I was playing around my windows server 2008 with the following configuration.


After rebooting, SQL Went down, RDP is not accepting any connections... Websites are up on HTTP but HTTPS simply does not work... so my theory is that every service on windows, that depend on encryption, is down.

How to access a Server when RDP connection is not possible? Or at least the registry?

I might end up launching a second EC2 virtual machine, and attaching the current disk as slave, try to salvage the data... but I can't afford to configure all the server from scratch.

I think about launching a new EC2 machine on the same zone, and probably try to remotely edit the registry on the original one...

  • 1
    Restore a backup before the changes were made? Get a virtual console? Remote execution from another machine on the domain? Remote start RDP or SQL Server? Tell us what "RDP got kicked out of the equation" actually means? – Anti-weakpasswords Jan 17 '15 at 22:16
  • @Anti-weakpasswords RDP is not accepting connections, the service might be down. As SQL and any other service that depends on Encryption. But i found this article and I'm about to follow these steps. docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/WindowsGuide/… – Adrian Salazar Jan 17 '15 at 22:32
  • Yeah, I suspect remote registry edit/remote service restart is probably your best bet. – Katherine Villyard Jan 18 '15 at 1:38

So, as suggested, I will post the link that I used as inspiration to solve my problem.


The steps that I took, however were a bit different, but the context is the same, mount the disk in a machine, open the registry hive, edit, pray, boot the old machine, cross fingers and wait.

  1. As I didn't want to take all my websites down, I created a snapshot from the current running machine. This is going to take a while, depending on the size of your disk.
  2. With the snapshot, I created a new volume (on which, the registry is also infected so booting from this one is also a bad idea).
  3. Create a new machine. Important: Pick a different AMI from the one of the original machine. Attach the volume copied from the original machine to this one as secondary drive.
  4. Boot the machine and access it.
  5. Mount the disk on Windows.
  6. Open registry editor.
  7. Use the option load Hive to get access to the other machine's registry (see link)
  8. Save changes, turn off machines, swap disks, and boot the original machine.

The down time should be minimum (the swapping of disks and boot-up time)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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