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Server 2012 refusing RDP admin connection (no licensing)

    Question

  • Hello, I am trying to remote into Windows Server 2012, which I did for months, but am now getting this error:

    "The remote session was disconnected because there are no Remote Desktop License Servers available to provide a license"

    How can I fix this and why do I need a license server? I just want to log in to do administration, which doesn't require a CAL per below.

    Do I have to acquire RDS CALs if I am only remotely administering Windows Server operating systems by using
    Remote Desktop for Administration?

    No. Up to two users may connect to the Windows Server operating system simultaneously to perform administrative
    functions without needing any RDS CALs. Additional administrative users need the appropriate RDS CALs.

    I am stuck right now. Any pointers please?

    Thanks for any help.

    Friday, March 08, 2013 12:49 PM

Answers

  • Ok, I think I have it figured it out and consider this (a) bad product design and (b) a Server 2012 bug.

    1. The graphical management tools for RDS Session Host Management are disabled when not oprerating a Domain (why?). The fall back is configuration via group policy:

    Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Remote Desktop Services -> Remote Desktop Session Host -> Licensing
    Use the specified RD license servers = <server IP>
    Set the Remote Desktop licensing mode = Per User

    This got us to a stage where Licensing diagnostics looked good and no related local errors showed up in the server logs but remote sessions were still refused, leading to...

    2.  Force-removing the RDS licensing time-bomb registry entry:

    computer\hkey_local_machine\system\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\RCM\GracePeriod

    RegEdit alone couldn't do it. It had to actually be run under highest privileges with the help of Sysinternals: psexec -s -i regedit.exe

    After another reboot things seem to be working now. However, I am somewhat suspicious that this only hacked the time bomb but did not actually activate the CAL licenses (none show used in RD License Manager).
    Anyway, hope this helps someone not to waste hours.

    Thanks.

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 4:44 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    It looks like the full Remote Desktop Services have been deployed/installed on this server causing the server to look for the RDS License server. Have a look in the Server Manager to see if you have Remote Desktop Services listed on Left panel were you can select all the installed roles for administration. If this has been installed and you only need the two build in administrative sessions then you can remove the RDS role.


    Danny van Dam, Citrix CCIA/CCEE Microsoft MCSE Server Infrastructure/MCSE Desktop Infrastructure/MCSA Server 2008, Cisco CCNA, VMware VCP 3/4/5 http://www.citrix-guru.com http://www.rds-support.eu

    Friday, March 08, 2013 1:20 PM
  • Ok thanks, I will check for that. I need to figure out how to rig this system up with monitor and input as it has been running as a headless server.
    Friday, March 08, 2013 1:30 PM
  • Hi,

    Did you manage to find fix the two administrative sessions? 


    Danny van Dam, Citrix CCIA/CCEE Microsoft MCSE Server Infrastructure/MCSE Desktop Infrastructure/MCSA Server 2008, Cisco CCNA, VMware VCP 3/4/5 http://www.citrix-guru.com http://www.rds-support.eu

    Saturday, March 16, 2013 5:49 PM
  • Hi - thanks for following up.

    We actually ended up installing CALs as we want to run Hyper-V on this machine.

    However, the error message is still present and we cannot RDP into the server.

    The server is in a Workgroup, no Domain. The CAL license server was installed and licenses provisioned. Everything seems to work. Remote Desktop Services licensing was configured through the group policy and RD licensing diagnostics shows everything is good. However, we can only log into 2 VMs, but not into the server and some other VMs.

    Thanks !

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 3:06 AM
  • Ok, I think I have it figured it out and consider this (a) bad product design and (b) a Server 2012 bug.

    1. The graphical management tools for RDS Session Host Management are disabled when not oprerating a Domain (why?). The fall back is configuration via group policy:

    Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Remote Desktop Services -> Remote Desktop Session Host -> Licensing
    Use the specified RD license servers = <server IP>
    Set the Remote Desktop licensing mode = Per User

    This got us to a stage where Licensing diagnostics looked good and no related local errors showed up in the server logs but remote sessions were still refused, leading to...

    2.  Force-removing the RDS licensing time-bomb registry entry:

    computer\hkey_local_machine\system\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\RCM\GracePeriod

    RegEdit alone couldn't do it. It had to actually be run under highest privileges with the help of Sysinternals: psexec -s -i regedit.exe

    After another reboot things seem to be working now. However, I am somewhat suspicious that this only hacked the time bomb but did not actually activate the CAL licenses (none show used in RD License Manager).
    Anyway, hope this helps someone not to waste hours.

    Thanks.

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013 4:44 AM
  • Pretty late reply, but removing that registry entry with no CALs installed just caused the grace period to reset to 120 days for me (from 119), so it probably does see your CALs.
    Saturday, June 22, 2013 7:26 PM
  • Thanks so lot!!!!
    We got this Problem in a running system in school - Thanks to you the ThinClients are running one day later!
    Thursday, November 07, 2013 8:01 AM
  • So is there actually an answer that worked here? I'm having this on a VM in Azure running a session based deployment. It worked for a few weeks then started this same issue. I think incidentally it might be related to the end of the grace period. 

    Please help.

    Friday, November 08, 2013 4:35 PM
  • this is a bug in 2012 at the moment, every 120 days you need to repeat the removal of that registry key

    http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/windowsserver/en-US/4abbb412-0636-4e0e-a504-f618a767b141/2012-licensing-problem?forum=winserverTS

    hoping for a hotfix at some point regarding this

    Friday, November 08, 2013 4:50 PM