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 Remote Desktop and Grabbing Apps on the 2nd Monitor

Just a quick note to address the resolution to something that's plagued me for a while now...

At work I have a dual monitor setup. At home, I have a single monitor. On occasion, I have to remote in to work from home. On occasion, I'll find that applications that were open on my 2nd monitor can't be accessed via my RDS session.

This bit me on Friday night. I needed to promote a few files up to our QA environment. Surround, our version control software, was running on the 2nd monitor. I didn't see it in the task bar, so I wasn't even sure it was running at all. I even went so far as to uninstall and reinstall the client. Nothing. Finally, at 11:30pm on a Friday night, I broke down and drove into the office so that I could promote the files.

Determined to never have to do this again, I hit Google to find a solution once and for all.

I was hoping for something built into RDS. Some sort of "bring all applications to Monitor 1", but it doesn't seem as if such an animal exists. What I did find is a 3rd party app called DeskLite. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem as if the application is maintained anymore. Any references to a DeskLite site that I found resulted in 404 errors.

I was finally able to find it, though. I don't want to link directly to it, because I'm not 100% sure about the legitimacy of the link. By that, I mean I'm not sure that the site hosting the file (http://www.shellfront.org/utils/) is truly authorized to host the file (desklite.zip). Ahem.

So far, it seems to work perfectly. DeskLite will bring up a window of all running applications. Choosing a specific app will bring that application to the center of Monitor #1. Problem solved.

If anybody knows of a better way to do this... something built into RDS, or a 3rd party application that's actively maintained, I'd love to hear it. But for now, DeskLite should save me those 11:30pm Friday night trips into the office.

Comments (Comment Moderation is enabled. Your comment will not appear until approved.)
Hey Charlie.

When this happens to me, I right click on the task bar icon and choose 'Move'. Then I hit the left arrow until the outline of the window appears within the boundaries of the screen. At that point I can use the mouse to place the window wherever I want.

Tony
# Posted By Tony | 3/30/09 2:44 PM
Been awhile since I've had to do this, but it does work and is mostly pain-free. While far from the office and unable to get to your apps, right-click the desktop and hit your screen Properties. Click over to the Settings tab and click on monitor 2, then enable the checkbox labeled "Use this device as the primary monitor." and hit Apply. Voila, your other window pops into view. When you're done, just click back on the vid Settings, click on monitor 1 and re-set that one to be the primary. Not elegant or automated, but no sketchy downloads required ;-)
# Posted By Jason Fisher | 3/30/09 2:47 PM
@Tony - Nice! I'd seen the 'Move' option in the context menu, but always just figured it was useless since I couldn't grab it with the cursor. I'd never thought to try moving it using the left arrow key.

@Jason - Just to clarify, I don't think there's anything particularly sketchy about the file itself. I was just concerned about proper ownership and distribution. As far as your solution, yes, that'd work as well. While you say it may not be 'elegant', neither is my driving to work in my bathrobe and pink bunny slippers :)
# Posted By Charlie Griefer | 3/30/09 3:00 PM
@Charlie,

Ahhh, yes, the 3:00 am drive to the server rack ... ugh ... certainly ain't nothing elegant about that!
# Posted By Jason Fisher | 3/30/09 3:11 PM
That utility is a life saver (maybe an exaggeration). Not all apps have that "move" option in their menu, so this little app is still handy to have. A colleague pointed out to me just now that if you log out on the target desktop and log back in it will treat the system as a single monitor machine. But as you're probably like me with plenty of windows open you don't want to close all of the apps, including those sitting on the wrong screen prompting you to save a file.
Thanks!
# Posted By Damian | 6/15/09 7:05 PM

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