Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Can not remote desktop - no Terminal Server License Servers available

remote desktop console disconnected terminal server license "no Terminal Server License Servers available"

On trying to remote desktop to a machine get the popup message:
The remote session was disconnected because there are no Terminal Server License Servers available to provide a license.
Please contact the server administrator.

A quick search suggests:
  1. Restarting the "Terminal Server" can help
    but lets say (hypothetically) that we don't know where this is and/or how to do it.
  2. Installing a Microsoft 'Hotfix'
    but after accepting the terms; filling in the hotfix request form; getting the email with the link to the hotfix executable - we (at the moment anyway) get a 500 Internal Server Error on the MS hotfix download site.

If you just need to access the machine is there another option?

You can remote desktop to the "console" - this is effectively like 'physically' logging into the machine rather than a remote session.
mstsc /console

or on Vista / Windows Server 2008:
mstsc /admin

mstsc allows specifying the machine on the command line itself to avoid the computer selection popup (use /help option for other options):
mstsc /v:remote-server /admin

Be aware that - if someone else had a console session on this machine they'd be kicked off. If you're logged on in console/admin mode anyone with access to the terminal - if it's plugged into a monitor for example - will see what you're doing.