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Cannot login to Windows 2003 Terminal Server except as Domain Administrator equivalent

Steve Frechette
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Last Modified: 2010-04-18
I have setup 4 new Windows 2003R2 servers; ADMIN1PRI, ADMIN2PSI, ADMIN3MAIL and ADMIN4TS.  ADMIN1PRI is the primary server with the primary domain controller, print services, etc.  ADMIN2PSI runs a key application and is setup as a backup domain controller.  ADMIN3MAIL is a member of the domain and runs the mail system.  ADMIN4TS is a member of the domain and has Terminal Services activated.  When trying to login to the Terminal Server as a user who is a member of the Remote Desktop Users Group I get the following message:

"To log on to this remote computer, you must be granted the Allow log on through Terminal Services right.  By default, members of the Remote Desktop Users group have this right.  If you are not a member of the Remote Desktop Users group or another group that has this right, or if the Remote Desktop Users group does not have this right, you must be granted the right manually."

I have checked every location I can think of regarding rights and the only way I can give these users the ability to login is to make them a Domain Administrator.  Is there some change in R2 of Windows 2003 security that disables Terminal Services access by standard users?  Any idea where I should look?  Thanks!

Steve
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Top Expert 2006

Commented:
make sure your local policy is allowing it - windows settings - security settings - local policies - user rights assignment - allow logon through terminal services

make sure your Remote desktop users group is in there

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Commented:
I've already checked that and it is being allowed.  Any other ideas?

Commented:
Starting in 2003 they changed there security on TS.  Users are no longer allowed access by default. You should only have to do the follow if everything is default and you have made no changes.

Ok here we go

 On your domain great a global group and call it TS_Users or what every you want.
Next logon to your TS server and right click on my computer and goto manage
Go to local users and groups
and the domain global group ts_users to the local group remote desktop users.(you will notice that is the same group that was mentioned in the message)
Now add the users you want access to Terminal servers to the TS_Users group and BOW they have access.
 
 The reason behind this is the new right that was added in 2003 for computers. You can see this by going to group policies.


   Start/Run/gpedit.msc
   Computer Config/Windows settings/security settings/local Policies/User rights assignment
   Notice allow log on through terminal services on the right
   also notice that "Remote Desktop Users" is also there.  Thats how that group gets the rights.  You could even added TS_users straight in here. You then would have to added them to the local "remote desktop users" but I don't recommend doing this.  Hope that helps.
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Commented:
Well done! This worked.  I'm not sure yet why being a member of Remote Desktop Users group didn't work but I'll go with this.  Thanks!
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