Starting the installation

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Starting the installation

Use either of the following methods to install programs for multisession Terminal Server access:

  • Use Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel (recommended).

  • Use the change user command at the command prompt before and after installing the program.

One of the primary functions of the change user command is to ensure that program files are installed to the systemroot rather than the windows subdirectory of the user's home directory (%homepath%\windows). This makes the programs available for multisession access.

Before the program is installed, type change user /install at the command prompt to place the system in install mode and turn off .ini file mapping. The system then records how the setup APIs initially install the program.

After the program is installed, type change user /execute at the command prompt to return the system to execute mode, restore .ini file mapping, and redirect user-specific data to the user's home directory.

When the user opens the program, user-specific registry setting files (.ini, .dll, .ocx, and so on) are propagated as needed to the user's home directory.

Add or Remove Programs, which runs the change user command, is the preferred method of installing programs. Enter change user at the command prompt only when you install a program by another method and want to ensure multisession access. For example, when Internet Explorer prompts you to install an add-on program, use change user at the command prompt to ensure that the program is installed for multisession access.

For more information, see Install a program using Add or Remove Programs.


  • Microsoft provides scripts for some programs that need tuning in order to work correctly in a multisession environment. Before installing a program, see the Microsoft Web Site for a list of programs that require scripts and information about how to use them.


  • Do not copy program files from one directory to another or manually edit the registry during installation.

  • Install programs on the terminal server local drive rather than on a file server. This improves program performance by reducing network traffic.

  • Install programs on NTFS file system drives rather than on FAT drives. You can only set file permissions on NTFS drives.