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Terminal Server evaluation expired early when second evaluation server added to domain

Posted on 2008-10-02
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Last Modified: 2011-10-19
Hi Experts
Our environment is Windows Server 2003 R2 Standard edition - about 8 servers and 200 XP Pro workstations. Functional Domain level is Windows 2003.
We deployed a Terminal Server in Application mode, and were happily enjoying the 120 day trial. Then we decided to virtualise this server. So I built a new Terminal server (a VM), gave it a different computername and IP to the existing Terminal Server and went through the Configure your Server Wizard to set it up as a Terminal Server. Restarted and then all of a sudden we were no longer able to connect to the existing Terminal Server OR the new one! because we are evaluatin we do not have a Terminal Server License Server yet, so no CAL's.
The error message that people are getting is:
Don't have permissions to access terminal server......
All RDP and Security groups are correctly setup - they were working fine before we deployed the second TS box.

My hunch is that you cannot run more that one Terminal Server in evaluation mode at a time on the same domain. But even when we have uninstalled the new virtual Terminal Server, the old one is still not accepting connections. The event logs all point the the fact that the Grace period has expired.
Any ideas or registry hack fixes, gratefully accepted.

Thanks in advance if you are able to offer any help.
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Question by:healthmanagement
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Expert Comment

by:tim1978
ID: 22622621
I would recheck the domain security policy, it could be the second terminal server changed the policy for the whole domain. Did you install it as a domain controller?
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Expert Comment

by:Sci-Fi-Si
ID: 22622762
Well said by tim1978 there.

It's not a problem to have as many remote desktops on the same network as you like.
I'm running a fileserver, an Exchange server, Web server and domain controller all of which I remote desktop into.

That's the key - it's remote desktop, not terminal server. When my trial expired I was wondering what to do, and the simple answer is to uninstall Terminal server and then activate remote desktop.

Right click 'my computer' > properties > remote

There a tick box there that says enable remote desktop on this computer as shown in the screen shot below.

This should get you up and running in seconds!

All the best
Sci-Fi Si

remotedesktop.jpg
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Author Comment

by:healthmanagement
ID: 22622973
Hi Sci- Fi Si
Your solution will not work unfortunately.
Remote Desktop only gives you a max of 3 concurrent (maybe 4 with a console session) to a Windows OS. What I am trying to achieve is a "Terminal Server in Application mode" where the amount of concurrent sessions is only restricted by CAL's or, in evaluation period, time.
Thanks anyway
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Expert Comment

by:Sci-Fi-Si
ID: 22623038
You're right. Unfortunately I'm used to being the only 'all powerfull' network Admin, so yes the only way around this is to purchase the number of CAL's that you need.

You could however look into other options like PC Anywhere or maybe even VNC or goToMyPC, thee's quite a few of them available.

All the best
Sci-Fi Si
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Expert Comment

by:Sci-Fi-Si
ID: 22623047
Eeek! hate typos. *there's*

Just another quick point is that VNC is free, so that's a bit of a bonus.

:)
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Accepted Solution

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oBdA earned 125 total points
ID: 22623143
You will have to install a TS license server, and you will have to buy TS CALs to continue the use of terminal servers in your company.
You have been and still are violating the EULA!
It is an unfounded myth that terminal services have a "free trial" period; it's wide-spread, but a myth nevertheless. TS CALs are required beginning with the very first client connecting to the terminal server.

Please check the extract from Microsoft's whitepaper about TS licensing:
  • Temporary Licenses. When a terminal server running Windows Server 2003 requests a Windows Server 2003 Per Device TS CAL token, or when a terminal server running Windows 2000 requests a Windows 2000 TS CAL token, and the license server has none to give, it will issue a temporary token to the connecting client (if the client device has no existing token). The license server tracks the issuance and expiration of these. These temporary tokens are designed to allow ample time for the administrator to install license tokens on the license server. They are not designed to provide for a period of free access to the terminal server. Per the Windows Server EULA, licenses are required to be purchased to access a terminal server. There is no provision in the EULA for accessing a terminal server without the appropriate licenses.
Windows Server 2003 Terminal Server Licensing
http://www.microsoft.com/windowsserver2003/techinfo/overview/termservlic.mspx
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Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 22623168
Oh, and as far as "Any ideas or registry hack fixes" is concerned: nobody here would be allowed to help you with that; please check the EE help.
M: Tips To Make You Successful > About hacks, cracks and keys
http://www.experts-exchange.com/help.jsp#hi16
"[...] When asking a question, if it is a clear-cut violation of the member agreement concerning the defeating of security of networks or defeating the licensing of software then the question will be deleted, and the violation will be noted in your profile. [...]"
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Author Comment

by:healthmanagement
ID: 22623861
Hi oBdA
Thanks for your comments. However, please don't mistake an innocent question for some spurious attempt to get around Microsoft Licensing. I was and still am under the impression that a 120 day Terminal Server evaluation period is available.  If it wasn't/isn't, why would the Event Logs refer to a "Grace Period"? Unless of course, I am misinterpreting what a grace period is..
However, I will read the EULA
We have budgeted for the CAL's on a per user basis, and intend to purchase them, but it's hard to evaluate the workability and cost effectiveness of an infrastructure by paying first and evaluating  later??
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Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 22624293
The "grace period" is explained explicitly in the document I linked above, but it's basically the same as the quote from above:
"Terminal Server Grace Period

A terminal server allows clients to connect without license tokens for 120 days before it requires communicating with a license server. This period is known as the license server grace period, and begins the first time a terminal server client connection is made to the terminal server. This grace period is designed to allow ample time for the administrator to deploy a license server. It is not designed to provide for a period of free access to a terminal server. Per the Windows Server 2003 EULA, licenses are required to be purchased in order to access a terminal server. There is no provision in the EULA for accessing a terminal server without the appropriate licenses.
The license server grace period ends after 120 days, or when a license server issues a permanent license token through the terminal server, whichever occurs first. Therefore, if the license server and terminal server are deployed at the same time, the terminal server grace period will immediately expire after the first permanent license token has been issued."
This means that technically, you can run it without licenses, but you're not allowed to do so unless you've already bought the licenses and just haven't gotten around to installing them yet. This is quite different from "You are allowed to run terminal services without licenses for 120 days".
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Expert Comment

by:tim1978
ID: 22624483
Whether you can or can't use the grace period as a trial is irrelevant, the eror message your users are receiving is to do with permissions not to do with licensing.
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Expert Comment

by:oBdA
ID: 22624638
It  is relevant, because problems with the license server (such as a non-existing license server, or one without licenses) can actually result in "You don't have permission ..." errors on the clients.
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Author Closing Comment

by:healthmanagement
ID: 31502306
Thanks, much appreciated
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Expert Comment

by:Sci-Fi-Si
ID: 22625048
"...so yes the only way around this is to purchase the number of CAL's that you need."

ID:22623038 Author:Sci-Fi-Si

Buy hey, no probs. Glad you got it sorted.

:)

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