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After Server Restart RDP not working

Posted on 2012-09-17
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Good day everyone. We have had two issues in the last several weeks with two distinct servers (both on Windows 2003 SP2) that we select the restart function through the Start -> Shutdown -> Restart through the RDP session. The first issue we looked at it as a fluke but with the second server we are looking at it in detail.

The server doesn't seem to respond to RDP until the server is either restarted by going physically to the server and restarting it again or by sending a shutdown command through the command prompt.

I have done some research and it seems to be a known issue with Win 2003 but I am trying to figure out if there is a fix for this?
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Question by:mig1980
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23 Comments
 

Assisted Solution

by:frabalcore
frabalcore earned 252 total points
ID: 38406804
have you checked application and system events? sometimes, if there is an application error popup in the ctrl-alt-canc window, or a popup of a service not started properly, it block rdp until these popups are removed by pressing OK or closing them.
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38406854
I am not at the same location as the server. Everything is done through RDP. I have inherited this network recently and within the last month or so this has happened twice on two different servers.

The last time this happened on another server, I had to send a command to restart through the command prompt, which worked. I will be doing that tonight but wanted to get input as to how to resolve this issue.
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Expert Comment

by:JRaasumaa
ID: 38406868
Try going into the RDP settings and turning it off , clicking OK back out, and then go back in and turn it back on. Had this exact same problem and couldn't find a resolution but "flipping" it off and on made it work again.
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Expert Comment

by:frabalcore
ID: 38406987
do these servers have ilo? or could be configured?
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38407271
How do I find out if Integrated Lights Out is configured? I don't think so but not sure.
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Assisted Solution

by:Nathan Kaufman
Nathan Kaufman earned 252 total points
ID: 38408615
Are you able to setup a VPN to the server and use MMC to manage the server?  This would provide a way to make some server changes incase it happens again, plus you can stop and restart services this way too, if the RDP service for some reason didn't start.  You will need to download the tools from Microsoft for MMC if you don't already have them installed.  I'm also assuming you are running Windows 7 with SP1.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=7887
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38410324
On my personal laptop yes, but this issue is occurring with Windows 2003 Server SP2. I am not interested in a workaround. I am interested in a solution to this problem. I have a workaround already, which is using the command prompt to remotely restart the server once again.
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Assisted Solution

by:Jim P.
Jim P. earned 252 total points
ID: 38415867
We have a couple of 2k3 virtual servers on VMWare 5. We have not been able to get a 100% reboot even from a console session. We just put a batch file on the desktop with a a 30 ping to nul on it in case you accidentally launch it.

echo off
cls
echo **********************************************
echo ****     DO YOU REALLY WANT TO REBOOT?    ****
echo ****     Press Ctrl+C to stop it.         ****
echo **********************************************
ping -n 30 127.0.0.1 >nul
shutdown /r /t 001 /f
exit

Open in new window

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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38430597
In looking at the servers a bit closer, the server in question does have iLO installed although it doesn't seem to be enabled (but maybe it is)...not 100% sure.
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Assisted Solution

by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 1244 total points
ID: 38439461
Is this after updates?  There are a couple of updates that require 2 reboots after applying the updates before RDP works again.  As a result many 'experts' create a scheduled reboot or have an alternate access method such as LogMeIn in the case of a failure after applying updates.
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38441599
No, it was simply after restarting the servers for failure or other reasons. Not specific to updates.
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38451429
well, it has been 4 days and no further assistance. Unless anyone else can assist me with a resolution I will delete this question and post a new one.
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Assisted Solution

by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 1244 total points
ID: 38454356
If a restart fixes it, you may find that a dependent service is not starting, or failing after a while.  In the services management  console have you looked at the dependent and dependent on lists for terminal services?
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38455036
So terminal services is set as statup type: "manual" and "started" as status. The only dependency is Remote Procedure Call (RPC). I was curious if I should change the "Recovery" tab first failure section to "Restart the Service"?
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Assisted Solution

by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 1244 total points
ID: 38464010
I was wondering if after a reboot and RDP doesn't work, what do the services show.  It might be that RPC is delayed and therefore Terminal Services doesn't start.  If that were the case it could be set as a scheduled event 10 minutes after reboot using a batch file.  we have had to do this with some backup services.

And, yes I would try setting "Restart the Service" under the recovery tab and see if any improvement.
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38464041
I will set the recovery to restart the service. This issue has gotten really annoying since it has happened a lot in our network. I believe the same image was used for most VMs and that is why must experience the same issue.

The last time this happened on another server (over the weekend), the server was given the command to restart through the command line this time, terminal services kicked me off. Well, it never restarted, after an hour I had someone local look at the box and the screen was gray with nothing on it. As if something failed on shutdown. I had to have someone power cycle it manually. nothing out of the ordinary was displayed on in the event viewer.
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Assisted Solution

by:Rob Williams
Rob Williams earned 1244 total points
ID: 38464139
>>"I had someone local look at the box and the screen was gray with nothing on it"
That doesn't sound like a TS issue.

Is it possible to stand at the console and watch what is happening upon shut down?

Though it would not help in this situation many IT folk schedule a server reboot 20 minutes after a server restart in case a second reboot is required.  Personally I always have a back door such as LogMeIn on critical servers, or better yet we use iLO or iDrac server management cards that give you console access remotely.
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38464170
I will be configuring ILO as most of our servers are HP and I believe have it installed already.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 38464218
You could always run LogMeIn temporarily while troubleshooting one of the problematic servers. It would at least allow you to check the state of services, restart the service, or restart the server if necessary, and not in a frozen state.
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38464381
Not sure if logmein would be ideal. Don't know much about it but wouldn't it have security holes to have that installed? We deal with PII (Personally Identifiable Info) and need be mindful of security.
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LVL 78

Accepted Solution

by:
Rob Williams earned 1244 total points
ID: 38464424
It is quite secure; no port forwards and and encrypted, but does involve a 3rd party, LogMeIn server, which I appreciate could be a concern for your services.  ILO is the better option as you have more control, if it is available.
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Author Comment

by:mig1980
ID: 38464432
I will move forward with ILO. Thank you all for your help!!
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 38464449
Good luck and thanks.
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