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Terminal Services Licensing Questions - Duplicate devices, some with expired dates

paadmin asked
Last Modified: 2013-12-05
When I open Terminal Server Licensing on our server, it shows some computers listed 3 or 4 times.

We do per device licensing, so the device should be listed just once. is this correct ?

As a result of these duplications, we are now out of licenses...

There are also some devices with past due expiration dates and these devices are no longer connected to our network.

How do I clean up T.S. licensing to only list valid devices with future dates of expiration?

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We have a virtual lab with 3 Physical computers running 12 virtuals. We use VMWARE Server. It's FREE!!! And the best part is that you can create terminals that interact just like real machine. Clustering is no problem provided that the network settings have been configured correctly.

The only problem with that is when the physical machine goes down all of the virtuals that are connected to it go bye bye too. (example... 1 physical server supporting 4 virtuals.)


Hey Bindnera, I am guessing you responded to the incorrect post..

I am having a similar problem.  People cannot log on due to no licenses.  There are computers listed as being licensed that have not been in production for 6 months and the licenses have expired in Sept, Oct, or Nov of this year, but they're not freeing up any licenses.
Cloud/Infrastructure Solutions Architect
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I have tried part 2 (the registry fix) on some of the computers, but no success... I have not called MS yet.. Should I?

I just discovered that one computer in particular is listed 6 times, so 6 licenses are being wasted on that computer.

If I can get these 6 licenses back, it will give me some breathing room, I have full access to that comptuer so I will try almost anything any suggests :)


Michael WorshamCloud/Infrastructure Solutions Architect

Unfortunately, CALs cannot be transferred from one client to another. The resolution comes from the built-in license attrition mechanism in the Windows Terminal Server Licensing service. When license are allocated to a client, they are stamped with an expiration date of no more than 89 days from the date of issue. However, license servers can issue an unlimited number of temporary CALs, which are good for up to 90 days. The fact that there is a one day difference is not by accident.

Lets say that a client is issued the last permanent CAL in the license pool on June 1st and is stamped with an expiration date of August 28th (89 days). Later that same day, the client suffers a fatal hardware error and is taken offline permanently. A new client is placed online that day and is issued a temporary CAL, which is good for 90 days and will expire on August 29th. Each day that the client connects to the terminal server, it will attempt to upgrade the temporary CAL to a permanent one, but will be unable to do so because no permanent CALs are available. On August 28th (the 89th day) the permanent CAL from the failed client will be returned to the pool and will be issued to the new client the next time it connects, before the expiration date of August 29th.

If you find yourself in a situation where the temporary CAL is about to expire and no permanent CALs will be available before the expiration date, you may find deleting the MSLicensing registry key on the client reconnecting to be a temporary solution. The client will generate a new HardwareID and appear to be a brand new client. This will allow the computer to be issued another temporary CAL, something that is typically not possible. However, this is not a workaround to circumvent Microsofts licensing requirements and should be used as a last resort. Under normal circumstances, the 1-day overlap should be sufficient to keep all clients connected in your environment, provided you are tracking license usage and requirements adequately.

Reference URLs related to Troubleshooting Terminal Services:

Michael WorshamCloud/Infrastructure Solutions Architect

How to determine whether to contact Microsoft Clearinghouse or Microsoft PSS

Contact Microsoft Clearinghouse to activate a Terminal Server License Server or to install TS CALs. To contact Microsoft Clearinghouse by telephone, use the following number:

(888) 571-2048

If you purchased TS CALs through the Select, Enterprise Agreement, Campus, School, or Open licensing method, you can use the Automatic connection (recommended) option or the Web Browser connection option to activate and install TS CAL tokens. To use the automatic connection method to install TS CALs, follow these steps:
1.      Start the Terminal Server Licensing utility.
2.      On the View menu, click Properties.
3.      Click the Required Information tab, and then type the required user information.
4.      Click the Installation Method tab, click Automatic connection (recommended) in the Installation method list, and then click OK.
5.      On the Action menu, click Install Licenses.
6.      Follow the steps in the Terminal Server Client Licensing Wizard to install your TS CALs.

If you have difficulty installing TS CALs by using the Internet, or if you purchased the TS CALs through a retail channel and have previously activated your license codes, contact Microsoft Clearinghouse. Do not contact Microsoft Clearinghouse if you have difficulty obtaining a TS CAL through the discovery process or for other issues that require troubleshooting of the operating system.

Contact Microsoft PSS if you experience issues that are related to either of the following:
"      You cannot connect to a terminal server when valid TS CALs are installed on the Terminal Server Licensing Server.
"      You cannot obtain a license when valid TS CALs are installed on the Terminal Server Licensing Server.
"      You receive an error message when you enter the required alphanumeric license ID or Keypack.
Microsoft PSS cannot help you activate a Terminal Server Licensing Server or help you install CALs.

Note Microsoft PSS and Microsoft Clearinghouse cannot help you to locate your licensing purchase agreement or authorization number(s) to install license key packages. To obtain this information, contact the reseller where you obtained your Microsoft product.
Michael WorshamCloud/Infrastructure Solutions Architect

Something else that might be beneficial in the long run...

How can I monitor my TS license database and get a warning when I'm running out of available licenses?

HOW TO: Use the Terminal Services Licensing Reporter Tool (Lsreport.exe)


Hey MWECOMPUTERS, thanks for your help, these posting are great,

So it looks like I will need to call MS to get this sorted out, how does this work ? DO they wipe out our db and we start over again, as people connect ?

I will certainly look into the moniroring tools after this mess is sorted out..

Michael WorshamCloud/Infrastructure Solutions Architect

Never encountered this problem before, so really cannot say.


Q: Expired TS CALs are not returned to the pool of available licenses
Last modified: July 15, 2007

A: If Microsoft's Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) is running on the server, it could stop the thread on the TS License Server which reclaims expired licenses.

Stop and restart the TS Licensing Service - it will restart the thread, and, if the bug is the culprit, expired licenses will be returned to the pool of available licenses within a couple of minutes after the service is restarted.

For more details, check:

279561 - How to Override the License Server Discovery Process in Windows Server 2003 Terminal Services


Thank you all for the updates and responses, I am sorry I have not responded sooner,

I have been traveling quite a bit recently but will be in the office to perform the update this weekend.

I had to open a support call with MS to resolve this issue, we completely removed the t.services database and re-added the licenses, the client computers then started showing up just once after the database was rebuilt. MS were unsure as to why this occurred..

Issue is now resolved.. Thanks to everyone who helped.


Thank you all for your help, experts exchange is a great resource for me
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