A Terminal Services RAS Solution

My company is finalizing its decision on a RAS solution for more than 2000 retail stores worldwide. Our current VPN solution is cumbersome to deploy, use, and troubleshoot. Using Windows 2000 Server Terminal Services and the Terminal Services Advanced Client (TSAC) included with Win2K Service Pack 1 (SP1), we can eliminate the need for our users to establish a RAS link to the corporate network. In this scenario, users require only Internet access, which is far easier to set up domestically and internationally. My problem is this: How will users be able to transfer files from their local machines to the corporate network if they're using the Web-based TSAC client? Do you have any information about the Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Resource Kit's Rdpclip utility?

Traditionally, the lack of support for file transfers between a Win2K or Windows NT terminal server and RDP clients has been a major shortcoming of Microsoft's terminal services. Most organizations with these kinds of needs have turned to Citrix MetaFrame, which provides a much more powerful and flexible solution than Microsoft's terminal services solutions provide.

Although Citrix still provides a far more robust feature set for client-to-server data exchange, the Rdpclip utility (aka the File Copy utility) levels the playing field a bit by enhancing the existing support for clipboard transfers, thereby giving Win2K terminal servers and their clients the ability to exchange files. To use Rdpclip, you need to install the utility on every terminal server and terminal server client on which you want to use it.

On the terminal servers, run the fxfrinst.bat file, which resides in the resource kit's main installation folder. (This folder's default name is C:\program files\resource kit.)

On the clients, perform the following steps:

  1. Copy the fxfr.dll file to the Terminal Server Client installation folder. By default, this folder is named C:\program files\terminal server client.
  2. Copy the rdpdr.dll file to the Terminal Server Client installation folder. This file replaces the rdpdr.dll that the Terminal Services client installed. (You might want to back up this file before you replace it.)

After you complete these steps, reboot both the servers and the clients. When you view folders or files in Windows Explorer, you'll be able to use standard cut, copy, and paste features (or their Ctrl+X, Ctrl+C, and Ctrl+V keyboard-shortcut equivalents) to copy files between servers and clients. This feature takes advantage of the Terminal Services Virtual Channel architecture by using virtual channels to stream file data between the source and destination system.

Corrections to this Article:
  • In "Daily Answers: A Terminal Services RAS Solution," be aware that the RDPClip utility works only with the regular RDP terminal services client, and not the TSAC Web client. We apologize for any inconvenience this omission might have caused.
TAGS: Windows 8
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