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Unable to Remote into client computer

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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
Hi,
On a Windows server 2003 domain, I regularly remote desktop into client workstations to resolve issues, etc.
There is one specific machine I am not able to access from the server. Although the machine is on, connected to the network and Remote Desktop is enabled, attempting to RDP in from the server results in a "Client could not connect to the remote computer" message. I suspected a GP issue, either with the user on that machine or the computer itself, so I attempted to run the RSOP wizard. Running the RSOP (Logging) wizard for that user, I browsed for and selected the problem computer. After clicking next, the wizard responds that it could not connect to the computer because the RPC server is not available. The RPC service is running on the computer. Is this message indicating some other issue with RPC?

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Commented:
Check and see if Windows Firewall is running, if so it will block this connection.  Disable the firewall and you should be fine.
Is the client computer running any type of OS (As in XP Pro) or anti-virus software (As in Norton) that might have a firewall enabled.
I found a link within EE that might help as well.
https://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_21430889.html
I also located a KB article on your reported issue.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx/kb/828053
Also, are the required "Remote" services started on the machine?
I hope this helps.
David

Commented:
Local firewall sounds like the most likely culprit. If there isn't a local firewall running on the client, try resetting the TCP/IP stack to resolve the communications issues. You may also have spyware or some other malware that has hooked itself to the stack and is interrupting communications.

I hate to ask, but can you ping the client? Does it log into the domain without issue?

Author

Commented:
The client can be pinged. I visited the client this afternoon. There is no firewall, windows or otherwise, running on the machine. This is set through the GPO, as is remote access. I specifically added the network administrator to the list of permitted remote access users, even though this is not necessary. The entire network is running current AVG anti-malware with nightly updates and scans, and no recent malware activity detected. The AV configuration is standardized and remotely installed from the server, so any problem there would likely affect other workstations.

There are no other known issues with the client, and no complaints from the user. This client accesses internet, a business application and office files on the server.

I would like to be able to view the resultant set of policy for the computer. Any ideas how to resolve the "RPC server is not available" issue? That service is running on both the client and server.

Commented:
Have you tried resetting the TCP/IP stack?

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/299357/en-us

Commented:
I'm referring to the TCP/IP stack on the client and not the server. I wasn't clear on that point in my previous post.

Author

Commented:
No, you were clear. I just forgot to address it in my previous post. I'll reset the stack on my next opportunity to sit down at the computer, which unfortunately will be next week. The business is closed on Friday. Unless it is possible to reset it remotely from the command line at the server. I'll post the results. FYI, there is no other indication of IP stack problems, which I usually associate with some sort of network communication issues. Oh, but wait, that's what I'm having here!

Commented:
Have you looked at this article?

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/323790/en-us

Author

Commented:
I did look at the article. I recollected that the File and Printer sharing protocol was turned on for the network connection. To be certain, from the server I ran all of the commands listed in the article targeting the remote computer. Thay all completed successfully, with none of the error messages listed in the article indicating file sharing is turned off.

Author

Commented:
Let me clarify: The commands completed successfully, indicating that file sharing is indeed turned on at the workstation (According to the article).

Author

Commented:
Okay, I was able to remotely set a startup script for the machine to run "netsh int ip reset" on startup, then I remotely rebooted the machine. I am still unable to connect to the machine via RDP.

I agree that this looks like a firewall problem. I can say for certain that the network connection does not have a firewall running on it, and there are no other known TCP/IP issues or network communication issues with this machine.

Commented:
Are you connecting to this machine over a LAN, WAN, or VPN?

Author

Commented:
I am connecting to the workstation from the server over the LAN. I usually connect to the server from the internet and RDP from the server to the client. However the problem is the same when I am physically sitting at the server attempting to RDP to the client. The same problem also occurs when I attempt to RDP to the client from the internet (using a forwarded port).

Commented:
What happens when you RDP to this client from another client on the LAN other than the server? Is the result the same?

Author

Commented:
The result is the same, from other clients on the LAN or from the internet.
Commented:
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I am having the same problem with a Windows 7 client on a SBS 2008 Domain. I CAN RDP FROM THE CLIENT TO THE SERVER, BUT NOT THE OTHER WAY. STRANGE. So when I went to my

When I log onto the remote settings for the Windows 7 computer they are all gray and unable to be selected. This to me indicates that either the service is not running or Group Policy is on. I went to services and confirmed all Remoting services are started and no errors exist in the event logs. I then logged on the Domain Controller and disabled all the Group Policies (not recommended, but this is my home network). Still I did not resolve the issue. I ran GPupdate just to make sure on both server and client and nothing. I then went to my firewall settings and found my Domain Firewall was also grayed out. I can turn off firewall settings for external connections, but not the Domain. Weird since I turned off all the Group Policies. I then ran through a Remote Troubleshooter built into Windows 7 and it did not fix the problem.

Author

Commented:
Have you tried running Rsop to see how policies are being applied?
There was a problem with the old host file on the computer. I had originally had Netbios setup on this client before moving to DNS. Even with DNS connected, it was not finding the A record and using the host file instead. Thank you all for helping me.

Retired Scripting Guy
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