Broke my Moniter, need to access my tower... Any thoughts?
February 23, 2006 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Any way to gain access to a win XP box through a forced remote desktop (or another method?). Or even a network install (though that'd be hard, I don't dare lose anything on the HDD) of Linux? Oh, and I don't have a monitor (that's the root of the problem)

I don't have a (working) cd rom drive, and there's 3 hdd's on the unit with valuable data (some loseable, some not, but the not loseable is spread accross all the drives). It's got USB ports, but I don't know if it's set up to boot from USB. It has a component out (and the cord even reaches the TV! :D), but for some reason it's not enabled (anyway to force that?). I have little Linux knowlege, but I have BASIC terminal use (navigation, deletion, directory creation, etc.). Is there anyway to force it to accept a Telnet request? Or anything like that? Oh, and yes the drives are shared, but I don't have the space to back them up to do a wipe, so sadly that's out. Thanks in advance!
posted by TrueVox to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
What exactly are you trying to do here? Gain remote control of the machine? Or just get the data off of it? If the former, installing another OS won't help.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:24 PM on February 23, 2006

Unless you already had remote desktop access enabled I can't think of any way to get in there, especially if you have no mechanism of booting from cd. How would you plan to use remote desktop on another pc if you didn't have a monitor? Go to a friends house and use their monitor? Go buy a used $15 CRT monitor from a used computer shop? Remove the drives and go mount them in someone else's xp box so you can get your important data off? You'd need to be able to access the display properties to enable the component out.
posted by well_balanced at 12:30 PM on February 23, 2006

Pull the drives, pickup a $10 external USB HDD enclosure and plug them into someone elses box.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:35 PM on February 23, 2006

Maybe even try Craigslist for a free monitor? I don't know how any method of screwing around with different OS's will help you bypass the fact that you can't see what you are doing...
posted by JJ86 at 12:51 PM on February 23, 2006

Well, go to a friend's / aunt's house, or even your small friendly local computer shop, I'm pretty sure they would let you use one of those demo monitors.
posted by a007r at 1:26 PM on February 23, 2006

Have you tried restarting the machine w/ the television on? I know with some ati cards, if the television is off during post (might as well have it on the specific AV channel) the card won't detect the television.
posted by AllesKlar at 1:31 PM on February 23, 2006

If you have administrator rights to the windows box, you can remotely enable the remote desktop service, then you'd be able to remote in.
posted by madajb at 3:54 PM on February 23, 2006

Oh! Madajb, how do you do that? Because I do have admin rights.

Also, to all asking why I'm trying this without a moniter, I want to use the box as a server. I've a laptop that I can use to do what I have to after I get some form of control over it.

And to anyone wondering why I'm trying to gain remote control, I'm really not. I have the keyboard, mouse, etc. The box is right next to me. I just don't have a moniter.

I'll try starting it up with the boob tube on.
posted by TrueVox at 6:42 PM on February 23, 2006

If you still need to get into it remotely, and assuming that you're running XP Pro, do the following. Turn it on, wait a couple of minutes (or until the drive light stops flashing), and type in your password blind. Once it has logged in and drive activity has ceased, left click once, then type "my com" (or the first few letters of whatever you've renamed 'My Computer' to). hit alt+enter, hit the right arrow six times, hit tab three times, then space, then enter. Voila, you've just enabled remote access.
posted by sysinfo at 9:05 PM on February 23, 2006

Wow. That's freakin' amazing. You're my hero.
posted by TrueVox at 10:10 PM on February 23, 2006

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