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Damian Gardner

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I'm having a RDP licensing issue with 2 of my RDP host servers

I'm having a RDP licensing issue with 2 of my RDP host servers, and need a little support.  I have two newer RDP host servers that all of our network clients connect to for our main business application - Server A and Server B (for simplicity) - these are both Windows 2012 Servers.  Both of them have been made "license servers" .  Historically, we have had other servers on the network hold the role of license server, and we've just started getting errors coming up with a couple of our 100 users, that "no license server is available".  When I run the RDP license diagnoser utility, it surprisingly shows 2 of our older license servers in the error window and says "servers are not available".  So I think I need to figure out how to reconfigure the RDP hosts to use a different server to get the RDP licenses.  What I want is for Server A to "look to Server B" for its licenses, and viceversa.  Thanks for your help.
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Usually ypur RDS servers will use a single licensing server.
If each has its own license server this will mean you will need to add licenses to each.

Do you have exported licenses from the prior licensing servers? You have to go through metadata cleanup of the AD to decom/remove the old servers from the record.
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Damian Gardner


Thanks for your help guys.

Arnold - I do not remember whether I migrated the licenses, or simply activated the new servers last year.  It's confusing for me because of the fact that while we upgraded our AD from 2008 to 2016, we only could upgrade our old 2008 terminal servers to 2012, due to limitations of our business application. At the same time, we purchased 2019 RDP  Service licenses.  I don't think you can migrate 2008 licenses to a 2012 server, right?  So in light of that, I MUST have simply added either 2012 (or 2019?) version RDP licenses to my two RDP host servers - but they are telling me there are "no 2012 product licenses found" now.  This is after I realized that there was a GPO that was telling these two new host servers to look to another, old license server for it's RDP licenses, which was incorrect.  Once I fixed that and removed that setting in the GPO, it NOW has gone from a red error (saying "no license servers available" to a yellow warning - see the attachment of the yellow warning (i will try and attach).  Can you take a look at the screenshot and tell me if this is something critical?  Maybe I'm ok, and just need to tweak it or something.  Also - the reason I was having one server look to the other for licensing, was for redundancy - but maybe that's not a good idea.  I do remember activating both servers with the licenses.  I'll see if I can send more screenshots...if I can find the paperclip insert function for attachments.  Thanks for your help!
Here's what the licensing manager shows on one of the RDP host servers - I assume this is good, correct?  There are 100 device license and 100 user licenses - why would the Diagnoser state "no 2012 product licenses are present"??

RD Licensing Manager screenshot.rtf

Also - would it be better to just have both servers look to ONE of them as the license server?  should I deactivate one of them?
Usually, you would have one.
Are these 2012'rds licenses or earlier or newer?
My belief is that since the HOSTS are 2012 Servers, that my RDS licenses must also be 2012 version, correct?  You can see in the RD Lic Manager that there are "Windows Server 2012 - Installed RDS Per Device CAL" - and it shows 90 have been issued, and 10 remain.  Perhaps I am ok?  I just don't understand why the yellow warning is there.
This is what its saying in the warning:

The Remote Desktop Session Host server is in Per Device licensing mode and No Redirector Mode, but license server does not have any installed licenses with the following attributes:
Product version: Windows Server 2012
By the way - do you happen to know if the versions are backward compatible? Can 2019 licenses be used for 2012 Servers?
Yes, newer version license older ones.

You seem to mix things up so not clear. It tells you the licensing mode is per device.
Confirm which licensing are you talking about. Server license or RDS service.

ypu have to license server 2012
RDS licenses are a separate thing
ok - sorry for the confusion.  i am probably confusing you with my words.  that's why I figured the screenshots would be easier to see what's happening.  were you able to open up the "RD Licensing Manager" screenshot so that you can see exactly what licenses are installed?  And then were you able to also open up the "Yellow error screenshot"?  Based on those two screenshots, do you see any problem.
(ignore my words - just focus on those screenshots)
Currently can not view the RTF coded document.
The way you posted the image and then highlighted it is not possible for me to see.

Try again and consider using the "snapping tool" in windows 10 if you are remote desktop connecting or use the alt-print screen to capture the image.
paste into mspaint and save as a PNG.
i see.  ok.  but the PDF was ok for you?
I think I figured it out - my licenses only exist on ONE of my two hosts.  since I had a GPO telling the servers to look to BOTH the IP addresses of the two host, once of them was causing a yellow warning.  I removed the host that did not show the licenses in the RD Lic Manager, and they both went green. do you know if its not possible to install the licenses on multiple servers?  is that against Microsoft's rules?  reason I was doing it was for reduncdancy and in case the license server goes down, users can still continue logging onto our 2nd host.
To avoid double issuing should have one, but the licenses should be exported/saved in the event the existing fails so that a new license server can be setup.....
The licensed server with RDS has a contact/ref to MS to sync additional purchases...
I think the only thing I need now is to confirm whether its "against the rules" to install my licenses on more than one server - if you happen to know what the "law" is on that.  otherwise, I am good!
Ah ok I see.  so....what happens if my one license server goes down?  will clients then be issued TEMPORARY licenses until i can get a new server up?
I do not specifically. 
gotcha.  ok, well I apprecaite all your help Arnold.  i'll close the case.  thanks again!
That is the dilema you need a licensing server to issue licenses, temporary or permanent.
you would need to add/activate a new license server and import the RDS.

Not sure
ok - you wouldn't know where to look for exporting the licenses, would you?  i don't see anything online so far - just articles about how to "migrate to a new server"

Discusses the issue. Do you have the purchase info.

This deals with a controlled migration. I think it includes the other option if the HW failure prevents the option to access the license server. You need the original RDS license key pack.
i.e. add the license server role. to license, provide the key, if connected to internet it will sync in. if no internet, you would need to call to get the response to activate the keypack...
yeah, i've got the purchase info.  ok thanks again!
Can 2019 licenses be used for 2012 Servers?

Yes, newer version license older ones.

I want to add something to what arnold said above. 2019 RD CALs can be used to license session hosts running 2012 or any other previous version, but they cannot be installed on a license server running 2012 or any other previous version. If you have 2019 RD CALs, your license server must be running 2019 in order for you to be able to install those CALs on it. This is illustrated in the table at the bottom of this page: