Remote Web Access

When accessing the Server after logging into the web interface (”Remote Access to Windows Home Server Console”, then “Connect to your Home Server”), you only get the Windows Home Server Console, and not the full Home Server Desktop. The good news is that this can be easily changed.

On the server, open C:\Inetpub\Remote\rdpload.aspx in Notepad and locate the following two lines:

MsRdpClient.SecuredSettings.StartProgram = "HomeServerConsole.exe -b"; (this is on one line)


MsRdpClient.SecuredSettings.WorkDir = "<%= WorkDir %>";

These tell the browser based RDP session to use HomeServerConsole.exe as the “shell”, with a command line parameter to tell it not to show the Minimize and Exit buttons.
Replace the two lines, above, with the following two lines:
MsRdpClient.SecuredSettings.StartProgram = "Explorer.exe";


MsRdpClient.SecuredSettings.WorkDir = "c:\\Windows";
This tells the RDP session to use explorer.exe as the “Shell”, which it normally is anyway.

Now, when you access your Windows Home Server using the web interface, you’ll see the standard Desktop inside your browser window.

Share this WHS Article with Others:

| |

About the Author

Comments (11)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. TheJudge says:

    This tweak is nice! Now I’m not limited to just the Console. Now I have access to the entire WHS desktop! Thanks for the info, Phillip.

  2. two0five says:


    This was exactly what I have been looking for as RDP does not work all the time (possibly blocked at work). I can always get to my server via my livenode address, but I can’t get past the Console.

    I swear in the CTP version there was a back door I used where I could go to the Users or Shares in the Console and then Open a folder which would then overlay a explorer window that I could minimize and get to the desktop (to really admin the server). I think they closed this in the RTM version as I no longer can do this from the Console at all.

    Thanks again for fixing the only thing I hated about WHS, Brian

  3. Hi Brian,
    Glad I could be of service.

  4. Gary BKK says:

    Hi. I made the changes to my rdpload.aspx file as above and i had errors when i tried to connect to to a RDP session using the web interface…

    I changed the lines back to the oringal and still get errors…

    i never made a backup of the file i changed !!! me bad…

    how can i get a copy of the oringal file…

    Im running Evaluation copy. Bulid 3790 (sp2)
    Downloaded on 14-july-07

  5. Hi Gary BKK,
    Using the Contact tab on my site, send me your email address and I shall send you a copy of my file to copy over.

  6. markvader says:

    I’ve been away from my server for a couple of days and have been really keen to change these two lines of code.
    This morning I installed the On the fly unzipper extension and when going through the process of adding a folder for monitoring the browse for folder popup appears. By right clicking on anyfolder and selecting browse you can effectively open a backdoor to the server desktop.
    Now however i changed the lines of code and went to log in again remotely but i am getting an error message which is preventing anything from loading up. i did backup the file, so i’ll just have to wait until im back at my machine, to fix it.

  7. Hi markvader,
    It sounds like a compatability problem with On the fly unzipper. Did you fix this problem?

  8. TheJudge says:

    Per kariya21 on the WHS Forum, it’s unnecessary to modify the second string with WHS OEM. I tested it and it does work by only modifying the MsRdpClient.SecuredSettings.StartProgram = “Explorer.exe”; Is this true for WHS RC1? Not sure…..

  9. james says:

    this is soo cool.
    just another great tweak for me to use.
    thanks mate!

  10. Alin says:

    Hello everybody,
    I have a situation where I am looking for help. I am using my server running Windows Home Server as the audio player for my home. I have sound card and play music and internet radio directly on the server. I have wires connected to the home sound system. I got this to work pretty well when log on directly to the server or Remote Desktop as administrator. I am asking for help in setting up the sound to remain on the server when using the WHS Console instead of Remote Desktop. The reason I want to do this is because I like the Webradio add-in, and I would also get easy control over internet, without having to set up web Remote Desktop connections, etc.
    I have 4 situations, 1 and 2 are ok, and they work fine. 3 and 4 would be the ones to solve:

    1) Log on directly to Windows on the server – everything works fine. I have a homemade server with video and sound card, so this option is available.

    2) Connect to the server from inside the home network using Remote Desktop. I have set up the connection as “/admin” for Vista and left the sound on server, following the instructions from Microsoft 827483. Once I remotely connect to the server, I can open any media player software or the WHS Console on the server (WebRadio) and it works fine. Again, this is happening on the server through Remote Desktop, inside LAN.

    Now the following 2 options are the ones with issues.

    3) Open the WHS Console on the Client PC, not on the server. The client PC is inside the home network. When the console opens, the sound is by default brought from the server to the Client PC. Here’s where I would like to leave it on the server. There is no option for that when you open the console, just a settings file that gets loaded automatically, and where we could change the parameters. Nothing to do with Remote Desktop, it’s all about WHS Console opened on Client PC.

    4) Similar to 3, only open the WHS Console outside my home network, over the web. I can connect to the server via IP address, no problem, but the sound is coming to my client PC by default. I guess that if we could solve number 3, then 4 would be easy to fix.

    When you use Remote Desktop, there’s a file (“default.rdp”) in My Documents which has all settings info for Remote Desktop connection.

    For WHS Console the file is rdpload.aspx, located on the server at C:\Inetpub\remote.
    It could be more than one, but this in particular is important.

    As I see, these are the code lines setting the sound:

    if(MsRdpClient.AdvancedSettings5 != undefined && MsRdpClient.AdvancedSettings5.AudioRedirectionMode != undefined)
    MsRdpClient.AdvancedSettings5.AudioRedirectionMode = ;
    if (MsRdpClient.SecuredSettingsEnabled)
    MsRdpClient.SecuredSettings.AudioRedirectionMode = ;
    { // 0 means redirect sound
    if ( == 0)

    I think that by default, the property AudioRedirectMode is 0, which means that the sound is brought to the client PC. Probably this should be set to 1, to be left on the server. I don’t know how to write that code though.

    This property change may not be enough. The console connection uses the same Remote Desktop functions built in Server 2003. Maybe we need to replicate somehow what we do when adding “/admin” for Vista or “/console” for XP to the command line (%systemroot%\system32\mstsc.exe /admin).

    Please have a look at the file and maybe you want to check a couple of other .aspx files in the same folder.

    For servers without a sound card for testing: actually you can partially test it. If you play anything using Webradio today, you have the sound coming to your client pc. Also, when open on the server Control Panel/Sounds And Audio Devices you will see the driver being RDP Driver. If you find and make the right changes to the code, you should not have sound on client pc anymore. Also, when open on the server Control Panel/Sounds And Audio Devices, you should not see RDP Driver anymore. I guess that without soundcard you have no drivers installed, so maybe nothing will show up, but definitely RDP Driver is only when the audio comes to the client pc.

    Thank you very much in advance,

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.