Saturday 28 July 2012

CTRL + ALT + DEL on Remote Desktop

Accessing the Task Manager through Remote Desktop - CTRL + ALT + DEL

Today I tried to access my work PC from home through Remote Desktop over a VPN.

However when I logged in the page was totally black.

No menus, no taskbar, nothing to press nothing to see.

Was the PC out of memory and couldn't show me anything or just bust. I needed the task manager on that PC to see what was going on.

To send CTRL - ALT - DEL over a remote desktop connection to get to your task manager, see running processes and open or close programs then you need to be able to send that command over the connection. And if you don't know the keystrokes it's not simple if you don't know it.

There are two ways to access this.
1. If you can see the task bar in the footer of your remote screen just right click on it and hit taskbar to open it up.
2. If you cannot see anything use the following combination of keys: CTRL + ALT + END. This will bring up the same screen as if you had hit CTRL + ALT + DEL on the computer.

You can choose to shut down, reboot or show the task manager.

Why it's those keystrokes I don't know as it's not intuitive but it works and it's good to remember and write down if you forget.

Re-Starting Windows Explorer Remotley

If your windows explorer has crashed or killing your remote computers memory or CPU you can kill the process in the task manager and restart it without rebooting.

Just follow this.

  1. Kill the run away windows process.
  2. Wait a few seconds.
  3. In task manager go to the "Applications" tab.
  4. In the bottom right corner select the "New Task" button.
  5. In the dialogue that opens up type "explorer" in the "open" text box. This will open a new instance of Windows Explorer.
Remember killing processes is not advisable as killing a process means the normal shut down functions of that application have not run and this could mean that files are left on your disk, keys in your registry and so on - so only do it if you really need to.

A clean up of your registry with a tool like CCleaner afterwards and regular de-fragmentation of your disk is advisable if you regularly use this method as it will keep your PC clean and fast.

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