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How to Setup a Remote Desktop Web Connection with Windows Vista IIS 7.0

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Published: Monday, January 14, 2008

Recently we've decided to make the migration from Windows XP to Vista to take advantage of the great new management and development features of IIS 7.0 on the Ultimate edition. One particular feature that we've utilized in XP's IIS 6.0 is the Remote Desktop Web Connection. This feature allows you to host Remote Desktop sessions to allow any browser to make a Remote Connection via the Internet Explorer web browser. So in effect you can connect to any accessible PC remotely from a machine that does not offer Remote Desktop software services.

Remote Desktop Web Connection via Internet Explorer

Remote Desktop Server is only available on IIS enabled Windows Vista Business and Ultimate editions. Installing is a breeze and starts with enabling the IIS service. To enable IIS services simply:

  1. Go to the Control Panel and select Programs and Features
  2. In the left pane click Turn Windows features on or off
  3. Check and expand Internet Information Services and set the child parameters as shown in the image below, then click OK
Enabling IIS 7.0 on Windows Vista Ultimate or Business editions

Now that you have IIS services running you'll need to download and install the Remote Desktop Active X controls available in the Microsoft Download Center. Follow the steps of the tswebsetup.exe installation process. The default settings will install the Active X Remote Desktop controls to the TSWeb directory located in intepub\wwwroot\. Note: Windows Vista doesn't include the install files as Windows XP did.

To test, launch Internet Explorer (IE) and enter http://localhost/TSWeb and you should see the screen above. If not your troubleshooting should begin with the IIS configurations. If the hosting machine is accessible via the internet simply type your public IP address (ex. http://123.456.789/TSWeb) and you can now make a Remote Connection from any machine with IE via your Windows Vista Remote Desktop Server.

Live Remote Desktop Web Connection via Internet Explorer on an outside machine

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