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Headless "server"

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Necrofire, Dec 11, 2007.

  1. Necrofire

    Necrofire New Member

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    I have a second computer I want to run headless, for no other reason than I don't have two monitors.

    Google has showed me the following neat but not exactly waht I want programs...
    Synergy, I was able to get my mouse and keyboard for my desktop working on my laptop, but I need something that will work over internet.
    Hamachi, it's a great VPN, but I need access to the whole computer, and not just what is shared.

    I have never been successful in setting up a remote desktop connection. Can anyone help me out?

    I want to be able to control the computer from anywhere, and I'm also gonna share my media through winamp, which I know works.
     
  2. Namslas90 New Member

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  3. Necrofire

    Necrofire New Member

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    Thought of that already, I'm setting the computer up with my desktop monitor, and I have an extra keyboard and mouse to use on it. But I want a seamless system, one that does what I want it to upon startup, and I can access remotely from my laptop. It would be nice to stick with Windows, since I'm not into putting Linux onto my laptop, and I'm MUCH more familiar with windows*.

    Right now I'm waiting on a new cpu, since I somehow messed up the old one. It was some point in between the new 6000+ stock cooler upgrade (it's a 939 athlon 3200+) and when the 4pin mobo connector decided to start shorting the whole mobo, and me not realizing it for 10 or so power ups, until I stopped because I realized that when the fans jittered, the power supply was shutting off.

    Anyway, that should be wednesday or thursday, and I already have windows on it. I just need a way to set up a remote connection so I can access it from my laptop while away.

    I'm gonna be attending classes 5 days a week, 3 of which will require a bus trip and an all day stay on the main campus. I would like to listen to music, and do other things with the computer I'm gonna run at home, without taking up precious space on my laptop hard drive.
    It would also serve as a backup for my work and stuff.

    *Sure, I could do linux, I know how to navigate, and do some basic things, but setting up remote connections with windows is not my thing.

    EDIT: according to google, the service for connecting TO an XP home machine isn't in Home edition. I clearly see it in services.msc, and it's enabled.
    EDIT2: I'm going to try TightVNC, and see how that goes between my laptop and desktop. I might use Hamachi to make the connection secure or something.
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2007
  4. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    Just install it normally and use RDC, simple as that. Make sure to select "hold on no errors" in the BIOS or it'll hang upon boot because it has no keyboard.

    Accessing via the internet is as easy as forwarding the right port on your router.
     
  5. Completely Bonkers New Member

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    Alternatively use Dameware NT utilities. There is a nice remote control plus other features. You can also send a "CRTL+ALT+DEL" which is very important if the remote PC has gone into screensave. LOL
     
  6. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    I use Remote Desktop daily to control my home computers from work. It is only in XP Pro and MCE though, if you have Home Edition you are out of luck. It requires more than just the Terminal Service service running. My FTP server runs headless using Remote Desktop. That is what I recommend.
     
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  7. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    I can't think of any tool that can't send a ctrl+alt+del.


    Besides, I just read in the original post about needing access to the whole comp, not just what is shared. 2 options: share everything or access c$.
     
  8. Necrofire

    Necrofire New Member

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    Um, I don't have a router. I live in the dorms on campus. It goes through their network. I might encounter some hefty problems getting this to work.

    I mean, I can't even be pinged from the outside, nor can I ping to outside.

    I was able to get Synergy to work because my computer and laptop are on my Switch. I have a switch, not a router. The DHCP and other crap is handled by my university's servers.
    They frown upon routers and switches, as well as bittorrent and hosting game servers. I don't see how the switch imposes upon anything, so I'm gonna keep using it.

    Note, I cannot use Remote Desktop Connection for I do not have XP Pro on any of my machines. All my copies are legitimate and I'm not willing to pirate a copy of XP Pro just to do a little RDC. If it does help, I have Vista Home Premium on my laptop, and XP Home on my desktop, as well as XP Home on my 'server'. Granted it's not a real server, I want it to act like it.
     
  9. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    Ah, wait a min, you're trying to connect from inside your dorm to inside your dorm. ie the campus network has nothing to do with anything. Then no routing or anything is required. Just install dameware on your machine and connect to your server. Your switch is completely irrelevant as it is a layer 1 device.
     
  10. Necrofire

    Necrofire New Member

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    I just did a quick google for Dameware, and it's a remote program that seems interesting. How does it compare to RDC? Speed, features, etc.
     
