Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

After I ran some windows updates (remotely, using terminal services) and hit restart, I couldn't connect to the remote server via RDP, my client program just says it can't connect. I know the server did restart, because apache and filezilla etc are running. I'm not sure why I can't get into RDP though. I do have command line access (sorta) by using the PHP exec function.

I've checked the firewall settings and they seem fine, I can't figure out how to undo a update via the command line. And the server is hours away.

Is there any possible way I can gain control again using FTP, and Apache/PHP exec function?

share|improve this question
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Sometimes Win2k3 servers reboot and start just fine -- but won't run RDP properly. Does the server have multiple NICs? If so, after you get this sorted out be sure to bind the LAN (or otherwise appropriate NIC) to the remote desktop service via Terminal Services Configuration.

Do you have some sort of VPN network access to the server? If you do you might try a remote reboot just to see if that sorts it out. Run shutdown -i (interactive mode) then fill in the resulting dialog with the server name or address. Make sure "restart" is the option and uncheck the notify option. Set the event stuff and turn it loose.

share|improve this answer
shutdown -r will also reboot the server. – Chris S Apr 14 '11 at 13:01
Yeah, I was approaching it from the aspect of "we're not on the server". I'd sure hope he can't run that one remotely via PHP... ;-) – Chris_K Apr 14 '11 at 13:04
If I can't run a restart command via PHP, I bet I can call the collocation company. – James T Apr 14 '11 at 13:05

That service hangs on me after reboot on a couple of our servers the same way it's hanging for you. You can try to remotely restart the Terminal Services service using sc:

sc myserver stop termservice
sc myserver start termservice

If that doesn't work, you can try it via PHP's exec on the server. I don't know what PHP's exec will allow you to do, but if you can execute cmdline calls with it you can try to restart the Terminal Services service. I'd really hope that doesn't work, though...

Other than that, you're pretty much stuck with rebooting the server or getting someone in on the console to restart terminal services.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.