Question Remote connection to Server 2012

ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
3,986
68
91
Hello guys,

I am trying to train myself to be a server admin. I setup server 2012 on an old machine and trying to remote into it from my main PC so that I can play around with it remotely without having to sit next to it.

I have allowed "remote connection to this computer" on the server and I can connect to it using RDP but once I punch in the credentials, I get an error "authentication error has occurred".

I am assuming this may be because neither my server nor the client I am using to remote in, is on a domain. But does every server in existence need to be a DC? What if I don't want to set up or manage a domain? What if I wanted to set this server up in a different role? Can someone please explain what I am forgetting here?

When I did a google search, I found a guide from a guy saying to pretty much just enable remote connections on the server and you are good to go. Clearly this is not the case.

PS: this is a fresh server install. I did not set up something extra that would block remote connections.
 

JackMDS

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Oct 25, 1999
29,267
316
126
It might also depends on what kind of network yuo are and what you have to go through. LAN, WAN, etc.

May be this can help.


:cool:
 

ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
3,986
68
91
It might also depends on what kind of network yuo are and what you have to go through. LAN, WAN, etc.

May be this can help.


:cool:

Thank you, that was a good try, but unfortunately the solution was so so much more involved than that...


No, it turns out a server doesn't need to be a domain controller to allow remote connections to it, but Server 2012 does not have any provision to accept remote connections from Windows 10/11 clients by default due to some very complicated security schemes that were introduced in later Windows versions. A server administrator apparently must be aware that a certain patch is needed to mitigate this issue. I just went ahead and installed all available patches and one of them fixed this. But WAIT! There's more!

After the connection is successfully made, Windows Server 2012 denies the client remote connection due to Remote Desktop Licensing Server not having been configured on the Server machine! Apparently, the server MUST have a RD Licensing server installed which then issues licenses per user or per machine as per administrator's configuration.

...BUT WAIT! There's more! You have to pay money to Microsoft if you want to remotely connect to a server machine. A server can only issue licenses to those machines that have had their license keys added in the RD Licensing Server Configuration Wizard! If there is no valid license key PER EACH CLIENT, there will be no connection. PERIOD.

I can't believe just how daunting this whole thing is, for someone who is merely trying to learn and practice Active Directory Administration!


PS: Found A Solution!

This link Remote Desktop Server License Workaround (christenturnerstudio.us) explains in detail that there is a way to delete a certain registry key which will return the 180 day grace period for this licensing server to avoid having to use a license for that duration.
 
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mxnerd

Diamond Member
Jul 6, 2007
6,384
970
126
Remote Desktop connection for server should be free at least for administrative job. Remote Desktop Services is for multiple remote users running applications installed on the server.

They are totally different things from usage/license point of view.

==

You can always use TightVNC/UltraVNC/TigerVNC as free alternative on server if remote desktop somehow doesn't work.
 
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