemoteInteractiveLogonRight (allow logon through RDP/Terminal Services.)
The command CMDKEY can be used to setup/save the password credentials used by Remote Desktop.
Shortcut keys that can be used when connected to a Remote Desktop:
|Windows Shortcut||Remote Desktop||Description|
|Ctrl+ALT+Del||Ctrl+ALT+END||Bring up the Windows Security dialog box.|
|ALT+TAB||ALT+Page Up||Switch between programs from left to right.|
|ALT+Shift+TAB||ALT+Page Down||Switch between programs from right to left.|
|ALT+INSERT||Switch between programs in the order they were started.|
|Ctrl+Esc||ALT+HOME||Display the Start menu.|
|n/a||Ctrl+ALT+BREAK||Switch the client between full-screen mode and window mode.|
|ALT+Space Bar||ALT+Delete||Displays the remote window’s Control menu|
|ALT+Print Screen||Ctrl+ALT+NumPad MINUS||Place an image of active window onto the Terminal Services clipboard.|
|Print Screen||Ctrl+ALT+NumPad PLUS||Place an image of the entire TS client on the Terminal Services clipboard.|
This is almost the same as pressing ALT+Print Screen to capute the window locally but removes the Windows chrome and so shows more of the remote window.
If the RDP shortcut keys don’t work – this is dependent on your RDP options/settings.
The window may need to be a full screen to accept shortcut keys.
All the RDP connection settings can be saved to a .rdp file, which you can then run from a shortcut:
The default settings are saved in default.rdp, you can also edit the .rdp file, the settings while scarcely documented all in plain text.
MSTSC /v:MyServer /f /console
MSTSC /v:127.0.0.1 /w:1024 /h:768
MSTSC /v:MyServer /w:800 /h:600
MSTSC /edit filename.rdp
Error: “Your credentials did not work”
This error can have several causes:
If using a domain account, prefix with the domain name: f4tdom\userf4t
If the account is a non-administrator, you may need to grant login rights as described above.
If the password contains any special characters: $,/,\, Tabs, etc then copy and paste of the password to an RDP session may not work.
Specific problems: copy/paste will convert TABs into spaces and double $$’s are removed (e.g. Pa$$word1)