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What’s the best (free) way to remote control a Windows XP computer from a Windows 7 (Pro) one?

i.e. I want to see the Win XP desktop on my Win 7 pooter and be able to run software remotely (although it'll be on the same LAN).

I had a quick look at Remote Desktop in Windows 7 but that doesn’t appear to allow it.

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You can do RDP from Win7 to XP, as long as XP supports RDP (ie XP Pro). You can't go from XP to Win7. Well actually you can, but you need to download a separate client. –  MBraedley Nov 14 '10 at 0:02
    
XP isn't the Pro version. –  andygrunt Nov 14 '10 at 0:12
    
Does XP Home not accept RDP connections? If so, connect over the console via %SystemRoot%\system32\mstsc.exe -console –  Robert Kerr Nov 15 '10 at 20:49

4 Answers 4

LogMeIn.com or BeAnywhere.com are another good softwares to remote acess. I use them both.

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I have Windows 7 x64 and my 10-year-old nephew has Windows XP on his computer. I've been administering his machine with TeamViewer for a long time, and never had any problems. I strictly recommend it.

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I starting recently using TeamViewer and it's great for remote assistance, but for intranets TightVNC has the advantage of not having to enter the connection number every time it changes (and it's completely free). –  Alberto Martinez Nov 13 '10 at 23:06
    
TeamViever is also free for personal use. I have created a list of users on my TeamViewer account and I never have to remember connection numbers and passwords. Just double-clicking on the relevant name does the job. –  Mehper C. Palavuzlar Nov 13 '10 at 23:26

I guess that you have XP Home which doesn't have Remote Desktop Server installed by default.

While there is a way to force the issue, this is a violation of Microsoft's EULA, so I cannot include it here.

A legal way is to replace Microsoft's Remote Desktop by Virtual Network Computing (VNC), of which there are many flavors, as it is open-source. A short-list of those worthy of consideration would include RealVNC, TightVNC, EsVNC and UltraVNC. These variants can be used on a LAN.

UltraVNC is an enhanced VNC distribution, for Win32 platforms only. Its greatest claim-to-fame is a special video-driver hook, that greatly enhances the speed of the remote display.

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If you can't use Remote Desktop, TightVNC (http://www.tightvnc.com/) works pretty well - it also lets you transfer files easily. There are other Windows VNC clients, like UltraVNC, but I don't have much direct experience with them.

VNC clients all tend to be compatible with each other, so you can even log into your XP machine from a Mac or Linux box.

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