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Unable to connect to terminal server using Windows CE devices

alanwells used Ask the Experts™
Hi all,

Recently the licesning model on my Windows 2008 R2 terminal server changed from Device to Use CALs.

Now all Windows CE terminals are unable to connect, getting the error "Becuase of a security error, the client could not connect to the remote desktop.   Verify that you have logged on to the network,and then try connecting again."

We have factory reset the Windows CE terminals but no luck.  Other users are connecting to the remote desktop via MSTSC of laptop/desktops and from Sun Terminals.   I suspect it is do to with the change from Device vs. User CAL licensing model however not sure how to fix it.

Scratching my head...cheers!
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restart the terminal server licensing service and test..

all the best


Have restarted the server and still no joy, any other ideas?

Robin CMSenior Security and Infrastructure Engineer

The CE clients will be issued terminal services licences, there might be control panel applet to enable you to manage (delete) these. Some of the HP thin clients have it, some don't. If the clients don't have this feature then you'll need to re-image them to remove the terminal services licence they've been issued.

Alternatively, it could be that the RDP client on the CE units can't cope with NLA, and you've turned this on since changing your licencing mode. You'll have to either get a newer CE RDP client (if one's available) or turn NLA back off again. NLA is Network Level Authentication, used to pre-authenticate connections to remote desktop session hosts.


Hi there, thanks for the response.  I have updated the Windows CE image to the latest version and checked the TS client settings, see attached.

All seems OK to me.   There is a Control Panel applet on the Windows CE devices where I can delete the existing license however there is no option to add a TS license.

Anything I should be looking at on the TS?

Cheers! TS client settings


One peice of additional information worth noting is that the HP thin clients can connect to any other server via RDP.   So the connectivity issues are limited to the TS. I suspect it is definately a license issue, the change from device to user CALs.

Not sure what to do from here.
Robin CMSenior Security and Infrastructure Engineer

The client should start off with no CAL, if there's one there, remove it.
The CALs are allocated to the device automatically via the licence server, terminal server and finally viw the RDP client to the client itself.
How is the terminal server configured to find the licence server? It might not be finding it, and hence not be able to issue any licences.
See this http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc994789(WS.10).aspx#BKMK_3
Configuring via Group Policy should be the preferred option.
Note that if you're configuring via Group Policy look under Remote Desktop Services not Terminal Services if you have the Win7/2008 R2 GPMC.
2003 and 2000 used to pick up the licence server(s) automatically, but 2008 R2 needs to be configured to know what they are.

Also there's a KB article that might be worth working through too: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2477176
Development Manager
if you open the TS licensing window do all these thin client have licenses issued ?

reset license server database.
The server on which you have the license service, stop the  service. there is a folder Lserver under  system32 , rename it (do not delete)
create a folder with the same name, and start the service.

note that you would need to install the license again, by calling the clearing house.


I think the HP terminals are not compatible with the new license CALs