If you work in a business run by Microsoft Small Business Server, you probably know about Remote Web Workplace, one of the best things Microsoft has created in the last few years. With just a few clicks, an SBS user can bring up the company’s RWW web site and connect to an office computer using Remote Desktop.
Recent changes caused by service packs and security updates have changed that experience a bit. At some point you may need to know a few new tricks.
INSTALLING THE ACTIVEX CONTROL IN VISTA
The first time a connection is made to an office computer with RWW, a small Remote Desktop ActiveX control has to be installed. On Vista computers, I could not get the ActiveX program to install – I’d click the bar and say OK and be taken right back to the message asking for it to be installed.
If that happens to you, click on Start and type in “Internet” so you can see Internet Explorer on the menu. Right-click on IE and click on “Run As Administrator.” (You won’t have that choice if you right-click on IE where it always appears at the top of the Start menu.) That session of IE will run with elevated permissions and you’ll be allowed to install the ActiveX control when you return to the RWW site. Once it’s installed, IE can be run normally and it will start the session just fine.
ENABLE THE ACTIVEX CONTROL IN WINDOWS XP
Susan Bradley reports that the Remote Desktop ActiveX control may be disabled after installing Windows XP Service Pack 3. You’ll get this screen:
Click on the little gear at the bottom to bring up IE7’s controls to manage addons, or click on Tools / Manage Addons / Enable Or Disable Addons. You can enable the Microsoft Terminal Services ActiveX control there.
SCARY SECURITY MESSAGES
There’s new Remote Desktop software with some security improvements, a few improvements in video quality and speed, and improved support for Vista and Windows Server 2008. But it adds a security warning that looks alarming, even when you’re connecting to a computer you know is safe.
If you’re connecting to your business network or a safe computer, go ahead and connect.
It’s a little like the unnecessarily alarming screen that appears when you connect to the Remote Web Workplace web site, if your company server is using the server’s default security certificate. The warnings are really poorly chosen for SBS users! Everything’s fine – click OK to go to your company server if you see this screen.