Using the original Remote Desktop Client (mstsc) in Windows 8 Developer Preview


If you’re using Windows 8 Developer Preview, you will have noticed that the bundled Remote Desktop Client does not play so well with older machines (Windows 7 and below).

If, like me, you are a constant user of the Remote Desktop Client (a.k.a mstsc, and.a.k.a. Microsoft Terminal Services Client), this can be quite a problem.

Luckily the older remote desktop client is still very alive and kicking in Windows 8 Developer Preview.

  • You can either navigate to C:\Windows\system32 and locate mstsc… and of course just fire it away
  • Or you can run it from your run dialog (WIN+R) as C:\Windows\system32\mstsc.exe
  • Or, you can call up your new fancy Metro-Style start menu (or legacy one if you’ve disabled metro), type mstsc, and voilà, it just pops up
And there you have it… from here on, you can launch it any way you want… create a tile, a short-cut, pin it… the choice is yours :)
That’s what I love most about Windows vs Mac… so many choices :)
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Restore Start Menu in Windows 8 Developer Preview (or how to disable Metro)


If, like me, you do not really like the Metro-styled Windows 8 start menu, you can restore the Window 7 classic style menu with a simple registry tweak, as follows

  • Runregedit‘ from your WIN+R dialog
  • Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer
  • Set RPEnabled to 0
  • Reboot :)
The inverse (setting to 1) will restore your metro-styled ui.
Do note that this will disable Metro!

Windows 8 Developer Preview Safe Mode


It turns out that the normal way to access safe mode is disabled in Windows 8 Developer Preview.

Instead, launch Windows, and do the following:

  1. Call up the ‘Run Dialog‘ by hitting WinKey+R
  2. Enter ‘msconfig‘ and hit enter
  3. Go to the ‘Boot’ tab
  4. Enable ‘Safe Boot‘ under ‘Boot Options’
  5. Restart your machine
To return to normal mode, just run the same process, and un-check ‘Safe Boot’