how to start old computers with remote desktop

Hello Experts,

I have several old Windows XP Pro computers and I want the machine to have an auto login and then automatically start Remote Desktop so the user has only sees remoted desktop.

What are some of the best ways to do this?

Thanks
tucktechAsked:
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serchlopConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you have a domain in Active Directory, you can create a group policy and specified a program to run in place of normal desktop (explorer.exe)

This setting in the gpo is

User configuration
Administrative templates
system
policy
custom user interface
specify "mstsc.exe"

In this way when the user logon, He will see only the rdp client runing. If he close this program, the session will be closed. Therefore this setting could be applied to some users in an OU. Or you can use the setting in

Computer Configuration
Administrative Templates
System
Group Policy
User Group Policy loopback processing mode

 to apply this setting to some computers.

You can do this without a domain, but you have to edit the local policy in every computer.
Run mmc.exe and then add the snap in group policy object and select local computer. Look for the setting and config it. The only problem is that in this way the setting will apply to any user that log on the computer with this setting.
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Jaroslav MrazCTOCommented:
You can use combination of wakeup on lan and autologin

how to set autologin:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315231
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jeffiepooCommented:
Here is a very detailed, very thorough way to do it:

http://www.itfraternity.com/blogengine/page/Boot-to-a-Remote-Desktop.aspx

If you want to do it the easy way, just take a new build of windows XP (so you don't have to login - i.e. no password) and put a batch file on startup that has a command of some sort to start remote desktop and maximize the window. That seems like it would be the easiest way to do this.

Hope this helps,

-Jeff
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tucktechAuthor Commented:
Hello serchlop, I like the gpo method because I do use AD.  I am using server 2008.  I created an OU for a machine because it is not neccesary if I have a thin client or other new computer....  

When I went to Computer Configuration | Policies | Administrative Templates | System | Group Policy | User Group Policy lookback procesisng mode, I enabled it with "merge".

Do I still need to specify the user settings and then this will only apply with the hardware defined under the OU versus NOT being applied when I use a different system?

Thanks
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serchlopConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Yes, the setting you enable is to specified to the GPO that setting specified to user configuration should be enforced to computer configurations for computers that belong to  the OU. The second configuration is in reality the config that say that the rdp client should be executed in place of explorer.exe.

Here some infor about that setting.

Then you can use autologin as tucktech suggest for these computers that will only be used to rdp, to automatically log on and display the rpd client.

Try it in a test machine, by adding this machine to the OU where you config to apply GPO with these setting.
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tucktechConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
Ok, I am a little lost on Server 2008 I did not see "custom user interface"


User configuration
Administrative templates
system
policy
custom user interface
specify "mstsc.exe"
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tucktechConnect With a Mentor Author Commented:
I found it, it is under "System"
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tucktechAuthor Commented:
Works great, I will put some extra parameters with the mstsc.exe command.

Thanks!
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