Remko Weijnen's Blog (Remko's Blog)

About Virtualization, VDI, SBC, Application Compatibility and anything else I feel like

Archive for the ‘Vista’ Category

I was just researching a little on how Group Policies are applied in Windows Vista. The client processing is actually done by the Group Policy Client Service. So can a user prevent Domain Policies from being applied by stopping this service?

If you go to the service properties you can see that even a local administrator cannot stop or disable the service:


The description says: “The service is responsible for applying settings configured by administrators for the computer and users through the Group Policy component. If the service is stopped or disabled, the settings will not be applied and applications and components will not be manageable through Group Policy. Any components or applications that depend on the Group Policy component might not be functional if the service is stopped or disabled.”

That sounds good! Let’s try it…


  • Filed under: General, Vista
  • TSAdminEx Features Part 3

    Beta ReleasePart 1Part 2  

    This is part 3 of the TSAdminEx Features series. Today I will discuss the Process View. As usual we will start by comparing TSAdmin to TSAdminEx again. So let’s look at TSAdmin Process View:


    And the one from TSAdminEx:



    TSAdminEx Features Part 2


    Now that a TSAdminEx beta is ready I will be showing you some features. In this part I will show the Sessions View.

    Let’s start again with a compare of TSAdmin and TSAdminEx:



    As you can see TSAdminEx shows more details, it shows the following extra columns:


    TSAdminEx Features Part 1

    Part 2

    Now that a TSAdminEx beta is ready I will be showing you some features. In this part 1 I will be comparing the Users view to TSAdmin.

    Let’s start TSAdmin, this tool is present by default on Windows 2003. If you use Windows XP or Windows Vista you can get it by installing the Administration Pack. Please note that TSAdmin does not work on Vista RTM due to a bug that was corrected in Vista SP1 (TSAdminEx works fine on both RTM as well as SP1)


    Now let’s open TSAdminEx and start comparing…



    TSAdminEx Beta release

    Over the last months I have been working hard on TSAdminEx and now, finally, I can now present a first beta release.

    If you don’t know what TSAdminEx is let me briefly introduce it. TSAdminEx is a tool that combines functionality of several existing tools: it has the power of task manager combined with the details of Process Explorer and the Terminal Server support of TSAdmin. On top of that it fully supports remote systems out of the box without installing any agents or services. It also has some unique features that neither of the mentioned tools can do!

    Several new features have been implemented since the last time I talked about TSAdminEx and I will show you the most exciting ones here:


    RDP Session with Local Taskbar visible

    I usually have lots of Terminal Server sessions open when I’m working, both direct sessions but also “sessions in sessions”. In order to keep overview on my desktop I prefer to make the session size as big as possible without being full screen (so keep my local taskbar visible).


    If I run a session in a session I do this again, this makes switching sessions very easy and you can always see which session you are in:


    Most administrator will want to prevent normal users from opening Regedit and a command prompt. Usually this is done by activating the “Prevent access to registry editing tools” and “Prevent access to the command prompt” policy settings. They are located under User Configuration | Administrative Templates | System:


    Activating the policies will set the matching keys in the registry:


    If we try to open regedit we are denied access:


    So how does this work? (more…)

    There are several patched terminal server dll’s floating around in the net to allow multiple concurrent Terminal Server session on Windows Vista with Service Pack 1. But they all have the same limitations:

    It’s not possible to start a session to Localhost, this is because the Terminal Server client does a check to see if you are running Personal Terminal Server (Vista/XP) and denies Localhost or if true ( works though).

    It’s not possible to start multiple sessions with the same user. The patch for Vista RTM did allow for this but in Service Pack 1 some Terminal Server code has moved to the Local Session Manager (lsm.exe) so we need to patch this file as well.

    Offcourse we need to patch Terminal Server to allow unlimited session on Vista as well.

    VPatch files are in the download link below.

    Vista SP1 Patches (7144 downloads)

    Vijayshinva Karnure wrote a very cool article about running Server 2008 as a desktop os or rather as a Windows Vista replacement. It seems that besides additional features like Hyper-V, Server 2008 runs approx. 20% faster than Vista.

    If only upgrading Vista to Server 2008 would be possible… (has anyone ever tried)?


    Microsoft has releaseed the Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) for Vista SP1. RSAT enables IT administrators to remotely manage roles and features in Windows Server 2008 from a computer running Windows Vista with SP1. It includes support for remote management of computers running either a Server Core installation or the full installation option of Windows Server 2008. It provides similar functionality to Windows Server 2003 Administration Tools Pack.

    You can find RSAT here.