2012 August


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August 22 2012

Using dual monitors with Remote Desktop

One of the features of the Terminal Server/Remote Desktop Client in Windows 7/Windows Server 2008 is the support for multiple monitors.  If the machine running the TS-Client has a multi-monitor configuration that creates one logical rectangle, then the TS-Client can span over all the monitors, creating one virtual desktop of the combined size.

Specifically, the client needs the following for span mode to work correctly:
o Equal resolution monitors
o Total resolution of all monitors not exceeding 4096 x 2048
o Top-left monitor being the primary So, with this basic setup, let’s jump right in!

Step 1. Check the basics

Make sure both your monitors are using the same resolution and are oriented horizontally. Right click on the desktop. Click Properties.

In the Display Properties tab, make sure the monitors have the same resolution and are oriented horizontally. If not, adjust your monitor resolution and position so they are.

Step 2. Get the right version of Remote Desktop client

Check if you have the right version of Remote Desktop Connection client. You need at least version 6.0In the Start Menu > Run… dialog, type “mstsc” and hit enter.

The acronym “mstsc” stands for “Microsoft Terminal Services Client” – another name for Remote Desktop Connection client. You can also start it from Start Menu > All Programs > Accessories > Remote Desktop Connection (or Accessories > Connections > Remote Desktop Connection)

The Remote Desktop Connection program should open up.

Click the monitor icon in the top-left corner of this dialog, and choose the “About” menu:

This will show the version of the Remote Desktop Connection client. It should be version 6.0 or higher:

If you have an older version, first download and install the newer version from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyId=6E1EC93D-BDBD-4…

Step 3. Connect to remote computer in ‘span mode’

To have the Remote Desktop connection client use both your monitors, you need to start it in “span” mode. This is done by giving the following command in the Run dialog: mstsc /span

Open Start Menu, click Run. Then type in mstsc /span and hit Enter or Click OK


When the Remote Desktop client opens up, enter the remote computer name to which you are connecting, and click Connect.

The Remote session should open up and cover both your monitors.

Once you have this working, you may want to launch the remote session in an easier way instead of typing the ‘mstsc /span’ command everytime.

The next section shows how you can create an “RDP file”, so you can launch a spanned remote desktop session by just double-clicking a file/shortcut.

Creating an RDP file to launch a spanned remote desktop session covering multiple monitors

Create the RDP file

Open Start Menu, click Run. Then type in mstsc /span and hit Enter or Click OK

When the Remote Desktop client opens up, enter the remote computer name to which you are connecting, and DON’T click Connect. Instead, click the Options button.

The window will open up to reveal more options:

Click the “Save As” button. A “Save As” dialog will open to save the connection settings to a file. Save the file to a known folder, and with a name like remoteserver.rdp. In this example, let’s say we saved it to C:\remoteserver.rdp

Now, close the Remote Desktop Connection program. We are done with this for now.

Editing the RDP file

Open Windows Explorer, and browse to the folder containing the file you just saved (C:\remoteserver.rdp). Right click the file > choose Open With… menu > Choose Program…

In the Open With dialog, choose Notepad to open the file. Remember to NOT check/enable the “Always use the selected program to open this kind of file” option.

Click OK. The file should open up in Notepad. It is a file with many lines. We need to edit this and add one more line.

In the last line of the file, add the following command and hit Enter:
span monitors:i:1

The file should look something like this (note the last line added manually):

Save the file (File menu > Save) and exit Notepad.

Double click… and connect!

From now on, you can connect to the remote computer using both monitors (in span mode) by just double-clicking this file. To add a shortcut to your desktop, right click the file, and choose “Send To> Desktop (create shortcut)”. This will place a shortcut to this file on your desktop, and you can just double click the shortcut to remotely connect to the remote computer using multiple monitors in span mode.

