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Windows 7: Remote Desktop from workgroup computer to domain computer

23 Jul 2014   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64
Remote Desktop from workgroup computer to domain computer

I am having trouble establishing how to make a remote desktop connection using RDP from my home computer which is on a workgroup to my work laptop which is on a domain. I work from home occasionally and would like to be able to use RDP in order to use my keyboard mouse and monitor without buying a KVM switch. I am able to establish a remote desktop connection FROM my domain (work) laptop TO my workgroup (home) PC, but not vice versa, i.e. FROM workgroup TO domain computer.

I have searched online and found information about going from domain to workgroup, but not the other way around. Most online information was focused on IT professional server management that I am not completely familiar with such as active directory etc...

I have checked My Computer > Properties > Advanced system settings > System Properties > Remote tab on both computers. Both computers are set to allow connections from any version of Remote Desktop. I ran network connection statistics cmd "netstat -a" and both computers show listening state for port 3389. I ran remote desktop query session cmd "qwinsta" which lists rdp-tcp.

After going to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > see full map > Network Map, I am able to see both computers on the network from either machine. Under Control Panel > Windows Firewall > Allowed Programs, for the workgroup computer Remote Desktop is allowed for home networks, and for the domain computer Remote Desktop is allowed for domain networks and home networks.

When I try to connect to the domain computer from the workgroup computer using Remote Desktop Connection, if I enter in the IP address of the domain computer, Remote Desktop says that it can't connect to the remote computer for one of these reasons:
1) Remote access to the server is not enabled
2) The remote computer is turned off
3) The remote computer is not available on the network

If I enter in the name of the domain computer, Remote Desktop says that it can't find the computer.

I have tried pinging the IP address of the domain computer using cmd "ping" and the request timed out. I have also turned on the Telnet Client under Windows Features and tried the cmd "telnet 3389" and the connect failed and could not open connection to the host.

I am not sure if the following information is relevant since I am not trying to go outside my home network but I will include it anyway. I am using OpenDNS domain name system filtering. I have an ASUS RT-AC66U router that has the WAN DNS settings to use the OpenDNS DNS servers and and made sure that the LAN DNS server setting is blank. I have AT&T U-verse that uses a 2WIRE 3600HGV gateway that I have set to use DMZPlus mode so that all inbound traffic goes to my router. After my router I have a Cisco switch that everything is connected to.

I ran the internet protocol config cmd "ipconfig /all" on both machines. Both state that DHCP is enabled and auto-configuration is enabled. Both list the same Default Gateway, DHCP Server, and DNS Server IP address of (which is the IP address of my router). Both show that NetBIOS over TCP/IP is enabled. The main difference I saw was that the domain machine has a primary DNS suffix and DNS suffix search list entries.

I went to Control Panel > Network and Sharing Center > Advanced sharing settings on both machines and made sure that the settings were the same. Network discovery is on, file and printer sharing is on, public folder sharing is on, media streaming is off, file sharing connections use 128-bit encryption, password protected sharing is on, and uses user accounts and passwords to connect to other computers. My home workgroup computer user account has a password.

I read somewhere that I might be able to get it to work if I created a local user account on my domain computer, although that kind of defeats the purpose since all of my settings would be different, and am not sure if that would even work. Is it even possible for my home computer to establish a RDP session with my work domain laptop since it is not in the active directory and does not have the correct security identifier? Since I am not an IT professional and don't have access to any group policy settings, I am not sure if what I am asking is even feasible.

Any help or clarification would be appreciated. Thanks.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jul 2014   #2

Win7 & Win8 64bit

Welcome to Seven Forums!

Do you have either VPN or Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services) setup? Your Network Admin should be able to assist you. We use RDS at work and works well for me and everybody.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2014   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64

Hi thanks for your reply. I didn't want to bother the IT guys at work since they seem pretty busy, although I can see about asking them if I get the chance.

I have VPN on my laptop that allows me to connect to the corporate domain/network. My work laptop uses a Cisco VPN client that I use to connect to the VPN server. I don't have VPN on my home computer. I think that they typically would not allow me to VPN onto the network from a computer that is not a company asset for security concerns.

I am not that familiar with Remote Desktop Services (RDS). I think that it is installed on my work laptop in the corporate domain. I am able to establish Remote Desktop Connections (RDCs) to other computers that are on the corporate domain just fine from my work laptop.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, I am also able to establish a RDC from my work laptop to my home computer on a workgroup, but not the other way around.

I think what you were getting at, correct me if I'm wrong, was that if I was able to VPN onto the corporate domain/network from my home desktop, then I could establish a RDC to my work laptop. I think that that would work, but seems like that would be a security issue.

Does the IT department need to have other settings configured with RDS to allow RDCs from computers that are not on the domain? On my work laptop I looked at 'Computer' > 'Properties' > 'Advanced system settings' > 'Remote' tab and under the 'Remote Desktop' section where I have selected 'Allow connections from computers running any version of Remote Desktop' clicked on 'Select Users'. On the 'Remote Desktop Users' window I clicked 'Add Users' and tried to add my home desktop computer workgroup user account, however it would not let me. It said that the object is not from a domain listed in the 'Select Location' dialog box and is not valid. When I go to the 'Select Location' dialog box I cannot change to find any computers other than my work laptop.

I am beginning to think that I cannot do it. It sounds like it would be nice, since there is an option to use all my monitors for the remote session, so potentially I could use my two monitors mouse and keyboard, without having to buy a piece of hardware like a docking station or KVM switch when working from home.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

28 Jul 2014   #4

Win7 & Win8 64bit

I believe that you're correct....
I don't have VPN on my home computer. I think that they typically would not allow me to VPN onto the network from a computer that is not a company asset for security concerns.
Unfortunately, since this is your home computer that you wish to be connected remotely to your work's computer, we can't assist you bypassing your business network protocol. You should ask your IT Dept.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2014   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64

Ok thanks for your help. I thought it was worth looking into when I was thinking about buying a dock or KVM switch to make my laptop easier to use. I might ask them but now that I think about it, it probably isn't secure and doubt that they'd allow it for convenience unless there was a strong need. thanks
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jul 2014   #6

Win7 & Win8 64bit

No worries....
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2016   #7

Windows 10
Windows 10 (home desktop) to Windows 7 (work) laptop


I was having the same problem, and then google ("group policy for remote desktop connection") helped me out.

It is possible that the RDC connections are not enabled or configured) on your RDC work-laptop.

Enable them in Group Policy (grouppol)
Navigate to Computer Configuration, Policies, Administrative Templates, Network, Network Connections, Windows Firewall, Domain Profile. Double-click Windows Firewall: Allow inbound Remote Desktop exceptions. ... Double-click Allow users to connect remotely using Remote Desktop Services, set it to Enabled, then click OK.
It helped me.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Remote Desktop from workgroup computer to domain computer

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