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Remote Desktop - Create hundreds of Shortcuts (save credentials "passwords")

    Question

  • Hello,

    I manage hundreds of windows based servers, in many different domains (at a hosting provider).  I wrote a VB script to create an RDP 5 shortcut for each server that includes the necessary username, password and domain information.

    Now, I can save user credentials in the new RDP 6, but I can't figure out how to create all the shortcuts again quickly.  I do not want to have to manually log in to each server and click remember password.  Is there an easy way to populate the credential manager via a script?  Can I import my old .rdp files so that the new RDP 6 imports all the credential information?

    I am using XP, but the question is the same for vista.


    Tuesday, September 16, 2008 5:39 AM

Answers

  • As it turns out this is actually very easy in XP with RDP 6

    You need to get a copy of cmdkey.exe from a 2003 server.  Drop that in your root somewhere.  Then just use it from the command line to add /generic user information.

    example:

    cmdkey /generic:ipofserver /user:domain\username /pass:yourpass

    that will populate the credential manager with that user information for RDP to use.  The useless user gui in control panel does not display this data until vista.

    I chose to write a for loop in a batch file that ran through my list of servers and the credentials I use for each one (csv file).  Now when I use RDP 6 it pulls my login credentials from the credential manager and I breeze right through the login process on my servers.  Much better than saving my info one at a time for 300 servers.

    I just wish this type of behavior would have been documented.  I understand the need to make it more secure and that may change how it works, but to make it so confusing and force one to do hours of research just so that they can be as productive as they once were is insane.  I still don't understand the pre-authentication, how does that make it more secure?  If the pre-authentication fails you still get to the server and are given a second chance to login on the server.  Just seems to annoy you rather than provide any security benefit.
    Wednesday, September 17, 2008 7:14 AM

All replies

  • As it turns out this is actually very easy in XP with RDP 6

    You need to get a copy of cmdkey.exe from a 2003 server.  Drop that in your root somewhere.  Then just use it from the command line to add /generic user information.

    example:

    cmdkey /generic:ipofserver /user:domain\username /pass:yourpass

    that will populate the credential manager with that user information for RDP to use.  The useless user gui in control panel does not display this data until vista.

    I chose to write a for loop in a batch file that ran through my list of servers and the credentials I use for each one (csv file).  Now when I use RDP 6 it pulls my login credentials from the credential manager and I breeze right through the login process on my servers.  Much better than saving my info one at a time for 300 servers.

    I just wish this type of behavior would have been documented.  I understand the need to make it more secure and that may change how it works, but to make it so confusing and force one to do hours of research just so that they can be as productive as they once were is insane.  I still don't understand the pre-authentication, how does that make it more secure?  If the pre-authentication fails you still get to the server and are given a second chance to login on the server.  Just seems to annoy you rather than provide any security benefit.
    Wednesday, September 17, 2008 7:14 AM
  • I think the cmdkey solution would leave a big hole for someone to hack in and find your list of passwords.  It was so much easier when the passwords were encrypted.  What I wish would happen would be a way to script the Remote Desktop program mstsc to open with the Save Password option and ask for the username.


    Helpful nice guy
    Tuesday, June 02, 2009 7:00 PM
  • As it turns out this is actually very easy in XP with RDP 6

    You need to get a copy of cmdkey.exe from a 2003 server.  Drop that in your root somewhere.  Then just use it from the command line to add /generic user information.

    example:

    cmdkey /generic:ipofserver /user:domain\username /pass:yourpass

    that will populate the credential manager with that user information for RDP to use.  The useless user gui in control panel does not display this data until vista.

    I chose to write a for loop in a batch file that ran through my list of servers and the credentials I use for each one (csv file).  Now when I use RDP 6 it pulls my login credentials from the credential manager and I breeze right through the login process on my servers.  Much better than saving my info one at a time for 300 servers.

    I just wish this type of behavior would have been documented.  I understand the need to make it more secure and that may change how it works, but to make it so confusing and force one to do hours of research just so that they can be as productive as they once were is insane.  I still don't understand the pre-authentication, how does that make it more secure?  If the pre-authentication fails you still get to the server and are given a second chance to login on the server.  Just seems to annoy you rather than provide any security benefit.
    Hi,

    I know this is an old thread, however I would really appreciate the use of that aforementioned script, if you still have it?

    Thanks in advance,

    Panarchy
    • Edited by Panarchy Friday, July 31, 2009 1:32 AM
    Friday, July 31, 2009 1:30 AM