I am following Microsoft's "Installing Remote Desktop Session Host Step-by-Step Guide".

I am on the step Step 2 sub-section: "To add Morgan Skinner to the Remote Desktop Users group".

I can add mskinner to the local Remote Desktop Users group, however once I click Apply(or I click OK then come back in to the list) the list is empty again. If I try to add him again I get the error

Local Users and Groups
"Morgan Skinner" is already a member of group "Remote Desktop Users".

After restarting RDSH-SRV still has a empty Remote Desktop Users group.

Interestingly if I go to the domain controller, and manage RDSH-SRV remotely from there I do see the listing (SID only, no username)

RDSH-SRV's window
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RDSH-SRV's window remotely viewed through CONTOSO-DC
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Both machines are clones of a base Win2k8R2 (180 day eval version) VMware Image Snapshot. They are running inside VMWare Workstaion 8 on a lan segment (with each getting a new MAC address). After the clone I turned one in to the domain controller (CONTOSO-DC) and one in to a domain member (RDSH-SRV).

Could the fact that they are based on the same base snapshot image cause this, or am I making some other kind of mistake?

  • It sounds like flaky network components, based on the fact that both servers are from the same clone. My suggestion would be to remove the network adapters from both servers and add new ones. Then verify that the DNS server and client components are configured correctly on both servers. – joeqwerty Feb 16 '12 at 16:49
  • @joeqwerty removing and re-adding the adapters to the VM's did not change it. And just to make it clear doing a whoami gives me CONTOSO\srchamberlain as the user (A member of both Builtin\Administrators and Domain Administrators) – Scott Chamberlain Feb 16 '12 at 17:20
  • @joeqwerty Also changing the network type from a custom LAN segment to VMNet2 (with reboot) on both machines made no difference. – Scott Chamberlain Feb 16 '12 at 17:26

The thing that stands out the most to me is the following

"Both machines are clones of a base Win2k8R2 (180 day eval version) VMware Image Snapshot. After the clone I turned one into a domain controller"

Sounds like there's an issue with the RID FSMO:

Relative ID (RID) Master

Allocates RIDs to DCs within a Domain. When an object such as a user, group or computer is created in AD it is given a SID. The SID consists of a Domain SID (which is the same for all SIDs created in the domain) and a RID which is unique to the Domain.

Did you sysprep the DC clone and set it up for OOBE and Generalize? Using snapshots/clones and not sysprepping can cause some serious issues and weird things to happen such as what you're describing. Since you're just doing this for testing I would suggest Sysprepping your reference image and then create new virtuals from that. Let us know how it turns out.

  • Thanks, I rebuilt my base image and did a sysprep before taking the snapshot. It now works perfectly. – Scott Chamberlain Feb 17 '12 at 14:51

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