RDC Connection from Win7 to Windows 2012 Server

Rob Kinley
Rob Kinley used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi,

I just started having an issue using Remote Desktop Connection to connect to one of my Windows 2012 R2 servers.  Everything was working fine a week ago, the server has not been rebooted, and no updates have been installed.  Here's what I'm (and all my users) are seeing:

When opening Remote Desktop Connection and connecting to the 2012 server in question, we're prompted for a username and password.  Failing to provide a valid username or password results in the login being rejected as it should. If we enter a valid username and password, the Remote Desktop connection window rapidly flashes and displays that it's trying to connect, but then instantly takes us back to the initial RDC prompt.  No connection happens, and no remote window appears.

So far I've tried using different remote users and different RDC clients with no luck.  I've also disabled the TCP chimney on the server having read some feedback that it might be causing the issue.  We don't have any firewall enabled on the server.  I've temporarily uninstalled our security software (Symantec Cloud).

In looking at the logs in the Server, nothing appears under Windows Logs\System Logs or Application Logs.  Under Applications and Services Logs - Microsoft - Windows - RemoteDesktopServices-RDPCoreTS - Operational, there's a series of log entries based on every attempt.  I see "The server accepted a new TCP connection from client 192.x.x.x), then Connection RDP-TCP#x created, a PerfCounter session starts, a warning event that "the network characteristics detection function has been disabled because of Reason Code:2", then "a channel rdplic has been connected between the server and the client using transport tunnel: 0", "a channel rdpcmd has been cconnected between the server and the client using transport tunnel: 0".  Immediately after that, I see "The disconnect reason is 0"  and then "The server has terminated main RDP connection with the client.

I've also tried rebooting the server and so far no luck.

Any ideas?

All help is appreciated!

Thanks,

-Rob
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Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Please disable network level authentication at the server and retry.
Rob KinleyIT Manager

Author

Commented:
Just tried that; still no luck.  It was actually disabled so I enabled it and disabled it again.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Aha, and enabling also it did not change it I guess?
Then please try another rdp client like Linux' rdesktop for example and see if that works. Or the freeware nomachine which is just another rdp client.
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Rob KinleyIT Manager

Author

Commented:
You're correct, enabling network level authentication did not change the behavior that I'm seeing.  I've tried RoyalTS as well as the Apple RDP client, still no luck.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Please make sure the port is open and stable, use the command
porting servername 3389
portping to be found here: http://www.tkolb.de/download/dl.php?download=portping_win.rar
Rob KinleyIT Manager

Author

Commented:
I just tried portping and port 3389 seems to be open and stable:

C:\>portping tonga 3389

   Port Ping Version 1.4.2 by Thomas Kolb

Resolving tonga ...


tonga resolves to 192.168.1.11

Trying to connect to port 3389 on tonga [192.168.1.11]

Port 3389 on tonga is OPEN ( <1 ms).
Port 3389 on tonga is OPEN ( <1 ms).
Port 3389 on tonga is OPEN ( 16 ms).
Port 3389 on tonga is OPEN ( <1 ms).
Port 3389 on tonga is OPEN ( <1 ms).
Port 3389 on tonga is OPEN ( <1 ms).
Port 3389 on tonga is OPEN ( <1 ms).
Port 3389 on tonga is OPEN ( <1 ms).
Port 3389 on tonga is OPEN ( <1 ms).
Port 3389 on tonga is OPEN ( 16 ms).
[Received exit signal; waiting for main thread...]

Ping-Statistics:

Attempted connects:    10
Failed connects:       0 ( 0 % )
Average response time: 3.2 ms
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Hm, what could that be...pretty sure it is a problem at the server. Could you reboot the server with all startups and non-Microsoft services disabled and retry? Because that will rule out interference of third party programs.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Are any RDS roles installed on this server? This sounds like a potential issue with RDSH and RDLicensing.
Rob KinleyIT Manager

Author

Commented:
@McKnife, I'll reboot tonight and try disabling all startups and non-microsoft services.

@Cliff - there are RDS roles installed on the server - the previous admin installed every option of every role it seems like.  We only want to use RDC for remote admin, not RDS; will never have more than 2 users connected to it, etc.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Ok, I think you already know that this can be done most easily with msconfig, but I mention it anyway.
Distinguished Expert 2018
Commented:
If you don't had an RDLicensing server installed, or if you didn't add RDS CALs to the licensing server, then connections will fail. What changed from last week? The trial period ended and now licenses are required.

If you are only gong to be connecting for admin purposes, uninstall the RDS role. And HAVE A BACKUP. Pulling off roles can impact LOB apps.
Rob KinleyIT Manager

Author

Commented:
@Cliff - thanks!  I uninstalled the RDS roles and everything went back to normal.  Never would have guessed that this was a licensing / trial expiration issue.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
Interesting, so that's how it behaves when the grace period ends?
Were those roles setup about 180 days ago, then?
Rob KinleyIT Manager

Author

Commented:
I spoke to the previous admin and he set this server up in the end of June or beginning of July, so I guess the RDS grace period for licensing is 60 days.  And it would have been nice if Microsoft had put something in the logs or on the screen saying that the grace period had ended; would have made tracking this problem down much easier.
Distinguished Expert 2018

Commented:
No, the grace is not 60 days but 120 if I am not mistaken, so it could very well be that it had nothing to do with licensing. It could be that you have reinitialized things, to put it rather vaguely.
Rob KinleyIT Manager

Author

Commented:
Ahh; I stand corrected!  Thanks for the info; not sure why this issue appeared but I'm glad that the RDS removal and potential re-initialization of the standard Remote Desktop worked.

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