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Attempting to enable multi-monitor support over RDP

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
good morning! i've got one question, possibly two, regarding RDP.

i run two PCs at my house - one for gaming and online usage, and one for creating and writing music. the first has full network functionality and can access the web at any time. the second computer is blocked at the router from accessing the web, but is connected to my gigabit internal network. both of my monitors (1920x1200 and 1680x1050), my keyboard, and my mouse are connected to my first computer. my high-end monitors (speakers, not displays) and audio interface are connected to the music computer. both are running Windows 7 Professional.

i originally wanted to use RDP to connect from my online system to my offline system to allow me to share video and control input information without having to fool with an expensive KVM (KVMs that can pass audio through HDMI are very expensive!), but i've since discovered that you cannot use multiple monitors with RDP unless you have Windows 7 Ultimate or Enterprise on both ends. while i have several licenses for Ultimate, it's not an option to reinstall the OS on my music computer thanks to how long it takes to re-install 75+ VSTs and audio programs and their respective security devices. it took me three days the first time through =) so, my first question is, is there a registry hack or other workaround that allows RDP to use multiple monitors at varied resolutions in Windows 7 Professional?

i should note that i've tried several alternate solutions - RealVNC, UltraVNC, and Teamviewer are a few - but none have the smooth, instantaneous feel that RDP has, as well as the support for 1920x1200 video. UltraVNC was very choppy even at 256 colors...over a gigabit network that has been tested up to 120MB/s transfer rates between computers. didn't make much sense. i can stream a 1080p blu-ray format movie over the network, but not a 1680x1050 screen?

in the event that this isn't possible, i need to know if it's possible to upgrade Windows 7 Professional to Ultimate without losing any of my programs and installations...over an RDP connection. the music computer currently doesn't have monitors or input devices hooked up to it, as it's in a rackmount. it also doesn't even have a DVD drive on it, and i don't really want to bother hooking one up for something that should be this simple. every time i try, it kicks back an error almost immediately, before i've even chosen to upgrade or not.

thanks in advance for your help!
post #2 of 5
Ok this is just going off of memory but I feel pretty good about it's accuracy.

You should be able to upgrade from Professional to Ultimate but you cannot use just a regular Ultimate key to do so you have to have an upgrade Ultimate key. I know it sounds weird. But I ran into a similar problem when trying to upgrade from Home edition to Professional edition using just a regular Professional key. In the end I just installed Professional from scratch since the Home install was fairly new. This doesn't sound like an option for you though.

As far as the reg. hack goes.......dunno man
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
every time i try, it kicks back an error almost immediately, before i've even chosen to upgrade or not.
this is before you even get to the part where you enter a key.

i don't understand. i know you can pixie boot (PXE) an upgrade over a network - so why can't you do it using RDP? it's kind of frustrating.
Edited by the prophet of mephisto - 4/14/11 at 6:35pm
post #4 of 5
what error is it giving? though resolving the error might not fix your problem if it is not a Upgrade key

Also I think the reason you can't do it over RDP might have to do with the fact that it is a proprietary protocol designed for Remote Desktop without any for sight into doing remote upgrades over it.
Edited by Macnemarion - 4/13/11 at 4:42pm
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
the error kicks up before you enter anything. the Install Windows 7 box pops up, you hit install, and it's supposed to take you to a dialog asking if you want to upgrade, repair, or customize your windows install. instead, it pops back an error that certain protocols aren't found.

RDP was developed originally as a way for MS employees to work at home on crappy laptops, lowering the operating cost of upgrading every two years under their old policy. it is supposed to have all the same protocols and support that, say, pixie boots or other network-based virtual desktop clients have. i know it's doable, i just don't know if it's related to W7 Pro or not.
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