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If an office workstation is turned on, either in wake/sleep/logged off/logged in mode, is it possible to remote desktop into that workstation given that I have full admin priviledge to the Windows Server and Active Directory governing the authentication?

What settings is required to check the status of the workstation as well as remote desktop sucessfully?


NB: There is no one in office. I connect via VPN to the Windows Sever.

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Not if the workstation is in suspended/sleep mode, no. You can look at Wake On Lan to wake a workstation up, then log into it. – RobM Dec 23 '10 at 17:00
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These simple steps assume you have appropriate admin rights on the target computers, not just the server.

  1. Test to see if the machine is on. There are many ways to do this but (e.g. ping, connect to admin share, etc.) but the local firewall may limit your choices.
  2. If the machine is not running try to wake it up with WoL and hope that is actually enabled.
  3. If the machine is running try connecting to it using RDP.
  4. If that fails try to enable Remote Desktop remotely, ensure the local firewall doesn't block it, restart the machine and retry step 3.
  5. If none of that works give up and visit the office (if practical).
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If you enable Wake On Lan on the server, you can either send it a magic packet using the router or an app, or you can just attempt a remote desktop connection which will fail, wait about 2 min then it should have woken from sleep by then and you can successfully Remote Desktop in.

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I do this using Wake On Lan. It works if the PC is wake/sleep/logged off/logged in mode.

Keep in mind that the port you send the WOL request to needs to be allowed over a VPN connection.

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