An Alt to Ctrl+Alt+Del

Imag­ine this, you log onto your pro­duc­tion serv­er with remote desk­top and to your sur­prise the dread­ed explorer.exe process has died and you’re star­ing at a blank, life­less, blue screen (albeit not the dark blue vari­ant which would mean some­thing more sin­is­ter had occurred!) and there’s absolute­ly noth­ing you can do from here..

What do I do? I need to check the log/start a service/etc., the serv­er is run­ning fine oth­er­wise, and restart­ing it is not an option.. the tried and test­ed CTRL+ALT+DELETE to bring up the task man­ag­er and start­ing the ‘explorer.exe’ approach won’t save you either because it’s exe­cut­ed on your local com­put­er! Time to recite four let­ter word para­graphs in your head, direct­ed at none oth­er than Microsoft..

For­tu­nate­ly, if you’re using Win­dows XP or lat­er then you’re in luck, because to per­form CTRL+ALT+DELETE on a remote PC you can use an alter­na­tive key com­bo: CTRL+ALT+End

Whilst we’re at it, there’s some oth­er use­ful short­cuts you can use in remote desk­top:

ALT + Page Up – switch between pro­grams, equiv­a­lent to ALT + Tab

ALT + Home – brings up the start menu

CTRL + ALT + +(plus) / — (minus) – plus takes a snap­shot of the entire remote desk­top win­dow, minus takes a snap­shot of the active win­dow