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Creating an RDP / Remote Desktop connection in Server 2012 / 2016

When you order a Windows Server 2012 or 2016 VPS, you can always access it via the console in the control panel. Because the resolution of the console is limited, and it is nice of course to not always first log into the TransIP control panel, you can also use a Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) connection. You can also use this, for example, to move files from and to the server.

The 'RDP' feature is not enabled by default for new Windows Server 2012 or 2016 installations (due to security reasons), but can be enabled via the Server Manager. How you can do this is described step by step below.

 

Step 1

Go to 'BladeVPS' in your TransIP control panel. You will see the top of the console on that page. Click it to activate the 'noVNC' connection and open the OS.

windows 2012 console


 

Step 2

Open the Server Manager and select Local Server on the left. On the right, you will now see a large number of options and their status.

server 2012 server manager


 

Step 3

One of the options which are visible is Remote Desktop, whose status is Disabled by default. Click it to enable Remote Desktop.

server 2012 server manager remote desktop


 

Step 4

You will now see the System Properties, change the selected option from Don’t allow remote connections to this computer to the option below, Allow remote connections to this computer.

A prompt will appear immediately about the Windows Firewall. It is best to directly click Windows Firewall with Advanced Security to go to the firewall settings (you can also do this later).

windows 2012 remote desktop enabled


 

Step 5

Click the Inbound Rules in the upper left corner to adjust the firewall rules for inbound traffic. Scroll down to the rules for 'Remote Desktop'.

Then click all three different rules and click Enable Rule on the right:

  • Remote Desktop - Shadow (TCP-In)
  • Remote Desktop - User Mode (TCP-In)
  • Remote Desktop - User Mode (UDP-In)

server 2012 firewall remote desktop


 

Step 6

Close the Windows Firewall screen and the window to enable RDP is shown again. Click 'Apply' to enable the RDP connection to the server.

It may then take a few seconds, but thereafter, the status in the Server Manager should jump to Enabled.

server 2012 server properties


 

Step 7

You can now test whether making a connection is successful from your own Windows computer.

Open 'Remote Desktop Connection' - the application is called mstsc.exe.

windows 10 search for mstsc


 

Step 8

In the application that you have now opened, the IP address (this can also be a hostname if you have connected via DNS) of the VPS will be requested, enter it and click 'Connect'.

windows 10 remote desktop connection window

If you click 'Show options' and next the 'Local Resources' tab, you can also add your local disks where you can then move / copy files from and to within Remote Desktop.

windows 10 remote desktop connection options


 

Step 9

You will now see a prompt asking for the log-in credentials of a user account. The first time you connect to your server in Windows 10 you're shown a screen with the option to connect to your VPS with your Windows 10 user account.

It's the user credentials for your VPS (or Active Directory if you use it) you need here and not the Windows 10 credentials. So click 'More choices' > 'Use a different account' and provide the correct user name and password and click 'OK'.

mstsc enter credentials options

Henceforthyou'll be shown the following screen when using MSTSC to connect to this server.

mstsc enter credentials


 

Step 10

You will now see a warning because the VPS has a self-signed certificate by default. However, this is not a problem and you can click 'Yes' without a worry.

mstsc rdp ssl warning

The RDP application on your computer has now been started and you will see a 'full-screen' view of the Windows Server 2012 VPS desktop on your screen!


 

Possible issues:

If you follow the above steps, you will enable RDP for the user you are logged in with. In this case 'Administrator', but if you have created an extra user you will have to add it via Remote Desktop Users.

 


 

Should you have any questions left regarding this article, do not hesitate to contact our support department. You can reach us via the ‘Contact Us’ button at the bottom of this page.

If you want to discuss this article with other users, please leave a message under 'Comments'.

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