Lock XP RDP session if single login is available?

Posted on 2011-03-14
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Currently at work, we use RDP access to connect to some other LAN PCs with normal XP Pro installed on them. However, for any connection made to a single machine, there is only 1 login profile present, and all of us connect using it. The problem is that in doing so we sometimes disconnect other users while they may be doing something important, and this is very annoying for us.
I want to know if there is a way to prevent other users from connecting to a pc via RDP if the login session is already in use and either provide an alert to whether continue with login or deny access until the opened session is closed by the other user. Any app or tweak which can do something like this?
Question by:lordrt
LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 35128016
In XP, no way I'm aware of.  In Win7 (MAYBE Vista), yes - it's automatic.

As a workaround, you could install 3rd party remote control software and use that to check if someone is using the machine and if not, connect with RDP (for example, VNC or LogMeIn)

Author Comment

ID: 35128092
I've installed tightvnc on the machines, but still get disconnected if a normal RDP request is made. Any 3rd party apps u can suggest?

Author Comment

ID: 35128119
I missed this part, the single logins present on all the pcs give admin rights to the user even if we are using via rdp, so we can install/uninstall etc on those pcs.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 35128234
You sould consider installing a Terminal Server which would solve these problems.
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LVL 95

Accepted Solution

Lee W, MVP earned 250 total points
ID: 35128247
It's not clear to me WHY you are connecting... Are you IT support?  Are you running a specific app that's only licensed for one PC?

To me, it's simple - you cannot (using XP) do what you want.  I've never heard of a third party app that doesn't violate licensing that would permit this.  In XP, fast user switching (which allows multiple users to be logged on) does not work when connected to a domain - it DOES work in Win7 and Vista.

If it's merely to support your end-users, then I would NOT be using RDP for that... I would be using a remote control app like LogMeIn.  Further, for security purposes, EVERYONE should have their own logins, which can then be tracked more easily.

Assisted Solution

nettek0300 earned 250 total points
ID: 35129437
Have the users open a command line and type the following:

qwinsta /server:pcname

Replace pcname with the actual name of the PC they are connecting to.  That will tell you if anyone is signed on remotely.  

In addition, if you download psTools, there is a command called psloggedon that will tell you if someone is logged on to the PC (also done through the command line).  My experience has been that if you connect to an XP machine through RDP and connect using a different username, it will tell you if someone else is logged on.  If you connect using the same username, it does not because XP thinks you are the same person.

Author Comment

ID: 35135277
@leew: we have a specific software installed there which is not present on any other computers, thus the need to connect to that pc often

@nettek0300: will give it a try and get back

Author Comment

ID: 35135367
Well as a temporary measure we have assigned each user a login, but have been told to continue looking for a way to use single user login and lock the session when in use, as using multiple accounts so far does not prevent logging off another user, while they want to allow access only when the user himself closes his session.

Author Comment

ID: 35135374
As for the pstools, have not been able to run it properly, despite having read its help. It opens a command window and immediately closes it afterwards when running the exe. And where do I need to run the command psLoggedOn \\computername?? I tried in dos but does not recognize it

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