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Windows 7: Create a desktop shortcut to run Ctrl+Alt+Delete?

16 Sep 2015   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit
Create a desktop shortcut to run Ctrl+Alt+Delete?

Hi. I discovered Microsoft's 'Mouse without Borders' recently and use it to run three monitors across 2 PCs with just one common mouse and keyboard. Very useful.

However, the link will sometimes fail, and it rarely works first off after a reboot (anyone familiar with this?): pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del on both machines usually restores the function immediately, but to resort to using the second keyboard to enter that on the remote (slave) PC is a bit of a pain....

Hence my question. I have spent some time Googling this but haven't come up with anything I can readily understand. Is there any way I can create a desktop shortcut which will cause the Windows 7 blue dialogue screen to appear, as does the Ctrl+Alt+Del key combination? It would, moreover, have to be set to send the Ctrl+Alt+Del request to the remote PC, not the local one (!), so maybe this is going to be complex/impossible to do in any case.

It would be SO much easier to be able to click on such a shortcut on the slave PC screen rather than having to reach for its (rather distantly located!) keyboard every time. But as I say, it's probably not possible?

Both PCs run Win7 x64 BTW...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2015   #2

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit

I don't believe what you want is possible, and that by design.

Back in the early days of the NT platform Ctrl+Alt+Del was designed as a trusted keyboard combination. It could not be trapped or simulated in any way. A computer user could be certain that pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del would always display the system login screen which could be brought up by no other method. He could be sure that the login screen was legitimate and not a cleverly designed fake designed to steal login credentials. This was a problem in early Unix systems.

Exactly what Ctrl+Alt+Del does has changed in more recent OS versions but the principle remains the same.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Sep 2015   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

Perhaps use TeamViewer instead of what you are using at the moment?
Or use an actual KVM switch.

By the way, how can the remote desktop apps send the combination? :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

16 Sep 2015   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

No, I suspect it can't be done. Actually, the command wouldn't need to be sent to the remote PC: a shortcut which somehow ran Ctrl+Alt+Delete, placed on the remote PC's desktop could easily be clicked with a mouse attached to that 'slave' PC (it's reaching for the keyboard which is a nuisance), but sounds like even that is not possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2015   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2015   #6

W7 Pro SP1 64bit

A single click on an icon on UltraVNC sends "something" to the remote computer. That "something" makes the UltraVNC app that is running on the remote computer simulate a Ctrl-Alt-Del. In TeamViewer, it takes two clicks to make the TV app running on the remote computer simulate a Ctrl-Alt-Del.

So... in theory, an app could create a service that runs all of the time. Each time the user double clicks on a shortcut on the remote computer, that shortcut starts an app that tells the service to simulate a Ctrl-Alt-Del.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2015   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

Thanks for the replies. Don't really want to install software like teamviewer just to do this: probably have to reach across to the keyboard (or see why Mouse without Borders keeps disconnecting).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Sep 2015   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Home Premium 64bit Ver 6.1.7600 Build 7601 - SP1

Have you tried CTRL+ALT+END?

Note   Note
  • CTRL+ALT+DEL always goes to the local computer's desktop.
  • If you need to send CTRL+ALT+DEL to the remote computer, you must use CTRL+ALT+END.
  • To toggle between full screen and non-full screen mode during a Remote Desktop session, use CTRL+ALT+BREAK.
Source: What shortcut keys can I use in Remote Desktop Connection?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2015   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 64-bit

Many thanks.. I had seen that in fact, but Ctrl+Alt+End did nothing at all when I pressed the combination. Perhaps I am simply not sending the command to the remote desktop. I'll experiment a bit further.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Sep 2015   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1

I don't think CTRL ALT END would work, as you say it is Remote Desktop related. Does this even use RDP?

- What I wonder is would it start responding if you start task manager instead of CTRL ALT DEL?

- You can also try restarting the app on the remote machine with PSTools - PSEXEC module. (You need to start Remote Registry service on the other PC first). You can just write a 2-3 line batch with this command to shutdown and restart the app on remote machine, and double click on your desktop.
Or rather write the batch on the remote PC and run it with psexec from your main.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Create a desktop shortcut to run Ctrl+Alt+Delete?

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