Installing AADS on Windows 10

First thing is last: Install AADS when you are done with everything else, create all the users, install whatever applications you are going to run, anti-virus (AV) software, give it a fixed IP address. Then test all that you have done.

DO NOT TRY to use Kaspersky AV with AADS. By the time you have KAV calmed down enough to work with users coming in remotely you have wasted an enormous amount of time and effectively disabled KAV. It is just not worth it. I think KAV is great software but not for this purpose. I prefer Avira. And the instructions in this document will be for Avira.

Do not install any other remote access software. Programs like Logmein, PCanywhere, Gotomeeting, Gotomypc, Teamviewer, etc all do similar things to AADS and can make changes that breaks AADS.

Make sure that all remote users have been added to the “Remote Desktop Users” group. Sign into each and every user account so that windows creates the user environment. This also makes a good test of username-password combinations. The users must have a password or RDP won't let them sign on.

When users log into a server I don't like to see the whole screen full of icons for each user so I also change some of the standard windows login behavior:

Start the Group Policy editor (Windows+R – gpedit.msc) and:

  • Enable Local Computer Policy – Computer Configuration - Administrative Templates - Network - Network Connections – Windows (Defender) Firewall – (Domain or Standard) Profile - Windows Firewall: Allow Remote Desktop Exception
  • Enable the Local Computer Policy – computer configuration - Windows Settings – Security Settings – Local Policies - Security Options – Interactive logon: Do not display last user name.
  • Enable Local Computer Policy – User Configuration, Administrative Templates - Start Menu and Taskbar - Remove and prevent access to the Shut Down, Restart, Sleep, and Hibernate commands.
  • Disable Local Computer Policy – User Configuration - Administrative templates - Control Panel - Personalization – Enable Screen Saver
  • Enable Local Computer Policy – Computer Configuration -Windows Settings - Security Settings - Local Policies - Security Options – Accounts: Block Microsoft Accounts

In the Control Panel go to the Power Options and make sure that the power plan in use is for Performance not energy savings. Make sure that the Hard drive and Ethernet card are not going to power off because of idle times.

During the install any AV protection of the registry must be turned off as well. I know that Avira leaves the registry protection on even when the AV protection is turned off. So I suspect that other AV programs will do this as well.

Turn any and all Anti-Virus Software off. Completely. Make sure there isn't anything left behind that prevents the install and more importantly registry modifications. I know that Avira leaves the registry protection on even when the AV protection is turned off.

If you haven't already Read The Fine Manual:

The official manual has very good instructions regarding installation and operation of their software. Read it. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

Now it is time to install AADS

When the AADS is done installing you will need to reboot. It offers a nice button to make that happen. This is when some of the real changes get written. If the AV software has blocked the registry write you might (might, not always) see a quick blurb about the block as the server is shutting down.

When it is done put a copy of the install .exe in the AADS directory with a .txt copy of the license key. When it comes time to reinstall because something went wrong you will have a copy of the installation file and license in an easy to find location. Make short cuts on the Administrator's desktop for AADS Control and the AADS View User commands. Make sure they are SHORTCUTS, not copies of the executables. They are very useful commands to have available quickly. An icon for the Control Panel – Administration Tools – Computer Management is useful as well.

In all of the installed Anti-virus Software put in an exception to over look c:/program files/AADS to make sure that it continues to not attack the installation of the software.

By default AADS installs with the AADS firewall enabled. If you are having problems with connecting from public IP addresses the problem is probably there. Go to AADS Control Panel, the firewall tab, and uncheck it to see if the issue is there. Windows Firewall may also be a problem. Check to make sure that it still is allowing Remote Desktop Connections. For testing turn it off and see if that helps.