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Microsoft Remote Desktop on MAC OS X

Posted on 2010-09-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
Hi there.
I have a brand new 27" iMAC that I'm setting up to connect from my home office to my main office. I've been able to establish a VPN connection to the office and ping my Windows XP machine at the office. I'm trying to use Microsoft Remote Desktop to connect to my PC from the MAC and access programs and files. For some reason, Microsoft Remote Desktop for MAC won't connect to my PC. I can ping it using the Network Utility, but can't RDP into it. From my Windows XP machine at home, I can RDP into the servers without an issue. If I remember correctly, RDP uses Port 3389 on the PC side. Is that the same on the MAC as well? Any suggestions on things to try to get this RDP connection to work from MAC to PC?

Thanks,
J
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Question by:brownmetals
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by:Klinkeye
ID: 33744792
Have you enabled remote desktop on the PC? By default it is disabled...
Right click "My Computer" then "Properties"
Then "Remote Tab"
Then select "Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop"

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by:brownmetals
ID: 33744831
Yes, I forgot to mention I had already enabled Remote Desktop on the PC.
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by:Klinkeye
ID: 33744888
Ok... how about trying to test if the port is open:
telnet 192.168.0.1 3389

What is the output?
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Expert Comment

by:marook
ID: 33745082
Can you connect from another PC in the Office?

Alternativ, you could install TeamViewer and use that - no VPN required.
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Expert Comment

by:et01267
ID: 33745267
Have you made sure that the Windows Firewall on the PC has an exception for Remote Desktop?  

Similarly, if you are running the firewall on the Mac it is possibly blocking the port.

Finally, maybe your VPN software is not passing traffic on that port, but this is less likely.
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by:brownmetals
ID: 33745378
These are all great suggestions. The Windows PC firewall allows Remote Desktop, Remote Assistance, etc. The MAC firewall has not been turned on as of yet. I was waiting to get everything working prior to locking the machine down further. A pesron at the Apple Store suggested the use of Apple Remote Desktop. After reviewing that product, I'm not sure that's the answer yet. If I can't get MIcrosoft Remote Desktop to work, is it safe to assume that Apple Remote Desktop would not work either until we figure out the root cause of why RDP can't connect? I'm in the office today and my MAC is at home. I'll try these other suggestions when I return to the home office and let everyone know what I find.

Thanks,

J
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by:marook
ID: 33745542
Apple Remote Desktop is not a solution: It connects to Mac's via Apple's ARD ports. Although some of that is VNC, it will not help you here.

RDC for Mac should 'just work' if it's enabled and the ports are open(!)
Have you downloaded the latest version (2.0.1) from microsoft.com/mac ?

You are looking at either permissions of 'firewall' issues - use the suggestion from above, and telnet/portscan to see if the ports are open, and then doublecheck the RDC settings.
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by:et01267
ID: 33746057
Try CoRD.  http://cord.sourceforge.net/

Works for me.
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by:marook
ID: 33746309
@et01267: Cord is nice, but if the connection can't be established with MS' RDC client, the connection is not there!
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brownmetals earned 0 total points
ID: 33748288
Ok, I was able to get a hold of a MAC here in the office. I have the PC and the MAC sitting on the same network. I tried connecting using Remote Desktop and it failed again. I read the message in more detail this time and it states:

"This problem can occur if:

• The remote computer is running a version of Windows that is earlier than Windows Vista
• The remote computer is configured to support only the RDP security later."

I'm using XP as the remote computer. I went back and reviewed the documentation and, sure enough, RDP 1.0.3 is the version I should be using for Windows XP as a remote computer. I installed that version and it's working now. We're all set.

Thanks for everyone's input.

J
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