  11. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    Performance is good, features aren't really relevant since you're controlling the whole machine. Though copy/paste from host to client and vice versa works which is rather handy.
     
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  12. Necrofire

    Necrofire New Member

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    I'm sold, this sounds like the program. So you're sure I don't need to do any port forwarding or take any secure measures or anything? I'm pretty sure I can figure the program out by myself, but I'll come back here if I have any problems.

    Now I'm just waiting on a processor from ebay:(
     
  13. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    Your computer is connected via a hub to another computer right? There is no other hardware in between? Then the computers are directly connected and unless some firewall on either computer is blocking stuff there is nothing to configure. Even if your IP address keeps changing you can just connect using your host name.
     
  14. Necrofire

    Necrofire New Member

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    Man, I really have to start explaining stuff more, and leave out unnecessary info.
    Yes my 3 computers are on a hub. I don't have the firewall on anyway, since the university has things locked down tight enough.

    My 3rd computer an and my laptop are going to get Dameware, so that while I spend ALL DAY away from home 3 times a week, I can access my computer at home, through the university's network.
     
  15. DanTheBanjoman Señor Moderator

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    That's impossible since you don't have access to the campus routers. Unless you can tunnel to some router you do have access to and forward from there. Would give a nice performance hit though, and probably be too hard to set up for you. Besides, you already need access to some connection.
     
  16. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    He should be able to get out of the campus just fine, which is what he wants to do. He would only have a problem if he was trying to access a computer on compus.

    It also depends on the University. My school gave out public IPs with no ports blocked. They did use a packet shaper to block P2P traffic though, which worked a lot better than just blocking the ports. I ran an FTP server out of my dorm all 4 years I live there.

    Though, like I said, he won't have a problem making an outgoing connection. It is only incoming connections that has to have ports fowarded. So the universities network won't matters as long as he has a connection of some kind.
     
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  17. Necrofire

    Necrofire New Member

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    Right, I like Newtekie's thinking.

    From my tinkering, here's waht I've found out about the way things work.
    If you just try and log on, it'll give you a "guest" session. It took me a while to figure out that only port 80 is allowed traffic while you are a guest. I'm not sure about other ports, I just know that MOST are blocked. When you log into this program called Cisco Clean Access Agent, it checks for some stuff, and allows communication from all ports.

    I don't see how it's impossible if I have an IP visible from outside, and if I know that IP, I can setup communication out from my computer.
    Isn't it like when I go to a website, the website sees me, and then sends info to me?

    Then again, I don't know much about networking. I do know how to tinker, and I've figured out a lot from tinkering.
     
  18. Polaris573

    Polaris573 Senior Moderator

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    Even if you can see your IP address from outside the school's network, it does not necessarily mean they will let you connect to your computer.

    My school changes my IP address on a fairly regular basis so if you wanted to connect from outside the network you might have to memorize your IP address before you leave your computer. That hurtle may or may not apply to you though. You might ask your network administrator if they will let you have a static IP address if this is the case.

    You may even try talking with one of your school's network administrators to see if they will let you operate a server from your room and see if they can unblock necessary ports and let you through security.
     
  19. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    It doesn't matter if the school changes his IP, he is connected FROM the school, so it doesn't matter what IP address he has at school. All that matters is his IP address at home, which I'm sure stays pretty regular, even if he doesn't have a static IP. Though using something like no-ip.com to set a dynamic domain name will also work, and can be automatically updated by a small service on one of the host computers.
     
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  20. Polaris573

    Polaris573 Senior Moderator

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    I'm confused. So the server is at his house and he wants to connect to it from school? I thought the server was at school and he wanted to connect to it from outside the school. I'm sorry.
     
  21. hat

    hat Maximum Overclocker

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  22. Necrofire

    Necrofire New Member

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    HA, I'm still confusing people with my explanations.

    I have a regular desktop sitting in my room at home. Home is the dorms on campus, and the internet in the dorms goes through the university's servers/network, wahtever you call it. I want to turn said desktop computer into a server of sorts. By computer->server, I mean it will basically do what a server does, lets outsiders access its stuff.

    I will be on another campus completely with my laptop, and I want to access the server(desktop) that's sitting in my room at teh dorms from my laptop while I'm on this separate campus.

    LogMeIn = stupid, hamachi was slow, and I don't think LogMeIn is any different.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2007

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