Due to Windows design limitations, interactive services (including FireDaemon ones) are only available on the Console Session. This login session is also known as Session 0, Winsta0 or the Shadow Console.


Windows 2000

Under Windows 2000 (including Terminal Services) you will need to use a 3rd party tool such as TightVNC or Radmin to access the Shadow Console.


Windows XP, Server 2003

To access FireDaemon services on Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP machines you have to explicitly connect to the Shadow Console in order to see the UI components of the service. To do this, you would normally connect to the shadow console at a command prompt using the following arguments:


mstsc /v:my-server /console


On Windows Vista SP2 and Windows XP SP3 the /console option is now deprecated and has been replaced with the /admin option. Whether this is true or not for your installation will depend on the Terminal Services Client version, Windows Updates and service packs applied.

 If you are having trouble accessing the shadow console (i.e. you don't see the interactive components of your service) try the alternate connection method of:


mstsc /v:my-server /admin


To determine what RDP (terminal services) command line options are available to you type the following at a command prompt:


mstsc /?


IMPORTANT Lastly, you will not be able to RDP to Session 0 on a Windows XP SP3 box whilst Fast User Switching and the Welcome Screen is active. To disable these go to the Control Panel / User Accounts and look for "Change the way users log on or off". Make sure you uncheck "Use the Welcome screen" and "Use Fast User Switching".


Windows Vista, 2008, Windows 7

Windows Vista, 2008 and Windows 7 introducted the concept of Session 0 Isolation. The Shadow Console is no longer directly available. To access it you need to enable the Interactive Services Detection service (the FireDaemon installer will do this for you), then RDP to your Vista/2008/7 machine and then switch desktop. Session 0 isolation is covered exhaustively here.


What Session Am I On?

You can use the qwinsta tool to work out which session you have connected to. After you have logged in, at a command prompt type one of the two following commands:


qwinsta


or


session query


You should see output like this if you are on the shadow console (The ID column for the connected session - rdp-tcp#3 - should be 0):


SESSIONNAME   USERNAME   ID     STATE     TYPE   DEVICE
>rdp-tcp#3    jbourne   0     Active      rdpwd
rdp-tcp                 65536  Listen     rdpwd
console                 2      Conn              wdcon


If you are not on the shadow console the output will look like this - note the Active connection is on session (ID) 3:


SESSIONNAME  USERNAME  ID    STATE   TYPE  DEVICE
rdp-tcp                65536 Listen  rdpwd
console                2     Conn          wdcon
>rdp-tcp#5   jbourne   3     Active  rdpwd


Further information

Further information about interactive services and the Shadow Console can be found here:


https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/278845

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/327618

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms683502%28VS.85%29.aspx