Configure remote desktop service for Windows Server 2008 R2

Posted on November 28, 2010


In this article I will try to explain how to configure remote desktop service for Windows Server 2008 R2 in order to get both Aero and audio redirection at client side. Please follow the steps below:

1. Make sure that you have set password for Administrator user, otherwise login as Administrator and change password at Control Panel –> User Accounts –> User Accounts –> Change Your Password:Change Your Password_2010-11-28_13-03-44

2. To enable remote desktop, right click Computer icon –> Properties –> Remote Settings and then enable “Allow Remote Assistance connections to this computer” and “Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop (less secure)”:System Properties_2010-11-28_13-08-02

Now you should be able to connect to this server by using your administrator user account. Next I’ll explain how to turn on Aero and audio redirection support at client side.

3. To enable Aero support at RDP client, first make sure that both the RDP server and client support Aero.  Aero is not turned on by default in Windows Server operating system, therefore you need to install “Desktop Experience” feature and enable auto-start of “Themes service”, and then go to Control Panel –> Appearance and Personalization –> Personalization and you should now be able to choose an Aero Theme:Personalization_2010-11-28_13-19-49

4. Run gpedit.msc (group policy edit) –> Computer Configuration –> Administrative Templates –> Windows Components –> Remote Desktop Services –> Remote Desktop Session Host –> Remote Session Environment , make sure that “Allow desktop composition for remote desktop sessions” is enabled: Local Group Policy Editor_2010-11-28_13-28-05

5. Run tsconfig.msc (terminal service config) –> right click RDP-Tcp –> Properties –> Client Settings, make sure that “Limit Maximum Color Depth” is disabled. To make audio redirection work, you also need to make sure that “Audio and video playback” and “Audio recording” are NOT disabled. See my settings below: RDP-Tcp Properties_2010-11-28_13-32-36

6. When connecting to the RDP server which we just configured, make sure that color depth is set to 32 bit and sound is set to be played on client computer in the RDP client settings:

  Remote Desktop Connection_2010-11-28_13-40-33Remote Desktop Connection_2010-11-28_13-41-46

7. We should now have Aero support as well as sound redirection at client:

Program Manager_2010-11-28_13-35-27