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Differences between logging on through Remote Desktop and logging on locally

Posted on 2009-05-13
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
Would love to know this especially relating to program and network security.

Here's the situation: I am troubleshooting a laptop (XP Pro SP3) that has a program that connects to a server on the Internet via http to exchange information. The program works when connected to the laptop via Remote Desktop but does not work when logged on at the console. There is no other difference and this is really baffling me!


If people want to take a stab at the specifics I can post more information but here's a short list of some things I've already done: Updated Windows; Installed IE7 (I know 8 is out), recreated user profile; disabled any AV and anti-malware, test on two different networks; and other things..

But I really don't know where to look next because I've never known something to work in RDC and not while logged on to the console.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Question by:Jeremy Weisinger
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11 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:flyingsky
ID: 24377722
when you say it does work, what exactly is the problem?
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Author Comment

by:Jeremy Weisinger
ID: 24377779
Well I didn't post the exact problem for fear of scaring people off. I'm really looking for a list of differences between RDP and the console but...... here's what I posted previously in another questions:

I'm working on a ThinkPad with an odd issue.
- XP Pro SP3 (latest patches)
- IE7
- .NET 1.1, 2.0, and 3.5 installed and patched

I was troubleshooting a program, PayAmerica Liberty (payroll application), not being able to connect to PayAmerica's server. It uses http to communicate.

Liberty is a 16-bit app that calls a program that runs on .NET 2.0 when it needs to communicate with the PayAmerica's server. Right now when you log on locally the program is unable to access the PayAmerica server. (there is a specific URL the program uses that we are able to browse to in IE regardless of logging on remotely or not) If I take over the session using RDP (without the user logging off so this is the same user, same session) I am then able to connect. Then going back the other way, if the user takes over the session locally they are then again not able to connect to the PayAmerica server using that program.

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Expert Comment

by:flyingsky
ID: 24377821
you use the same username to log in through RDP, right?
any log or something in that program that you can check why it cannot connect?
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by:Jeremy Weisinger
ID: 24377894
Unfortunately no. I've spent a few hours on the phone with PayAmerica and there is no logs that the program produces that will help.

What I really want to know is what is different between logging on through RDP and locally. What is it about Remote Desktop that make Symantec not let you install Backup Exec through Remote Desktop?
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Expert Comment

by:flyingsky
ID: 24378274
I am out of idea as there shouldn't be any difference if you log on as the same user.
can you try use gpresult to see if there's any difference between RDP and local?
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Author Comment

by:Jeremy Weisinger
ID: 24378464
I actually tried to get the rsop data and it gave me an error so that's another thing I'll need to look at. Maybe it's related.. maybe not. Anyways, I won't be working on it until Friday now so I can hem and haw until then.

Thanks for the input. Let me know if anything else comes to mind and I'll update the question as soon as I know more.
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 24378474
1) What versionof RDP clients ?
2) Are you usig the /admin or /console via RDP ?

if not, RDP creates a new session ( virtual desktop ), and not the logged in session, so that is the main difference.

   
I hope this helps !
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LVL 18

Author Comment

by:Jeremy Weisinger
ID: 24378579
1) What versionof RDP clients ?I'm using 6 to connect (and that is also the version on the laptop but I guess that doesn't matter)

2) Are you usig the /admin or /console via RDP ?
No

if not, RDP creates a new session ( virtual desktop ), and not the logged in session, so that is the main difference.
Are you sure?!? This isn't a server, it's an XP workstation so it can only have one user logged in at a time. Also, I left the programs running and when I connect through RDP the programs are still up and it does not go through the logon process. But if it does end the console session and start another session somehow then documentation on that is probably what I'm looking for as I need to understand what's going on so I can troubleshoot this better.

Thanks!

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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:Kentrix70
ID: 24390875
When you connect through a RDP protocol some environment variables are added to your session.

%clientname% (name of the computer that is connected through RDP)
%sessionname% (name of the session to uniquely identify it in the Server Environment).

I have not tested this on a XP Workstation, but I think it should work the same way.
If it doesn't I am sorry.

To test it you can start -> run and type cmd (and hit enter).

Then type "set" and enter
You should be able to see all your environment variables.
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Expert Comment

by:Kentrix70
ID: 24633463
Have your problem been solved?
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Accepted Solution

by:
Jeremy Weisinger earned 0 total points
ID: 24645336
Sorry for not getting back earlier on this. I am aware of the session variable change however that doesn't seem to be a factor.

the other environment variables weren't a factor either. :-/ Unfortunately the computer started working in both the console and RDP sessions. So this one remains a mystery.
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