August 7 2012

GroupWise to Exchange Migration Consulting

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ISInc is always one of the first in the industry to test and deploy new technologies. This gives us the opportunity to discover any potential gotchas and find solutions. ISInc has helped a number of organizations from stage one of their project proposals, to assessing, creating, testing, deploying, and training staff on the new technologies.

Having both the training and consulting ends covered, we are the regions premier one stop shop to get your project moving and completed in the most efficient manner possible. Our technical staff is also part of our training team. This enables them to communicate with the client and give them a sound understanding of the tasks being performed and why they are being performed.

ISInc, as a Gold Microsoft Partner, has demonstrated a mastery of Microsoft Best Practices in consulting. We are certified at the highest level for following Microsoft best practices for upgrades and migrations.

ISInc offers training and has extensive experience with Microsoft Project and the PMI “Body of Knowledge” courses and best practices. We follow current PMBOK guides and standards for all projects.

ISInc is a Microsoft Gold Certified Consulting Partner, with specializations in Advanced Network Infrastructure, Unified Communications Messaging and SharePoint. ISInc is part of a select few of Microsoft Partners that is invited to Redmond on an annual basis to learn of the new technologies from the experts.

ISInc also is a Microsoft Gold Learning Solutions Partner, providing the latest Microsoft Official Curriculum via our facility in Sacramento, CA, and also via our online learning platform. Our instructors are all certified by Microsoft, and are also consultants who bring their customer experiences into the classroom.

When new or updated versions of software applications are released, Innovative Solutions is typically the first to provide fully qualified training. Upgrades, of course, keep software technology on the leading edge. However, many upgrades change only a few features; therefore transition courses, which focus specifically on the features that change between software versions, without re-teaching the basics are regularly scheduled. These courses save our customers both time and money.

Case studies:

  • ISInc migrated clients 100+ mailboxes from GroupWise to Exchange 2010 in less than a week to fall under the necessary budget restrictions. ISInc designed and completed the migration process that provided zero downtime and end user disruption.
  • ISInc migrated client from Novell GroupWise 7.5 to Microsoft Exchange 2007. There were 600 mailboxes to be migrated to their new Exchange 2007 environment. Their environment also consisted of multiple mobile devices such as BlackBerry and Palm. ISInc completed this migration in half the time allotted for the project and with half the budget they expected to spend for completion.
  • Client had budget restrictions that we were able to work under to help migrate 1500+ mailboxes to Exchange 2007. As part of this migration, we also moved departmental file shares from Novell to Microsoft File Servers. ISInc moved 100 mailboxes as a proof of concept. We then trained the staff on the process that allowed them to move the remaining 1500+ mailboxes. We successfully designed a migration process and coexistence plan that provided minimal end user disruption. ISInc designed a completely fault tolerant Exchange deployment to handle the final load of 2000+ mailboxes. We configured and moved the AV, SPAM filtering gateway to Forefront Online Protection for Exchange. We designed the backup and restore process. ISInc provided additional support after the proof of concept to migrate additional mailboxes as the budget allowed. Once the staff was comfortable in the process, they moved the remaining county mailboxes.

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August 2 2012

Windows XP End of Life April 8, 2014

Are you still running Windows XP on your desktops in your organization?  The End of Extended Support for Windows XP is coming up quick. So what does this mean to you? On April 8, 2014, security patches and hotfixes for all versions of Windows XP will no longer be available. So bottom line, PC’s running Windows XP will be vulnerable to security threats. Furthermore, many third party software providers are not planning to extend support for their applications running on Windows XP, which translates to even more complexity, security risks, and ultimately, added management costs for your IT department if you’re still managing Windows XP environments.

ISInc has provided consulting to many organizations looking to move to Windows 7 and provided training to their end users to ease the transition to the new operating system and Office applications.  Please contact us at 916-920-1700, or [email protected], to see how ISInc can assist your organization update the IT infrastructure to supported platforms.  We can even show you a preview of Windows 8 and Office 2013 as well!