w2k3 Terminal Server

alpha-lemming used Ask the Experts™
Hello Experts,

I have a Windows 2003 Terminal Server, and would like to have users be able to share a certain generic user account. However, when a session is running and a second user logs connects using that account,  the active user's session is disconnected without warning. It it possible to have windows warn that a session is already active before connecting?

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Tony JohncockLead Technical Architect

From memory, you need to disable the terminal server variation of session sharing

Launch Terminal Services Configuration (again, from memory - tscc.msc),
Click Server Settings.
Double-click Restrict each user to one session.
Ensure that the Restrict each user to one session check box is clear.


I actually wanted to avoid concurrent sessions if possible: I'm a bit concerned about messing up the profile. What I really want is a way for people to know if a session is already active before connecting.
Tony JohncockLead Technical Architect
Why can't they just have their own accounts?

Session sharing does exactly what you've already discovered - logs off a session from one location and brings it in its entirety to the new one. There is no mechanism to warn because the OS just assumes that as that user you want to continue working.

Nor could you run a program / script to warn you because you'd have to be logged on in the first place.

Single user will undoubtedly lead to profile problems but in fairness you didn't ask about that or raise it in your question, but asked how to prevent session sharing. :-)
Awarded 2007
Top Expert 2008
The only way to prevent this is not to use generic accounts - each user needs to have their own account  - this will also allow you to impliment meaningful security and auditing

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