Auto-start, terminal-like login for windows 2000 pro workstation

Posted on 2004-11-17
Last Modified: 2012-08-14
Is there a way to make a Domain user login execute just like a terminal services login?

I want userX to login to a workstation but instead of getting the desktop, I want windows
to auto-start an application and not load the desktop.

Anyone knows how to do this?
Question by:Lazypete
    LVL 4

    Accepted Solution

    To do something like that you would need to install some third party systems like Citrix.  Citrix has the ability to launch a remote application from anywhere using either an installed client or from a web browser.  You can also launch the application immediatly after logon.

    As for not getting a desktop.  There are terminal devices out there that do not run windows and are used only for connecting to terminal servers.  They can be configured to connect to a published application.  Unfortunatley they cost around $500 bucks which is the cost of a basic Dell system.

    To go this route is expensive and you have to learn a lot of new technology...

    Is there a reason you do not want a user to get a desktop?  Are you trying to prevent them from accessing something?

    Perhaps there is another way to come up with a solution for you.  Let us know more details on what you are trying to accomplish and why.

    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    The reason I don`t want the desktop is that this station is used for a particular purpose.
    And is, in some way a public workstation, I don`t want anyone to start browsing the
    web from this workstation.  This workstation must be used solely for its indended purpose
    which is in fact acces an application from a Terminal Server.

    So.. I want this workstation, just after login, to start the terminal server connection and
    logout if you close the terminal services window or end it.
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Here is another idea.  When windows starts it loads what is called the shell.  The shell that most of us get is Explorer.exe.  This alows us to have a desktop and do all of the normal things.

    You can change the shell that starts up automatically.  To do this you change the following key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\WinLogon\Shell

    If you changed this key to be mstsc.exe (the microsoft RDP client) then the Remote Desktop Client would load automatically instead of the Explorer shell.

    You would then connect as normal to your terminal server.  If you want to connect directly to an application check the following:
    Single-Application Sharing with Terminal Server;en-us;186608

    I know it says NT 4 but the commands and theroies are all the same.  You could use this to directly connect to an application.

    Let me know,

    LVL 1

    Author Comment

    Just to let you know that I checked your comment, seems promising.
    One thing tho.. this would change the shell for all user connecting to this workstation.
    Even Administrator...
    This is not a big drawback but..

    Anyway, I'll try this asap
    And give you a feedback
    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    You can always edit the registry again later by connecting to it from another machine.  Open regedit click file and connect to the machine to change it back.

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