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Remote Desktop: Can a faxserver program prevent access?

Posted on 2006-07-15
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
Hi anyone,

I access my office PC through a Watchguard VPN, (watchguard X5 router and mobile user VPN) and am able to remote desktop the server and also a desktop which I've set to allow RDP. One other PC which is allowed to RDP also, won't allow RDP. It runs 2 programs in continuous memory: a faxserver software program, and also another communications program that brings in lab results from the Internet.

Would I be right in saying that one of these two programs has a built-in protect to prevent RDP? The PC won't allow RDP...it lets me actually take my password, but then says RDP cannot be done....I forget the actual wording. I actually wanted to use RDP to see if the faxserver was running, say on a Sunday morning, because it sometimes crashes or gets hung up preventing further faxes until it is reset.....

Question by:rajabhat
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LVL 79

Expert Comment

ID: 17114930
Hard to say, but it is possible. If you have to log into the system to launch the application and then lock the system without logging out, then it must protect itself from allowing RDP connection. Assuming that it is XP, an RDP session automatically logs off the current user - or at least pops up a dialog so that the current user can allow the connection. Since nobody is there to acknowledge this popup, well . . .
LVL 77

Accepted Solution

Rob Williams earned 100 total points
ID: 17115454
Can you access with an RDP session from the local LAN? Just a thought, but the Windows firewall, if enabled, has scope options that define from what IP ranges you can access a machine, with RDP. Is it possible your MUVPN client is outside of that scope? To check, on the Windows firewall, under exceptions for Remote Desktop click edit, and scope options.

Author Comment

ID: 17115659
Hi there, lrmoore and RobWill, I'll drive down to the office Sunday and take a look-see. What we do is to log in to Windows network, and leave that log-in running continuously; faxserver has to run with someone logged in. I'll check out the Windows firewall settings that Rob suggested and write back...thanks!
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 17115739
>>"faxserver has to run with someone logged in"
If that is the case even if you can access with Remote desktop, you will not be able to make use of it as it will log out the current user.

Have you looked at Microsoft's Srvany and Instsrv, which allow you to run many applications as a service. This might help with your situation, as you would not have to logon, to have the fax server running as a service. This is not a solution for all applications, but worth investigating.

Author Comment

ID: 17116033
Hi Rob, I looked into the Windows firewall, and indeed under the Advanced tab, I was able to enter my username in the network as an allowed user plus clicked on RDP to allow Internet users to connect. Just now I was able to connect to the PC with faxserver running and I saw the program running. I logged off, reconnected and it was still running so my logging off did not crash it.
Super! Thanks much. I'll click on Accept and close this thread.....
LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 17116058
Thanks Raja.
If you logged on with the same UserName and password under which the fax server is running, you would not interrupt the session and log it off, as I suppose you are "re-connecting" to the existing session. However, if you log off I would think the fax program would "switch off". You might want to click the 'X' at the top of the RDP screen to disconnect rather than log off.

Author Comment

ID: 17117259
Good point, Rob, I always click on the x when I leave the RDP screen, so that the programs will continue to run as they are, and not terminate! I was actually wondering about this...if my nurse had been logged into the server and run the faxserver and I logged in by RDP, I guess that would automatically log her off, and close any program she was running, and log me in. On this occasion, I had previously logged into the PC with the same username that I used for RDP so I guess nothing got changed. I think I'll experiment one afternoon, with her logged in and see what happens....

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