We have a legacy application that lives in C:\APP, which is hard coded to look only in that directory for its config. The current setup is that there's a central server which is essentially a glorified file share, then Windows clients that all point to the central share. The application is installed on all Windows clients, and they look into C:\APP for their configuration settings.

We'd like to get users started using Terminal Services, but the issue comes up that if two people are logged in via TS, they're both going to be reading from the same C:\APP directory for their configuration. This will always overwrite one or more users' config.

I know there's ways to remap user folders such as Music, Documents, Pictures, etc to other drives, but is there any possible way to map a folder in the root of C to a different folder for each simultaneous user?

I've looked into symlinking with no luck since that seems to persist system-wide.

Is there an equivalent to the subst command that would let me map X:\User1 to C:\APP and have it apply per user?


1 Answer 1


Programs need to be designed and programed to be multi-user, and multi-instance aware to have any hope of running on an RDP server, for the exactly reason you're running into -- Unexpected shared resources (in this case a specific folder on a specific disk)

Based on what you're telling us, your program was NOT written with multi-user in mind, let alone multi-instance on the same computer.

Only real answer for going the straight RDS route you're trying: re-write or replace the program.

An alternative, if your version of Windows Server supports it (and you have decent server hardware), is to use Virtual Desktops. You can configure it where one Windows image is used (say Windows 7), and each time a user RDPs into the server a private virtual machine is spun up with a copy of that image (or one specifically held for the user), and the VM's desktop is what's delivered to the user via RDP.

That way each RDP session is its own VM, with its own C:\APP, just like when installed on the thick clients.

Keep in mind, you need to license all this. You'll need the right RDS licenses, as well as a Windows license for each of these VM's you may have running concurrently.

To get started, perhaps check out some resources like these:

  • Thanks for the direction. This is an older application and there's definitely plans for a re-write.
    – edgesrazor
    Commented Aug 7, 2014 at 15:43

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