Section 7.5: Troubleshooting Terminal Services

The complexity of Terminal Services makes it difficult to troubleshoot Terminal Services problems. There are, however, a few common problems, which include problems related to automatic logon; launching an initial program; and licensing.

7.5.1: Automatic Logon

There are a number of possible causes and solutions to a common problem that occurs when you want to be able to automatically log on to the server, but are still prompted for your user credentials when you connect to the terminal server.

This problem is especially common if you are using a Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Services client because these clients are not always able to detect and pass on the system logon credentials to the Windows Server 2003 terminal server. You should use the Windows NT 4.0 Client Connection Manager, to configure Automatic logon on the General tab in the Properties box for the connection. Enter the appropriate logon credentials in the User name, Password and Domain text boxes.

If you are using a Windows 2000 Terminal Services client or the RDC client, it is possible that you entered the incorrect credentials on the General tab. If you mistyped the user name or password, the terminal server will not be able to verify your credentials and will prompt you for the correct ones.

Another possible cause is that Group Policy is configured to require users to enter their credentials. Group Policy settings override client settings. The only way to correct this is to remove the Group Policy setting that is enforcing this restriction.

7.5.2: Initial Program Launching

At the client level, a user can specify that program be launched when they connect to a server instead of receiving a desktop. Likewise, an administrator can specify this at the connection level for all users that connect to a specific listener connection. Finally, this can also be set in Group Policy. However, the client may receive a message stating, "This initial program cannot be started"

This error may be caused by an input error or incorrect path and executable file name. If you have entered the incorrect path and executable file name, they will be pointing to a file that does not exist.

Another possible cause is that the correct permissions are not set on the executable file. If Windows Server 2003 cannot access the file, it will not be able to launch the program. You should verify that the appropriate read and execute permissions are applied to both the file and the working folder. If neither of these two possible solutions resolves the issue, the application itself may have become corrupt. Try to launch the application at the server. If it will not open, you may need to uninstall and reinstall the application.

7.5.3: License Problems

For remote administration, licenses come built in to the Windows Server 2003. The Terminal Server role, however, requires the installation and proper configuration of the terminal server licensing component. Because of this, license problems typically relate only to the terminal server role. If you have license component problems you will receive one of the following error messages:

• The remote session was disconnected because there are no terminal server client access licenses available for this computer. Please contact the server administrator

• The remote session was disconnected because there are no Terminal Server License Servers available to provide a license. Please contact the server administrator

These error messages can indicate several issues which must be resolved systematically. First, verify that the license server is online and able to communicate on the network. Also verify name resolution during this step. Next, ensure that the license server component has been activated. Check event logs on the license server.

Verify that the license server has a sufficient number of valid client licenses for your network, and that the licenses are valid. The Terminal Server draws licenses from the license server so you should also ensure that these two servers can communicate with each other.

Finally, check the clients. It is possible that the clients never received a valid license. By default, clients often receive temporary licenses that expire after 90 days and prevent further connections. If they did receive full licenses, the licenses may have become corrupt and need to be replaced or overwritten.