How to Update rdpwrap.ini (RDP Wrapper)

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Tony G. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

Thanks for your previous article regarding RDP Wrapper, which allows me to connect to my media PC using more than one RDP (remote desktop protocol) session. This is incredibly convenient because the kids can be watching a movie on the media PC, I can still login to it through remote desktop without interrupting anything. The issue I'm having today is that Windows 10 recently updated to 10.0.17763.316, and now RDP Wrapper is broken. I have gone to the RDP Wrapper website and found other users complaining of the same problem. Many forum posts suggest I need to update the rdpwrap.ini file to make it work again. The problem is that I can't update the rdpwrap.ini file because I get 'access denied' or 'you do not have permission to open this file' when trying to save it using notepad. In other words, the file is in use which then results in the RDP Wrapper Not Listening error. If I copy over top of the rdpwrap.ini (with another rdpwrap.ini file), I get the same issue - file is in use. The forum community doesn't seem to explain how to update RDP Wrapper step by step. Also, if I uninstall RDP Wrapper it reinstalls the default rdpwrap.ini file. I am going in circles and I have no idea how to update rdpwrap.ini. Can you help? "

My response:

Thanks for your question. First let's talk about what RDP Wrapper is and does, and why it needs updating - and better yet, why it's not always easy to update this fine program.

What is RDP Wrapper?

RDP Wrapper is an amazing utility that 'wraps' over top of the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) found in MS Windows without actually patching any DLLs (termsrv.dll). It allows users to have more than 1 concurrent RDP session as commonly used with Windows Servers.

If you are a power user that uses RDP to control a network of computers, RDP Wrapper is a godsend.

Example of How RDP Wrapper Works: Remote Access to Office PC

Let's look at an example.

Let's say you have a machine at the office that serves files to your network of office PCs. You store all your data on this machine, which effectively acts as a 'Server' role in the office.

Flash forward to March 2020 and we have the COVID-19 pandemic, where users are forced to work remotely instead of inside the office. The issue now is that users still need access to office servers and workstations in order to obtain files or process data, or launch specific programs remotely that are only available at the office.

That's where RDP (remote desktop protocol) and RDP Wrapper comes in. With RDP Wrapper, you can connect to your office Server machine (and workstations) by remote. That said, one major caveat to RDP is that is will only allow 1 connection at a time per machine. If someone else tries to connect to the same machine, the other person gets disconnected.

This is a major problem for most organizations that have large groups of users that need access to an office Server or workstation. That's what RDP Wrapper fixes: it allows you to have as many connections to a machine as needed, similar to a real Windows Server machine without having to pay for a Windows Server license.

Related: How to Secure Remote Desktop Protocol to Office PC

RDP Wrapper: Sometimes Breaks after Windows Update

Unfortunately, RDP Wrapper does not appear to be updated by the developer as of last year.

That said, there is a big community of users using RDP Wrapper. A small handful of them have developed their own fixes (also known as "byte offsets") to get around various Windows Update issues that break RDP Wrapper.

The reason it breaks has to do with programming code updates to the dynamic link library (termsrv.dll) of the remote desktop protocol itself, courtesy of Microsoft. Unfortunately, finding the right fix (rdpwrap.ini byte offset) to make RDP Wrapper work again is not always easy to do because you often have to wait for a fix to be developed by the community, then wade through forum posts in search of said fix.

How to Update rdpwrap.ini (RDP Wrapper)

Before beginning: please note that if you intend to use RDP Wrapper for remote access to a machine (such as an office PC, for example), you will be at MAJOR risk of having hackers access your network and ransomware deployed. The reason for this is because RDP is open to the public (once the port is open on the router), and therefore anyone can try and connect to the machine and entire network - including bots and hackers. If you get ransomware on the machine (and network) you will lose all your files. This article proves what I just said. To prevent such attacks, the connection must be secured properly using a virtual private network installed on the machine running RDP and RDP Wrapper. This is a service I offer; please read this article for more information.

Related: How to Secure Remote Desktop Protocol to Office PC

Here are the steps on how to update RDP wrapper:

  1. Download the "Automatic RDP Wrapper installer" (autoupdate-XXX.zip) from the statscorp github page.
     
  2. Go to your download folder, then right click over top of the autoupdate.zip file and select "Extract All". This will create a folder called autoupdate and will contain a file called autoupdate.bat and a folder called Helper. Go inside the autoupdate folder, then press CTRL + A on the keyboard to select all, then CTRL + X to "cut" to your clipboard.
     
  3. Go to where you've installed RDP Wrapper on the hard drive - on most systems, it will be in "c:\program files\rdp wrapper". Once you're there, press CTRL + V on your keyboard to paste the contents of the autoupdate.bat and Helper folder inside this folder.
     
  4. Now you can finally automatically update RDP Wrapper. To do so, right click over top of autoupdate.bat and select "Run as administrator".
     
  5. Assuming that went find, it's time to test your RDP Wrapper. You can run the RDPConf.exe program and the Listener state should say "Fully supported".

I hope that helps.

Once again, if you're having issues getting this to work, you are welcome to contact me for assistance - email me here.

CRITICAL REMINDER: if you intend to use RDP Wrapper for remote access to a machine (such as an office PC, for example), you will be at MAJOR risk of having hackers access your network and ransomware deployed. The reason for this is because RDP is open to the public (once the port is open on the router), and therefore anyone can try and connect to the machine and entire network - including bots and hackers. If you get ransomware on the machine (and network) you will lose all your files. This article proves what I just said. To prevent such attacks, the connection must be secured properly using a virtual private network installed on the machine running RDP and RDP Wrapper. This is a service I offer; please read this article for more information.

Related: How to Secure Remote Desktop Protocol to Office PC

Did you find this Page Useful?

If you found this page useful, I ask that you kindly link to it in a forum post, perhaps on the rdpwrapper site / forum, so that others can find it in Google. Thanks!

Still Can't Make RDP Wrapper Work?

If you need help configuring or updating RDP Wrapper, I am available for hire where I can remotely connect to your machine and update it for you. Contact me here.

Additional 1-on-1 Support From Dennis

If all of this is over your head, or if you can't get RDP Wrapper working, I can help using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me, briefly describing the issue and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

Rate this article: 
Average: 3.7 (23 votes)