No more /console? Why?

Just a quick note to call attention to an email that was sent to me by Brad Scott at UPS, just in case other people run into the same issue. Brad writes:Gabe, I am a big user of brianmadden.

Just a quick note to call attention to an email that was sent to me by Brad Scott at UPS, just in case other people run into the same issue.  Brad writes:

I am a big user of and wanted to share this with you guys.  You may already know this but I had to spend some time researching the problem because I installed XP SP3 and noticed the issue.
If you install SP3 for Windows XP or SP1 for Vista, the switch for connecting to a console via a RDP session apparently changes from /console to /admin.  This means that if you use the /console switch it, it will be ignored and you will only have a regular RDP session.  This also means that the current version of Remote Desktops from the 2003AdminPak and VisionApp v1.5 will no longer allow you to connect to the console even though you check the connect to console check box because they are using the old /console switch behind the scenes.
Scenarios for after XP SP3 or Vista SP1 install
If you are using….
mstsc /console  then start using mstsc /admin
Remote Desktops … evidently Server 2008 AdminPak fixes the console check box but I have not tested it yet
VisionApp… no fix that I have seen as of yet.


Thanks for the heads up, Brad.  I assume this problem also exists with iShadow and some of the other TS client vendors, but I'm not certain.  Maybe if some of those vendors read this, they can let us know if there's a fix in the works.  We'll talk to visionapp at BriForum next week, for sure.

Also, if anyone knows exactly why Microsoft made this change, I'd love to know.  If nobody knows, I'll ask them at BriForum, too, then report back.

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Royal TS does not have this problem, the console feature still works great.

I've been using the Vista RSAT (Remote Server Administration Tools), and no issues with /admin to either 2003 or 2008 servers.

Here's a good link that explains the rationale behind the switch:

I have to agree with countless others on the TS blog that complain that it was dumb of MS to change the name of the switch simply because it's no longer really connecting to the "console" session as it used to exist on 2003 and prior.  While I can appreciate wanting the semantics to be correct and all, they would have been better off to preserve the /console switch and forget the stupid /admin switch.  Or at LEAST have popped up a usage dialog letting you know that /console is now /admin, etc.  Really dumb move.
I agree also.  I also believe there was really no need to change the switch required in order for this to operate.

I gotta say I'm with you guys.  I understand the changes, and while "console" might not be the most appropriate name anymore, I see no reason to change it.  Most folks are using those switches for the same purpose between systems anyway.

I don't have a test box to try this on since all my stuff is boxed up or was disconnected while getting ready for BriForum, but in Win2k3 you could remote into the console session to reset TS connections if the other two (in admin mode, of course) were tied up.

Does it still work with /admin?   Am I correct in assuming you only get two /admin sessions?  Can you reset them remotely as before?  Am I just missing something entirely?

visionapp announced for a couple of weeks ago his new visionapp Remote Desktop 2008 version. The vRD2008 does not have this problem, the /console switch works fine.
But it's no longer free, correct?

They've also changed it so that /full no longer works, you must use /f.

No reason to do that.


This is outdated information. Unlike most if not all other RDP based clients, iShadow detects client engine version and uses MSTSCAX objects accordingly (which translates into /console or /admin switches when running mstsc.exe). Check for yourself: :)

Dr. Alex


Yes the new vRD2008 version is not for free. It is planed that visionapp offer in a couple of months a new freeware version of his well known vRD.

Had to downgrade back to XP SP2--they say that /admin and /console are the same--but they aren't.