Remote Desktop Connection Manager

By Garth Jones

A few weeks back I upgraded my laptop to Windows 8. As many of you may know I have a lot of Virtual Machines (VM) which are mostly System Center Configuration Manager VMs. These VMs are hosted within the Enhansoft private cloud. The physical hosts are a range from Windows 2003 (Virtual Server) to Windows 2012.

One of the first things that I did was install the Hyper-V Manager and I pinned it to my taskbar. Then, I added my two main physical host servers to Hyper-V Manager; one to Windows 2008 and one to Windows 2012. I quickly found out that I could connect to my Windows 2012 server, but not to the Windows 2008 server. This was still the case even after I turned off both firewalls!

This is the error message within Hyper-V Manager. See how it isn’t very descriptive?

Hyper-V Manager Error Message

After a bit of research I found out that I can’t connect my laptop’s Windows 8 Hyper-V Manager to any of my Widows 2008 Hyper-V physical hosts.

At this point, I remembered that I wanted to look at Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCM). After trying RDCM, I have to say I love it!  It allows me to place my VMs into a logical order, and it allows me to switch between VMs, and preview what is going on within each VM. And, best of all, it will adjust the screen size of the VM to fill the monitor that I’m working with. If you recall from a previous blog post, I have 3 monitors on my desk, and each has a different screen resolution.

Here is a taste of what the RDCM looks like and what the preview screen shows you.

RDCM Preview Screen

There is only one thing that I would change in RDCM. When you connect to a Windows 8 or Windows 2012 VM, you need to be within full screen to use the Windows key. It would be really handy to have a Windows key button in a tool bar. You could even pre-load some of the more common Windows key commands in the tool bar too.


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  1. Daniel Ratliff

    I LOVE RDCM. I used to use VisionApp and a few others but RDCM is free, its from Microsoft, and it does the job.

    On a side note, you can actually use the Windows Key without being full screen. Just check your Local Resources in your default settings or on each server individually.

  2. Paul Thomsen

    I love RDCM too. A little unreliable when I have around 10 sessions or more open, but not bad.

    But for Win8 hotkeys you don’t have to go full screen mode. Just go to the ‘server’ properties in RDCM, Local Resources tab, and change Windows Key Combos to ‘on the remote computer’. Then you’re all set when that window has the focus. If you want to use the hotkeys locally then change focus to something other than that session.

  3. Try Alt+Home to see if that brings up the start menu.

  4. Wow that is cool thanks!!

  5. Wow that is cool thanks!!

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