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Windows Server 2012 get Remote Desktop back to standard 2-user CAL free version

Posted on 2014-09-03
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Last Modified: 2014-09-03
I have a server that I accidentally enabled the time-bombed version of Remote Desktop.  I can't figure out how to get it back to the default installation.  I know how to reset the time bomb in the registry, but it will just keep expiring.  I'd like to figure out how to get it back to a default installation that allows 2 users with no licensing.
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Question by:DavinDameron
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by:Neil Russell
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Just remove the RDS ROLE in server manager maybe?
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by:Cliff Galiher
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Let me be VERY CLEAR. There *has never* been a "two CAL" version of RDS. A server that has not been configured for RDS allows 2 simultaneous connections (THEY ARE NOT CALs!!!!) for *ADMINISTRATIVE* purposes only. Users have *NEVER* been allowed to use these sessions for LOB applications. Ever. It is illegal. Always has been. If even one user is connecting for one app, an RDS CAL is required. That user does not get the "two free" benefit.

Okay. Now that I've beaten that completely. Adding the RDS role required RDSH or RDVH role will require licenses. Removing the RDSH or RDVH role will revert to administration mode. That is how it gets turned on or turned off. By adding or removing one of those roles. So you can run the "remove roles and features" from server manager and remove the role, and yes, that can have an impact on any applications that have been installed on the server. There is no way around that.
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by:DavinDameron
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Cliff,

Thanks for the comment.  This is where I was getting hung up.  I assumed I could go into "Add roles" and then uncheck RDS.  It won't let you.  I finally realized there is a separate applet under server manager to remove roles.  Once I did this and removed RDS, all is working as it should.  Boy do I feel stupid on that one.  Thanks!

PS, yes this is for administrative purposes only.
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