A Portable Remote Desktop Connection (mstsc.exe)

I ran across Claus’s link to the makeuseof.com article that shows how to run Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection program as a portable application from a USB drive.

This lead me to think about how this could be of value in my environment.  I frequently hop from server to server using Microsoft’s Terminal Services client, mstsc.exe, which is built into Windows XP, Windows 2003 and newer operating systems.

My Windows 2000 servers can be accessed though RDP, but since do not have the updated client on them, I had not been able to run mstsc from the Windows 2000 server itself.
The makeuseof.com article lists four files that need to be copied in order to run Remote Desktop from a USB drive:  mstsc.exe and mstscax.dll, plus mstsc.exe.mui and mstscax.dll.mui.
I copied the first two files from my Windows XP SP2 machine up to my Windows 2000 server.  The second two .mui files did not exist on my Windows XP machine, probably due to the version of the OS I am running.
Once the files were copied up to my server I double clicked mstsc.exe, and was able to use the Windows 2000 server as a Terminal Services Client.  This will allow me to break my reliance on VNC and Terminals as Remote Desktop Clients on older OSs.

5 Responses to “A Portable Remote Desktop Connection (mstsc.exe)”

  1. Andrew Says:

    Why didn’t you just install the RDP Client on Windows 2000?

  2. Mark Wilson Says:

    Hi Julie – thanks for blogging this – it’s just helped me to administer another computer from a Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 machine 🙂


  3. Mark Wilson Says:

    Julie, one of my colleagues found that he also needed msacm32.dll and msacm32.dll.mui – I think that might be when using a later release of the RDP client (possibly the one from Windows Server 2008 R2 as my testing with the 4 files you referenced used copies from Windows Server 2008)

  4. Steve Matthews Says:

    This works great as long as I am on a Windows system. Can anyone tell me if this will run on the new Droid? I am trying to use androidVNC but am not setting it up properly. If anyone can offer suggestions on how to set this up it would be a big help.

    Thanks – Steve

  5. cbrevard Says:

    While this seems like a solution, I would verify that nothing is written to the registry or filesystem. Comments on this page (http://portableapps.com/node/894) indicate that this could be a less-than-secure means of connecting via RDP.

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