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Cannot mstsc /admin to a 2003 Server and get a console session

Posted on 2009-05-06
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
I cannot get a console session to any of my Windows 2003 servers when using mstsc /admin. Opening up terminal server manager on the server itself shows that I am logging on to an RDP session instead. I used to be able to do this when the /console switch was available. Does anyone know how to use Remote Desktop to access the console on a Window 2003 Server?

I have found much info at the following link:

http://blogs.msdn.com/rds/archive/2007/12/17/changes-to-remote-administration-in-windows-server-2008.aspx

Basically I can assume the following:
1: Console sessions will NOT work on 2008 servers
2: Console sessions will still work on 2003 servers
3: The remote desktop client itself has been changed to not connect to the console.

Please, please, please tell me that I am wrong. Maybe offer a solution. I can set up the KVM's to use the actual console but this is much less convenient than using remote desktop!

Thanks.....
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Question by:ScriberJ
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Expert Comment

by:Kieran_Burns
ID: 24316085
Try using remote desktops: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc755910(WS.10).aspx
and tick the box that says 'connect to console'
It's a very useful util as it allows you to have multiple connections in a single snap-in
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by:ScriberJ
ID: 24443397
Sorry to say that this does not work either. That is not to say that there is not something in my domain/server config that is preventing this. Would you mind verifying that it actually does work for you by remoting into a server and starting terminal services manager. Under the session column it should say "console" and not 'rdp-Tcp#xx'.

The other test is to run msinfo32 in the "console" session. Under System Summary the User Name will read 'Not Available' if you are on an RDP session. This is actually what Symantec has stated causes issues with managing Symantec Endpoint Protection via remote desktop.
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by:Kieran_Burns
ID: 24448378
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/278845
actually confirms what I thought you should be able to do - I did miss the shadow 0 option though
You can try shadowing an active console session and see if that sorts your issue out.
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Accepted Solution

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ScriberJ earned 0 total points
ID: 24450513
Have you actually verified that it works for you?

That article is from 2007. Microsoft made the change to mstsc late 2008.

When I type "Shadow 0" at the command prompt it tells me I cannot because no one is logged into the console. I do not auto-login all of my server on bootup.

Can someone verify that they can actually connect to a CONSOLE session?

I really do not think this is just me and it'd be nice if someone has found a workaround for this issue.

I do not think that most people realize what Microsoft has done.
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Expert Comment

by:WayneKessler
ID: 25281175
We have the same issue. SOME W2003 servers will let admins log onto session 0 but others do not. We only have one W2008 server at the moment, and it does not allow us to log onto the console either.

We're using the /admin switch on all. My PC is running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 (nice, BTW), but the problem existed when I was using Vista 64. All the servers did allow us to log onto the console "before", but unfortunately I cannot say when it broke.
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