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Remote Desktop Console/Admin Session Times Out

Posted on 2010-09-08
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Last Modified: 2013-11-21
Hi,

We currently have a number of servers running Windows Server 2003 and Server 2008.  When I connect to the 2003 servers using the /console or /admin (depending on version of RD) switch using Remote Desktop, my idle sessions never expire.  I can leave the session up for days if I choose.  However, my sessions will expire when connecting to Server 2008 just as if I was connected to a regular session.  The error is: "Your Remote Desktop session ended because the remote computer didn't receive any input from you".  Anyone know why this might be happening?

We use Group Policy to control time-outs and disconnects of our sessions, but those only apply to non-console sessions, so they should have no effect.
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Question by:mancalgroup
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by:Chris Millard
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This is by design. Console / Admin sessions do not timeout. Normal sessions can be configured through group policies to stay open, or to log out after how ever long you specify.
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by:Chris Millard
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by:mattibutt
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after how long it happens like one minute?
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by:mancalgroup
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roybrige:  Maybe I could have been a little more clear, but I realise that admin / console sessions are NOT supposed to time-out by design, but they are in fact connecting due to inactivity when I am connected to a Windows 2008 machine.  When I connect to a Windows 2003 machine, they do not time out when I am connected to the console.
Mattibutt: The connection times out after the normal amount of time which I believe is about 20-30 minutes of inactivity.
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by:mattibutt
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i think thats fine its a good security measure in case if you go for smoke i do all the time but i lock my screen point of the matter is this kind of security is a good feature however you want to change that?
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by:mattibutt
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windows 2003 remain active forever its true but do you want to setup like that?
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by:mancalgroup
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Sorry roybridge, I meant "they are in fact disconnecting due to inactivity when I am connected to a Windows 2008 machine"
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by:mattibutt
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follow step here if you want to change the time
http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee791886(WS.10).aspx
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by:mancalgroup
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OK, just so we are on the same page:  When a person connects using the /console or /admin switch, the session should never time out due to inactivity.   And yes, I want it to never disconnect when I use those switches, otherwise I would just connect using a regular RDP session without /console or /admin being used.  I will log out of the server when I am ready.
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by:mancalgroup
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If you read the explanation for each of the policies in the link you just sent Mattibutt, it says the following:

If you have a console session, disconnected session time limits do not apply.

If you have a console session, idle session time limits do not apply.

If you have a console session, active session time limits do not apply.

Please read my original post carefully as I have covered all of this already.
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by:mancalgroup
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Anyone?
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by:mancalgroup
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I guess I should mention that I am connecting from a Windows XP SP3 machine, and have tried both RDP 6 and RDP 7.
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mancalgroup earned 0 total points
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Microsoft has decided the /Admin and/or /Console switches are no longer needed when connecting to Windows Server 2008.  Although the /Admin switch can be used, it will not actually do anything different than leaving it out, as a person is not permitted to connect to session 0 using RDP.  So it appears I will need to adjust my GPOs after all, but the GPOs will now affect all sessions including the console sessions to Server 2008.  

Details below...

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947723

In Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2, the /console switch functionality is no longer needed for the following reasons:

Improved application compatibility guarantees that legacy applications that have to communicate with services in session 0 will be installed and run in sessions other than session 0. Additionally, if the service that is associated with an application tries to display UI elements in session 0, a built-in capability in Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2 and in Windows Vista enables you to view and to interact with the session 0 UI from your session. Windows Server 2008/Windows Server 2008 R2 session 0 is a noninteractive session that is reserved for services. Therefore, there is no need for you to explicitly connect to this session.

Note For more information about session 0 isolation in Windows Vista, view the "Impact of Session 0 Isolation on Services and Drivers in Windows Vista" topic on the following Microsoft Web site:
      http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=106201 (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=106201)
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