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Server 2003 terminal users can not log in

Posted on 2013-12-11
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Last Modified: 2014-01-07
I have a terminal server that is used by several remote users to process payroll. Over the last few months a strange issue has started affecting my staff ability to get work done. When they RDP to the server and enter their credentials. It gets stuck at a blue screen (as if loading the desktop but nothing happens)

If I was already logged in as admin (via console) I can see the users in the terminal services window. There is no obvious CPU or memory shortage and the users already connected are able to continue working with no issue.

Log files also do not show anything that is obviously connected to the issue. Just the normal terminal services printer driver errors.

I need help figuring out where to start trouble shooting. any guidance or advise would be really appreciated.

Thanks
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Question by:Sanga Collins
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39712306
Just reboot server once and check if users are able to logon ?

Issue may be resolved with pending reboot since long time

Mahesh
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Expert Comment

by:WalkaboutTigger
ID: 39712311
Comb through your login scripts - did something get changed recently?  Disable the login script for one of the affected users and see if this resolves the issue.  If it does, copy the login script to a new file, commenting out all but one line and try again.  Uncomment the script one line at a time and login until the blank screen syndrome re-appears.
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Expert Comment

by:Ayman Bakr
ID: 39712404
The printer driver errors could be really it!! Look at options to resolve these driver issues - investigate incompatible print drivers, or drivers that need to be updated.

Tools which will help you on this:
1. Print detective
2. Stress printers.
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Author Comment

by:Sanga Collins
ID: 39712431
Thanks @MaheshPM; I have been doing that for the past couple of months. It works, but of course since users a processing payroll from about 30 locations spread on the east coast its is far from ideal.

@WalkaboutTigger I have also worked on login scripts. All it does is map one drive to the letter. When the situation is occuring, even the admin user which has no login scripts cant not login. Just the blue screen :/

@Mutawadi I will try out print detective and stress printers. I am not sure thats the issue since I have not added any new printers to this server since at least 2012. The problem we are having now only started in the last few months.

Thanks all for the input. I am going to do more tests and post my results back here
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Expert Comment

by:Ayman Bakr
ID: 39712476
Even if the administrator doesn't add new printers, depending on the policies it can be possible that if a client connects to a terminal server with a printer driver not installed on the server it will get installed automatically.
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by:Sanga Collins
ID: 39712484
If only server 2003 actually worked like that. Without uploading printer drivers to the server in advance, I have never seen a client connect and the server install it automatically. That is why I consider "terminal services device error" to be a normal thing on server 2003.
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Expert Comment

by:Ayman Bakr
ID: 39713302
I meant that with Citrix.
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Expert Comment

by:WalkaboutTigger
ID: 39713343
Have you recently added or upgraded antivirus or any other software executed within the user profile at logon?
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Expert Comment

by:Ayman Bakr
ID: 39713350
*
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Expert Comment

by:Ayman Bakr
ID: 39713353
ignore my last comment '*', that was by mistake.
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Expert Comment

by:WalkaboutTigger
ID: 39713355
And, of course, is the server fully patched?
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Accepted Solution

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Sanga Collins earned 0 total points
ID: 39727657
Thanks again to everyone for their comments and suggestions. After spending a couple of weeks trying ideas from the above posts I am still in the same position. Server is patched and printers are not the issue (removed all print drivers and had users connect without printers for a couple of days)

The server stays stable for the most part, but when more than 8 or 9 users are logged in, the issue pops up again and subsequent users get the blue screen (after password is accepted, but before the login script runs)

I have now cloned the server to a virtual machine and will attempt to stress test it and see if the # of logins is somehow causing the issue.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Sanga Collins
ID: 39761655
I was unable to find a solution this issue. My payroll company has upgraded us to a web based solution so the servers have been retired. I apologize to all that took time to participate and provide input and suggestions.
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