Link to home
Start Free TrialLog in
Avatar of BRT-Tech

asked on

Enabling Remote Desktop connections via Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials

We recently deployed Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials. I went successfully through the wizard to set up Anywhere Access and can connect to my servers secure page via the internet. If I log in as an administrator I can run a remote desktop session with the server by selecting the Device.  Log in as a standard user and I can access all of the servers shares and any file that user has permissions to access. As a standard user there are no "devices" available.

I have been unable to find where to enable devices. I have run across a few vague mentions of things like 'remote desktop connector'  software that should have been installed when the workstation PC joined the domain.  Perhaps my joining the domain the old way (Control Panel/System/Computer Name/Domain Change button) rather than using the new way with pointing a browser at my server may have lost some capabilities.

Using Server 2012  Dashboard/Users I checked the Anywhere Access tab selections and they look correct.  Allow Remote Web Access is checked as is Shared Folders, Computers and Homepage Links.  I believe on the Computer Access tab I should have a list of available computers to allow access to, but this list is empty.

As a test, I went to Active Directory Users and Computers/Computers and added one Win8 workstation to the Remote Desktop Users group, but still no computers show in the selection list.

Can this be done with Essentials?

If so, what step am I missing?
Avatar of Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher
Flag of United States of America image

Link to home
This solution is only available to members.
To access this solution, you must be a member of Experts Exchange.
Start Free Trial
Avatar of BRT-Tech


Where does does acquire this connector to install it?  Everything I read on Technet said it was installed when the computer connected to the server. In my case, I believe it was not.
I believe my error was is using the Control Panel to join the computer to the domain on Win 7 and 8 stations. I assume the connection wizard will not run on my XP stations.

I did find the Connector software at http:\\Servername\Connect, but it fails to install because the station is already a computer in the domain and it thinks the name is a duplicate.

So -  Would you leave the domain using Control Panel, then join again using the Connection Wizard?  This won't be a problem for me as my domain profile is sparse, but for some users this will present a new problem.
You can disjoin and rejoin the domain, but the connect wizard is supposed to support machines already domain-joined as this is a common migration scenario.  Knowing the specific error would be helpful.
I got around the error, but for continuity purposes it was...

Cannot connect this computer to the network

This computer cannot be connected to the server using the username and password credentials provided. This may be because an existing computer account having the name "LAPTOP8" was previously created using a different set of credentials. Rename this computer and then try to connect this computer to the server again, or contact your administrator to remove any old conflicting account.

Recall that I had previously joined the domain using the System control panel. When I did, I used the server administrator's credentials to join the domain.  I tried again using the server administrator's credentials and was successful.

Good news is that it did not disturb my domain user profile so I am moving on to the next step.
A giant step forward, with a new wrinkle.

Got the connector installed on a Win8 station.  At the server Dashboard\Users\Properties\Computer Access tab my station now shows up. I gave my user permission to access this device.

Went to a browser on a different station (Firefox on XP) and connected to my server's Remote Access via the full domain name used in the SSL Certificate and logged in as my user.  My Win8 station now shows as an available device with a green dot.

Selected that and gave my credentials  as Domain\User and UserPassword  (which I need to do to start a remote session to the server as an administrator) and I get the following error:

The remote computer requires Network Level Authentication, which your computer does not support.

Is this an XP thing?  If so, why am I able to start a remote session to the server from this same XP station?
AND Fixed that one too.   On the Win8 Station under Control Panel\System\Remote tab there was a check box to only allow connections from computers with Network Level Authentication.  Unchecked that and I am golden.

You didn't give me a lot of interaction - but pushed me in the right direction to figure it out on my own. For that you earn the points.