Friday, January 17, 2014

Enhanced session mode in Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V

In Windows Server 2012 R2 with Hyper-V role, Microsoft improved Virtual Machine Connection to support to redirect local resources to a virtual machine session. Using enhanced session mode, the following local resources can be redirected when using Virtual Machine Connection.
  • Display configuration
  • Audio
  • Printers
  • Clipboard
  • Smart cards
  • USB devices
  • Drives
  • Supported Plug and Play devices
At this moment, enhanced session mode of virtual machine connection supports Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 only.

To enable enhanced session, we can do the following settings.

1. Launch "Hyper-V Manager" and then navigate to "Hyper-V Settings".
2. Navigate to "Enhanced Session Mode Policy" and then check "Allow enhanced session mode".

1. Launch "PowerShell" as administrator.
2. Perform "Set-VMHost -EnableEnhancedSessionMode $true -Passthru" to enable "enhanced session mode".

There are some settings in virtual machines to be aware when using "enhanced session mode".

1. Make sure "Remote Desktop Services" of virtual machines is "Running".

2. The user who log on in a virtual machine should be a member of local "Administrators" or local "Remote Desktop Users". If not, you get this warning.

Users can swap the session between "enhanced session mode" and "basic session mode" by pressing the icon in "Virtual Machine Connection".

By default, virtual machine connection will use "Basic session mode" to connect a virtual machine. We can change it to use "enhanced session mode" as the default setting in "Hyper-V Settings" of "Hyper-V Manager".

Plus, users cannot change the redirect local resource settings during the existing virtual machine connection. To change the redirect local resource settings, users need to re-open the virtual machine connection and then click "Show Options" to update the settings.

After that, press "Connect".

Remark: You need to install the Hyper-V Manager of Remote Server Administration Tools (RSAT) version 8.1 on workstations (Windows 8.1) if you'd like to connect the virtual machine with "enhanced session mode" of virtual machine connection.


This posting is provided “AS IS” with no warranties, and confers no rights!

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