Yesterday evening I had a problem, I wanted to access my desktop computer to install a program that I will be using for one of my classes. I was on my laptop in the house, so I usually just use the Remote Desktop Connection tool which works great if nobody else is using the computer you are logging on to. My problem was that my wife was using the computer, and wouldn’t let me log on long enough to do anything. The internet can be a wonderful resource of information when you want to do something.

I found a blog post, actually several, that gave step by step instructions on how to enable a feature in Windows XP pro that Microsoft disabled for the release. One of the blogs mentioned something about with the license agreement only allowing one user being the reason for disabling this feature. I always thought it odd in the task manager the users tab; it alludes to allowing for multiple users connected at the same time. This of course is not possible in the current release of XP.

I used this blog’s steps to accomplish the task of enabling the older beta version which allows multiple users to connect at the same time. There are a lot of steps which include restarting the computer in safe mode, disabling the remote desktop connection among others, that I found unnecessary. Here is what I did:

  1. Download a copy of the older beta version of termsrv.dll (Terminal Services DLL).
  2. Disable hide protected operating system filesĀ  in folder options -> view. (Allows you to see one of the folders in the next step).
  3. Rename, in this order, the current versions located in C:\windows\system32\dllcache\ and C:\windows\system32\ (I renamed them to termsrv.dll.release).
  4. *Doing this will cause windows to pop up a waring message saying you are using an unknown file version and need to insert the installation disk to put the current versions of the files. Choose the responses that you want to continue with the current unknown version. Booting into safe mode would allow you to do this without the warning.

  5. Copy the downloaded termsrv.dll into the C:\windows\system32\ folder. Again you will get the waring that you are using an unknown version of a file and to insert the installation disk to fix it. Again continue using the version you just copied.
  6. Open the registry editor regedit.
  7. Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\Licensing Core.
  8. Add a DWORD key named EnableConcurrentSessions, give it a value of 1.
  9. Close the registry editor.
  10. Open the Group Policy Editor gpedit.msc.
  11. Go to Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Terminal Services and double click Limit number of connections.
  12. Select enable, and select the number of users you want to connect at the same time. (Many comments on the blog I got this from say that they can only get 3 at once, one said he got 5).
  13. Restart the computer, and you’re done.

These are about half the steps that are given in the blog, and it works. Last night after doing this I tested it and was able to log into my wife’s session on the desktop computer, and log into my session on the desktop through the remote desktop connection.

The termsrv.dll file has no verification. It may or may not be a clean file from the earlier beta version of XP.
Editing the system registry without knowing what you are doing can break your system be careful.


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