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Using Remote Desktop in Windows XP

NOTE: It is recommended that the Windows Firewall be active at all times on your office computer. To turn it on or confirm its status please follow the steps below. 

  1. Click on Start, select Control Panel, then select Windows Firewall.
  2. Verify that there is a bullet in front of the option On (recommended).

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Configuring Windows Firewall to Allow a Remote Desktop Connection

With the Windows Firewall window still open, complete the following steps:

  1. Click on the Exceptions tab.
  2. Place a check mark in the box in front of Remote Desktop.

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  1. Click on the Advanced tab. Click on Local Area Connection to highlight it. Click on the Settings button.

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  1. Place a checkmark in the box labeled Remote Desktop. If a window labeled Service Settings appears, Click OK.


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  1. Click OK on both the Advanced Settings and the Windows Firewall window.

Configuring your office computer for a Remote Desktop Connection

  1. Click on Start, right-click My Computer and choose Properties.
  2. Click on the Remote tab and place a checkmark in the Allow users to connect remotely to this computer box, as shown below.

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  1. Verify that you have the proper permission to connect to your computer by clicking Select Remote Users…

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  1. Your domain and username should be listed as already having access (as shown below.)

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NOTE: If you do not already have access, click on the Add... button as shown above and a window similar to the one below will appear. In the space labeled Enter the object names to select (examples):, type your domain (the domain for employees is Hamilton-d) and user ID.  For example, Hamilton-d\mscoones. Click Check Names and, if it is a valid username, the domain name will disappear and your username will become underlined. For example, in the illustration below, hamilton-d\mscoones will change to mscoones. Click OK to close the Select Users window.

  1. Click OK to close the Remote Desktop Users window and click OK again to close the System Properties window.

Obtaining Your Computer Name or IP address

In order to access your office computer remotely, you’ll need your computer’s name (for an on-campus remote desktop session) or your computer’s IP address (for an off-campus remote desktop session).

Computer Name

  1. Click on Start, right-click My Computer and choose Properties.
  2. Click on the Computer Name tab.

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  1. Make a note of the Computer description as shown above e.g. PC-15348, and then click on OK.  Please note, this should match your computer’s barcode.  If you need to access your office computer from off-campus, please follow the steps below to obtain your IP address.

IP Address

  1. Click on Start and then click on Run…
  2. In the Open: field, type cmd and click OK.

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  1. A box with a black background and white text will appear. Type ipconfig at the blinking cursor and press on your keyboard.

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  1. Make note of the IP Address (as shown above,) you will need to take it with you to access your computer remotely. (NOTE:  You should do this each time you plan to use Remote Desktop Access as IP addresses change periodically.) Close the window.

Connecting to Your Office Computer from a Remote Location

  1. Click on Start, select All Programs, select Accessories, select Communication and then Remote Desktop Connection.
  2. In the Computer: field, type either the IP address or name (barcode – only works from on-campus) for your office computer.  Please note, the “pc” can be entered in upper or lower case letters.

connecting to your office computer 1 connecting to your office computer 2

  1. Click Connect.
  2. In the Log On to Windows dialog box, type your username, password, and domain and then click OK.

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  • The Remote Desktop window will open and you will see the desktop settings, files, and programs that are on your office computer. Your office computer will remain locked and no one will be able to work at your office computer without a password, nor will anyone see the work you are doing on your office computer remotely. To improve performance, you will not see your usual desktop picture if one is in use.

To Log Off and End a Session

  • In the Remote Desktop Session, click Start and select Disconnect.

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Things to Note About Remote Desktop Access

At home your printer is the default printer. To select your office printer, click on the drop-down menu where your printer is listed and select your office printer from the list. Click OK.

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Last updated: November 30, 2022


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