Ajit Monteiro

How to Enable Concurrent Users/Sessions in Windows Vista

Posted in Microsoft, Vista, Windows Media Center by amonteiro on March 13, 2007

My MCE computer is used completely for home theater purposes, and so it is very rarely used outside of the MCE environment. It also does not have a keyboard and mouse hooked up to it. This makes it very hard to accomplish any maintenance tasks without using remote desktop.

Unfortunately, by default Vista does not allow concurrent users logging in at the same time. So, until recently, if I wanted to rearrange some files on the computer, I would have to log in using remote desktop (which logs out the MCE user), rearrange the files, log out, connect a keyboard to the MCE computer so I can enter the password, and re-login with the MCE user.

Fortunately, the relentless folks at The Green Button have put in a lot of effort to find a work around. After some clever hacking you can log on with multiple users to the same Vista machine. Here is a link to the discussion so you can see the progress they have made.

And finally a how to taken from Missing Remote

  1. Download Sunmorgus’ hacked Termsrv.dll file HERE (If you’re using Vista HOME PREMIUM, use this link and follow the reg instructions below.)
  2. Now, Vista’s security needs a little massaging to allow you to modify the original termsrv.dll file, found in C:\Windows\System32, so….
  3. Click Start, then type “cmd” in the search box & hit enter. This will launch the Command prompt
  4. Type the following & hit enter: takeown /f C:\Windows\System32\termsrv.dll
  5. Then type this & hit enter (NOTE: Replace USERNAME with YOUR USERNAME!! If your name has a space in it, enclose it with quotes, like “Mike Garcen”): cacls C:\Windows\System32\termsrv.dll /G USERNAME:F
  6. Then go to your Windows Explorer, and go to C:\Windows\System32
  7. Rename the original termsrv.dll to something else, like “termsrv.dll.ORIGINAL”, just in case
  8. *NOTE* If you are unable to do the above, try rebooting into SAFE MODE
  9. Then copy & paste the Hacked DLL you downloaded in Step 1 into the C:\Windows\System32 folder
  10. And voila!

More details at Missing Remote and at Ricky’s Web Review


21 Responses

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  1. Johan said, on March 21, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    The link you’ve provided for the Termsrv.dll is dead (404).
    Do you have another url?


  2. Steve said, on May 17, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    Just wondering if anyone has another download location for the patched DLL file……thanks!

  3. Ectoplasm said, on June 19, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

    cheers, Ectoplasm!!

  4. Luke said, on August 14, 2008 at 10:10 am

    I may be missing something here, but the ‘takedown’ command is not recognized as a valid command in Vista (or at least, in Home Premium). So, I get stuck when I try to type ‘takeown /f C:\Windows\System32\termsrv.dll’ in cmd.

    Error Message:
    ‘takedown’ is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

    Any ideas?

    • PreD_Falcon said, on January 4, 2010 at 1:05 am

      just run it as an administrator after you find it right click and select that option

  5. ajitmonteiro said, on August 14, 2008 at 11:06 am

    its ‘takeown’ not ‘takedown’

  6. ContD said, on September 18, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Hey, pls reupload on rapidshare

  7. ajitmonteiro said, on September 18, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    What are you looking for me to reupload?

    The links posted by had matter seem to work for me

    32 bit version:

    64 bit version

  8. jerry said, on September 21, 2008 at 9:19 am

    can someone please confirm that it works on SP1? I’m using Vista Ultimate x64 SP1…

  9. ian said, on October 14, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    This fix .. ie the “takeown” method did not work.

    Microsoft’s website doesn’t even acknowledge the problem and I’ve seen it on three machines now.

    Any help would be appreciated.

  10. Kaptain Ken said, on November 1, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    This isn’t a “fix” it’s a hack meaning Microsoft won’t acknowledge it. The takeown command line function is only available on Vista Business and Ultimate. There are other procedures for Vista Home Premium on the green button web site mentioned above.

  11. harley said, on December 28, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    I’m running vista business sp1 x64 and can not get this to work. I’ve downloaded the 32 and 64 bit versions. The 64 bit version seems to run but I can not remote in. When I revert back to the original dll the remote desktop works normally.

    Anyone else got this to work on x64 business sp1?

  12. Gizz said, on February 5, 2009 at 3:32 am

    just to make it a bit more complete (for Ian), you should run takeown as an administrator, so run cmd as an admin.
    See http://windowsitpro.com/article/articleid/94831/the-lowdown-on-takeown.html

  13. donz said, on March 24, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    can u help me find termsrv.dll for win xp 64bit?

  14. donz said, on March 24, 2009 at 9:17 pm

    i’m back again with little case, i try RDP in vista x64 was succesfully, but when i’m connect from linux (all linux OS), depth of color only 16bit, why can’t until 24bit or higher like in xp?
    please can u help me 🙂

  15. haz said, on September 8, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    i did this recipe and now my computer cannot connect to vista at all 😦 I tried putting the old file back but that didn’t help. help plz!

    • veejay said, on October 2, 2009 at 12:36 pm

      Me neither! Can’t use RDP anymore…

      I’ve tried to revert to the old termsrv.dll but it didn’t work…

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