Cannot RDC using Laptop as wifi link to router

Osprey Hawk

Active Member
So, last week my wifi adapter card started fizzling out. I made due by turning on my old Vista laptop and having it share it's internet via Ethernet to my main Win 7 desktop (which, sad to say, is superior to the card). So far, the only problem I have was having multiple FTP connections not working. But now, I need to access my computer from work via RDC and initial tests are not working.

Diagram of setup: Modem > Wifi Router > Laptop > Ethernet Cable > Desktop

I was able to use RDC with my desktop prior to the adapter failing and had also used the laptop for RDC in the past. The desktop has a designated address and port 3389 was forwarded to that address in the router. The laptop used to have the same address, but was reset when the router was replaced.

Is there something additional I need to do in the router or the laptop to allow for RDC? Should the port in the laptop be changed? Is RDC impossible until I get the adapter replaced?

Laptop: Win Vista Business x32
Desktop: Win 7 Pro x64


Fantastic Member
Premium Supporter
Hawk: I'm having a little difficulty understanding your setup. What Make/Model specifically is your home wifi router?
So, your desktop has the failing wifi card or is it the laptop with Win Vista Business x32? :scratch:

To try and check for some general things in the router setup: #1) Ensure that you BLOCK ANONYMOUSE INTERNET REQUESTS; and #2) Ensure that your Desktop with Win7 Pro x64 still has a STATIC IP ADDRESS! :nerdie:

It sounds like your were using ICS *Internet Connection Sharing*, which is peer-to-peer sharing and often you may have inadvertently changed the STATIC IP ADDRESS in your Destkop adapter to something different in order to get your bandaid ICS internet connection working through the Vista laptop. I've done this myself. Go back and double-check you still have a Static IP in the desktop adapter settings, and that it's the correct one for your subnet. Probably the one you were using on the Desktop prior to your wifi adapter failing; if you have that documented somewhere. :blow:

Without #1 and #2 above, your RDC connection will not work! :hide: I'm not sure about which laptop had the IP address reset, but you may have difficulty running a static IP address on the Vista Business laptop at your office if they have a firewall with Radius Server or a Proxy Server. You may only be able to run a Dynamic IP address on that laptop on your office network, unless the IT Director gives you a special port to "punch" through to run Static-to-Static IP RDC. Most companies won't allow that, as it's a big hole in the firewall so to speak. If you are stuck running the Dynamic IP on your Vista laptop at the office, you should still be able to get through their network and do RDC. Unless they have some specific devices or rules that prohibit that traffic. Again, you'll need to speak with your IT people. Often, they will not allow that type of traffic, and may require you to put a VPN router in your home in order to make that sort of connection. Some companies will supply and install for you, others like the Law Firm I worked for made you purchase the equipment and pay to have it installed.

So the answer to your first question, is "Yes". The 2nd question, about the port # in the laptop; I think you mean the IP address in the laptop, and the Port # in your wifi router. And "No" you don't want to change the Port from #3389, otherwise your RDC won't work at all! :noway: The 3rd question answer is, "Gee, I dunno!"; since I am having trouble figuring out your setup, I can't tell whether RDC will work or not. :confused: But, you should try replacing the wifi adapter in your desktop with a hardline ethernet cable from the desktop NIC to the wifi router to test. This will tell you if it works, that your wifi adapter in your desktop is faulty and has to go. (is the desktop wifi adapter bus-based or usb?). :nerdie:

I answer all 3 of your questions here as best I could. More information would be helpful, but you have the basics on what you need to do.

Lastly, I would try to get the Win7 desktop doing RDC with your Vista laptop in your home environment first, and then take the Vista laptop into work and try to figure out how to get it to work through your corporate office network--that's gonna be real difficult even with your IT department helping you. However, if you can tell them that you have RDC working in your home on the same subnet between your 2 computers, they will be able to help your work through the problem with much fewer headaches. Don't be surprised if they won't let you do RDC from your office at all and suggest a VPN connection or something like GoToMyPC. And in today's economy, don't be surprised if they ask you to pay for it as well! :eek:

Get back to us on your specs and answers to my questions when you can.

Let us know if you solve before we close the loop!

Best of Luck, :thumbs_up:

Osprey Hawk

Active Member
You seem to not be completely comprehending my diagram. The Laptop will never be good for anything other than as a wifi hub, or emergency computing. I have to bring a keyboard and mouse with it since buying a replacement is a hit or miss and is too expensive to bother with. And my place of work is a bowling alley. I do their graphics (and IT) for them but RDC my home PC because the software and files I use are only for that system. The work computer I RDC with is a Vista and I used it for both the laptop (when it was still worth lugging around) and my current setup.

The Desktop is my main computer and the adapter is a PCI card. The router is netgear.

Prior to fecking with the settings on the laptop after reading your reply, I glanced at the connected devices list on the router and my main system wasn't listed. I assume that the laptop was acting as a pseudo router since the ip address for the win7 machine did not match the adapter. i.e. router uses and the laptop connection was The laptop showed up in the list, but not the desktop.

Anyway, after I messed around with the settings, trying to get what you suggested to work, I managed to disable my desktop from using the shared connection somehow.

But! After I restarted the desktop in an attempt to fix an ethernet issue, the adapter (which I hadn't removed but only uninstalled) reinstalled itself and started working properly! I am never buying Tendnet again. Not only did this adapter start going bonkers after a little over a year of use, the newest driver for it lists a completely different company (realtek). I assume some sort of corp. BS happened, but still, it's rather confusing when the driver came directly from Tendnet's site.

So, after work I shall head to the nearest Bestbuy or even MicroCenter (longer drive) and see if there is anything better than this POS. I will send this current adapter in for replacing so I can at least have a backup.

And no, running an ethernet cable from the router to my desktop isn't the most prime of options. I would require 100 feet of cable and have to navigate underneath a door that is incredibly hard to open (blocked by stuff on the swing side) and snake it through a ceiling and two walls just to plug it in.

This website is not affiliated, owned, or endorsed by Microsoft Corporation. It is a member of the Microsoft Partner Program.