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How do I increase the number of connections using terminal services in windows sbs 2003?

Posted on 2004-11-09
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hello,

I have a sbs2003 in a central office.  In 4 other off site offices I have 4 windows XP Pro computers that connect to the server using the remote desktop connection .  I can't have more than two of these computers logged onto the server at a time.  Basically when more than 2 people try to connect, the third person gets the following error at the logon screen, "The terminal server has exceeded the maximum number of allowed connections".  

What I need is the solution to be able to connect more than 2 XP Pro computers to the server using remote desktop connection.  I have went into the Group Policy Object Editor and told the maximum number of connections to be unlimited, but this does not do anything.  I have also activated the terminal server license server, with the same results.  

I have tried using a vpn to the server but the program that I am running is too big, and takes along time to load files and databases, so this is not a viable solution.

This area seems to be a big mystery as I can't find a straight answer to the problem, so I am awarding 500 points for the solution

As always, thanks in advance the the knowledge,
Tom.
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Question by:SSNS
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12541273
You have to configure the server to handle Terminal Services in Application Sharing Mode.
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Lee W, MVP earned 2000 total points
ID: 12541323
According to this:
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/sbs/evaluation/top.mspx
Application sharing mode is an option, However, According to a discussion posted here:

http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=http://support.microsoft.com%2Fservicedesks%2Fwebcasts%2Fen%2Ftranscripts%2Fwct102303.asp
"Terminal Server Application Sharing mode is not included with Small Business Server 2003."

Thus to get more connections, you'd have to buy another server, make it a member server and connect it to your SBS domain.  Then you can enable it for Application Server Mode and you'll be able to have more than 2 users connect.

Thus, the short answer is, as your setup is right now (if I understand it correctly), you cannot have more than 2 users connect.

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Expert Comment

by:cnewgaard
ID: 12541601
leew is correct  SBS 2003 does not have the option to run a application terminal server.  Remote administration only.  You can get it to have two users that aren't admins with a little tweaking on the settings though.  But you'll still be stuck with the same two concurrent user limit.  
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by:SSNS
ID: 12544202
ouch, OK then, does anyone know of a program that will allow more connections?  I am on a very tight budget and can't afford another server!  Is there something out there that does the same thing as terminal server and remote desktop connection that I can install and have 4 concurrent connections?
Thanks again.
Tom
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Expert Comment

by:GuddeMoien
ID: 12544499
because you are in a tight budget you can try the VNC server from http://www.realvnc.com/download.html
its for free and works quite well and you can have as much as u want connections.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12544537
Unless I've missed it when setting VNC, VNC does not offer multiple desktop connections under Windows.  If this were Linux, then you could have a large number of people using their own desktops, but windows does not support this.  There is no free solution I am aware of that permits you to have multiple users connected to a Windows Machine.

If you setup a Linux machine and could use linux alternatives (in most cases), then you could do this.
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12544549
If you have "unused" or infrequently used desktops running XP Pro, you could enable Remote Desktop on those - it will allow a SINGLE user to remotely connect.
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Expert Comment

by:GuddeMoien
ID: 12544675
well í think there is one more possibility which is the web remote connection.
you can have a look how to install it. im not sure how many people can access it remotely but i know that some friends in some company use it.
http://www.petri.co.il/install_remote_desktp_web_connection_on_windows_server_2003.htm
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12544789
The Remote Web Connection is merely a web-based client for connecting to the server that must be hosted on an IIS server.  You will still be subject to the two user limit.
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Author Comment

by:SSNS
ID: 12547239
HMMMM, seems like there has to be a way to get this going with more than 2 connections.  I appreciate everyones input, but I don't understand why there is not an application server mode like in server 2000!!! Any more input would be greatly appreciated.
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by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12547461
Because Microsoft wants more $$$.  Small business server is meant for small businesses.  Microsoft doesn't apparently believe this is a feature most small businesses deserve to have without paying extra.
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Author Comment

by:SSNS
ID: 12548728
Is there anyway to change the port number for terminal server from 3389 on the server?
Thanks,
Tom
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 12548820
Yes, however, I have heard this has brought mixed results for some people (some successful, some not).

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=187623

(basically the same info, I Believe)
http://www.petri.co.il/change_terminal_server_listening_port.htm
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