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I have a Windows 7 computer that is acting as a Media Center so it is always on but not always in use.

I would like to be able to log in to this machine remotely and launch some scripts that take time to compute. If I use Remote Desktop I can get a view of the desktop and use it but the media center view gets blocked (I get the log in screen). If I use LogMeIn, the media center application closes (not compatible with remote use) and the both the remote and media center views are the same.

Is there a way to access the computer remotely to launch and monitor these scripts while not disturbing the media center users?

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Are you trying the LogMeIn free? Or the paid version. As I recall, the premium version will let you log in and control a remote PC without affecting the main logged in user. –  BBlake Feb 7 '10 at 3:00

4 Answers 4

You cannot login interactively two sessions simultaniously (wihtout hacking windows and violating your license agreement). If you are ok with that (considering system security and stability concerns + legal concerns), use the hack (jaoc's answer).

Depending you your programming chops (you are already writting scripts - I'd say you are almost there) you could create a windows service or a simple web application interface that would start your processes, and allow you to supply any necessary parameters through the web interface or an RPC call.

If there are no unique parameters for the scripts each time, just create a scheduled task to run your scripts.

+1 for PsExec. it could also do exactly what you need if you already have script or .exe you just need to run on the machine. If that meets your needs it would be even easier for you in the long run than the simultaneous session hack.

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Can you help me understand what are the legal concerns you mention? Does the License agreement state that you can't have two sessions simultaneously? Why would it? Is there a different product/license that allows it? Thanks. –  greye Feb 6 '10 at 19:17
    
from the EULA (Rights #2.1) - "Number of Users. Unless otherwise provided in these license terms, only one user may use the software at a time." Windows Server editions allow multiple simultaneous users, and enhanced options for terminal services. –  DanO Feb 8 '10 at 22:46

Perhaps the Sysinternals PsExec program would suit your needs?

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb897553.aspx

This allows you to launch console programs remotely and does not have a heavy installation/configuration process.

This will not allow you the rich user experience of a full fledged RDP connection, but I have found it perfect for short, simple tasks.

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If you need to monitor the script, setup the script to ECHO to a file or write to event log. Depending on the language, you can normally do this with only a little extra code. –  Doltknuckle Feb 5 '10 at 18:42
    
+1 this is one of our essential tools –  BlueRaja Feb 5 '10 at 19:40
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I found an unofficial resource that will allow multiple remote desktop connections: http://www.missingremote.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3692&Itemid=232

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I don't know what you think about doing things old school with text based. You can look in to Putty. It is a free SSH application.

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Except Putty isn't a server, and Windows doesn't have a built in SSH server. –  developmentalinsanity Feb 5 '10 at 17:41
    
touché good sir. There is freesshd.com for a free server side. I think joaoc may have the best answer. –  Skaughty Feb 5 '10 at 19:02

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