Remote Access unavailable unless users logged on to domain locally

Posted on 2008-10-08
Last Modified: 2013-11-21
I am unable to log on to my servers remotely using either RDP or Citrix/ICA unless a user is logged on to the domain locally, i.e. sitting at their desk.  Basically, when the last person leaves for the day until the first person logs in, I am unable to log in remotely using Remote Desktop or a Citrix ICA Client. BUT after someone logs in at their desk, I am able to connect using either method.  I can log on to my firewall and ping all the servers during the time that I am unable to connect to them.
The only changes have been an Exchange 2007 server added, an upgraded Citrix License console version, and an upgrade to our practice management software called Time Matters.  The exchange server hasn't been brought up yet in production but is running.
To me, it seems like there is something installed that is basically shutting down terminal services once the last user logs off.   I have rebooted everything including network equipment several times.  This happened with no change to hardware, software or configuration of the network.  Please send questions and hopefully an answer!
Question by:aaronfranko
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Expert Comment

ID: 22672330
do you check for any event logs ???
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Expert Comment

ID: 22672345
1.Does this happens in all the servers across domain ?
2.Do you have Terminal Services License server in place ?

Author Comment

ID: 22672428
raja - Yes, there is a terminal server license server in place.  It is set per user and has been in place for several years without a problem. I've checked the event logs and the only thing peculiar I found was that the Network Connections service was being sent a start control at the time the first person logged in at their desk.  I changed it and the NLA service to automatic and rebooted all the servers since this worked for someone else I found with a similar issue.  This didn't resolve the problem.  If you are looking for something else specifically in the event log, please let me know.  Also, yes this happens to both application servers for which I attempt to connect.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

ID: 22672554
I think this is something to do with the TS licenseing issue.....when somebody is logged in the domain the workstation you use is able to obtain the License, but when they logoff EOD it gets revoked....

I would say this is actually a weird issue, but can track down the culprit....i  am assuming you have tried to RDP from different dekstops and still you have same issue.....

Can you check for any event logs on your TS licensing server ?is it running on the DC ?
how many TS cal you have ?
did you try to rdp using mstsc /console?

Author Comment

ID: 22678035
I've tried RDP from several different desktops
The TS Licensing server is also on the DC
I have enough TS CALS -
since mstsc /console and remote desktop connection are the exact same thing, yes, I have used that method.  As I mentioned, I have also attempted connecting via Citrix ICA client with the same result.  

I think the TS licensing issue is a possibility but I also think that other alternatives should be explored.  If it were strictly a licensing issue, I wouldn't be able to log in at 4:30 then not at 6:30 from the same laptop when nobody else is logged in just because I am inside then outside the LAN.  This problem is being outside the LAN but it is not a firewall issue since it works sometimes and doesn't work at others.  

Thanks for your help so far.  Please let me know what else I can look at.

Author Comment

ID: 22678076
One more piece of information - I'm now noticing random disconnect/reconnect while I'm logged on to the server locally with RDP as administrator.  I'm logged in on the same laptop in a Citrix Session but no disconnects however Citrix has some session reliability that may be making this unnoticable.  

Author Comment

ID: 22686059
Yesterday night after the last person logged off and I was still logged in to the Citrix Desktop, I tried to open the Citrix Management console and got en error regarding cannot connect the RPC server or something like that and it was unable to discover the server I was on. Probably just coincidence but trying everythiing.  Could RPC problems have anything to do with it? If so, what can I do to fix it?  I will look for more specific info once I get logged back on this morning.

Accepted Solution

aaronfranko earned 0 total points
ID: 22696161
I finally fixed the problem.  It was an odd network problem with a NAT address causing problems.
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Expert Comment

ID: 22696221
glad that you have fixed....can you please explain in detail about the the fix..

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