I logged into Server 2012 on our domain with my administrator account through a remote desktop connection. I locked the computer to do some other things and now when I try to log back in it tells me I need to be added to Remote Desktop Users to log back in. This is odd because I was just logged in, I check AD and I indeed am in the RDU group. I remove myself and re-add myself, still can't log in. I delete and recreate my account with all the necessary permissions, still can't log in. I even tried the builtin domain admin account, that can't log in either, same message.

What is happening and how do I get back into the machine??

  • is there a local account on it that you can try? Can you remotely manage it with Computer Management MMC? Can you log in locally at the console?
    – TheCleaner
    Jun 25, 2013 at 13:29
  • I have to wait until the person who installed the OS comes in to find the local admin account but that doesn't really address the issue. I am not able to manage it remotely with Computer Management MMC, tells me access denied (which there should be no way since I am a domain admin). I also don't have the ability to log in locally, it is located in a server room far away, but again that wouldn't really address the issue if I could. I need to be able to log in remotely.
    – Tony
    Jun 25, 2013 at 13:38
  • If you are getting access denied, it might have an issue with its computer account and trust with the domain. "netdom verify /d:domainname.com servername" from a DC should let you know for sure.
    – TheCleaner
    Jun 25, 2013 at 15:41
  • Are you a local server admin or domain admin? Jun 26, 2013 at 2:42
  • Kim - I am a domain admin. TheCleaner - It is very specifically telling me I am not in the RDU group, which I am. I did the command you suggested from a domain controller and got the response: "the secure channel from computername to the domain domainname has been verified. The connection is with the machine domaincontroller. The command completed successfully.
    – Tony
    Jun 26, 2013 at 11:44

1 Answer 1


Perhaps the domain administrator made changes to the domain's group policy such that when you attempted to log in again, your session was loaded with the a new group policy that restricted access unless you're in the Remote Desktop users group. Or you may have been removed from the Remote Desktop users group.

To remedy the situation, I will ask for the credentials for the local administrator account and log in to the machine using those credentials. Instead of logging in with the domain, I will key in BUILTIN\administrator (usually, that is the default name of the local administrator account) and log in accordingly with the requested credentials.

  • I am the domain administrator and I made no such changes, also I came on to a team with little passdown and things were not documented very well before me. What I'm left with is no idea what the local administrator password is.
    – Tony
    Jun 26, 2013 at 11:34

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