We were using Windows Server 2003, all accessing the server via Remote Desktop. When someone walked away from their machine, we could Remote Control their session to close documents so another could open them.

Now that we're running Windows Server 2008, when we attempt remote control it usually disconnects the user whom we're trying to control. (It does work one way between certain users, but it's inconsistent.)

We were told by a MSCE that this would only work when remote controlling from a Console session, but I've already noted that it sometimes works with normal sessions. Therefore, I'm not sure I'm willing to accept this fellow's advice.

Is there a particular setting that we need to tweak? Any other thoughts? Thanks in advance!

  • 2
    I'm not sure where your MSCE got the idea that you can only remote control from a console session, because Server 2008 does not have a "console" session, it simply has a normal session that gets connected to the console device (which is different from Windows 2003). I wish I could help with your actual question though. I've only seen that behavour when clicking "connect" instead of "remote control" – Mark Henderson Jun 27 '11 at 21:51
  • Thanks. I'll investigate that a bit further and let you know if I find anything useful. – Mike Hanson Jun 28 '11 at 13:19
  • @MarkHenderson, Well, to get an MSCE it's just a matter of memorizing couple of MCQ questions right? – Pacerier Mar 13 '15 at 17:02

The problem lies within RDP client incompatibility between older versions of Windows versus Windows 7. Windows 7 uses a different compression algorithm by default, wich makes the XP client disconnect when the remote control ends.

We solved this by setting the following setting in Group Policy for our terminal servers:

Windows Components/Remote Desktop Services/Remote Desktop Session Host/Remote Session Environmentshow

Set compression algorithm for RDP data Enabled

  • RDP compression algorithm: Balances memory and network bandwidth

This will still bring up the "Access denied" error, but only AFTER you've used remote control. It's just the server deniying you from changing the compression algorithm. It's safe to ignore the error.


It appears to be a problem with Windows 7. If the RDP client is running on XP or Vista, then they can remote control the other session. If the client is running on W7, then it disconnects the other session.

Late Breaking News!

Microsoft has released a patch that solves this: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2523307.


Did you find a work around?

I've experienced the same on W7, where when remote controlling a connected session I disconnect the user I try to remote control, and get an "Access denied" popup.

  • See my answer on how to solve this – pauska Nov 3 '11 at 7:59
  • Hey Pauska. So you're having problems remote controlling W7 from a Windows XP? My problem is when I'm logged into a Windows Terminal Server 2008, and I use tsadmin.msc to Remote Control one of the other users, I disconnect the other user and get a Access Denied prompt. – Hornbech Nov 3 '11 at 8:14
  • No, I'm using win7 against a 2008 server to remote control a session originating from Windows XP. Just like you are. – pauska Nov 3 '11 at 10:53
  • Ok. But the user I try to remote control, is originating from a Windows 7 as well :s – Hornbech Nov 3 '11 at 13:24

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