Remote Desktop from XP Pro to WS2008 domain

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John Gray
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Remote Desktop from XP Pro to WS2008 domain

Post by John Gray »

I have solved a problem which has been annoying me intensely since we moved from WS2003 to WS2008 in mid-December.

Previously under WS2003, to Remote Desktop from my XP Pro PC at home to my XP Pro PC at work it was just a matter of cranking up the VPN and using Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection (MSTSC) with the pcname of my work PC as the parameter. It also worked using the IP address of the work PC (which incidentally is on a different subnet to my home subnet).

When we changed to Windows Server 2008, any attempt to Remote Desktop using the pc name failed with "Remote Desktop can't find the computer <pcname>...", and the only way to get it to work was to use the work PC's IP address, all jolly fine until DHCP assigns a different IP address on expiration of lease.

To cut a long story short, I tried a number of registry 'fixes' found via Google, but none of then worked.

Today I found that I have to specify pcname.domainname.local as the parameter - and it works!

Can one of the network experts tell me if that is the way it is supposed to work, or suggest what I should change in DNS to get the original pcname parameter to work - thanks!

In passing I note that the latest version of Remote Desktop/MSTSC.exe, v7.0, as present in Windows 7, can be installed on XP Pro SP3 (32-bit), and Vista SP1&2, 32-bit and 64-bit.
John Gray

Think how stupid the average person is, then realise that half of the population are stupider than that.

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StuartR
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Re: Remote Desktop from XP Pro to WS2008 domain

Post by StuartR »

John,

In your network settings you can specify suffixes to append to hostnames when you try to match them on a DNS lookup. Here is a screenshot from the Vista system where I am typing this message.

You just need to add domainname.local to this list.
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StuartR


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John Gray
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Re: Remote Desktop from XP Pro to WS2008 domain

Post by John Gray »

Ignorant question: this is on my local PC - but should I be changing the properties for the TCP/IP properties of the VPN connection, or those of my local LAN connection?

I've never needed to change this when connecting to my work domain when it was Windows Server 2003.
John Gray

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StuartR
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Re: Remote Desktop from XP Pro to WS2008 domain

Post by StuartR »

I would try changing this on the properties of the VPN connection.

I suspect that on your old configuration, the VPN connection was given ???.domain.local as a hostname by the DHCP server, but that this is no longer happening.
StuartR


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John Gray
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Re: Remote Desktop from XP Pro to WS2008 domain

Post by John Gray »

You may well be right - but while on the work LAN I can RDP to the servers or any other PC simply by putting in the pcname (without the domainname.local suffix).

DNS really seems to be a minefield of contradictions...
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StuartR
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Re: Remote Desktop from XP Pro to WS2008 domain

Post by StuartR »

John Gray wrote:...DNS really seems to be a minefield of contradictions...
I suspect that the problem is DHCP, not DNS.

Can you compare the output from ipconfig when you connect via the work LAN and when you connect via VPN, to see if there is a difference in the "Connection-specific DNS Suffix"

Edited by StuartR to add
I have sent you a PM with the output of ipconfig on my PC when I have a VPN connection to work, to show what I mean. I can't post it here as it identifies my employer and network details that are private.
StuartR