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I have a small business network with an existing Server 2008 R2 domain controller. In order to backup all the client machines with an experience something like windows home server I recently purchased a new server with windows server 2012 r2 and installed the essentials role.

I'm able to connect client machines (running windows 7) to the new server and get them to backup. I assume (but have not yet tested) that I would be able to do a full image restore by creating a client restore bootable usb key and booting a client from that, but first I'd like to be able to browse the files in a client backup and restore a single file rather than the full image. It seems that the only way to do that is to run the dashboard as a remoteapp from the client, but when I try that I get a message indicating that the dashboard is not on the list of remoteapps.

When I look at my server the default essentials role setup did not setup remote desktop services at all, so there is no place to administrate the list of remote apps. This has led me to try installing remote desktop services, but I'm concerned about whether or not this is the right approach and whether or not I have the licensing rights for it. Because my only intended use for remote apps is to get to the dashboard to restore files I hope that I do not need to purchase RDS cals for all of the client machines.

I know that the essentials version of windows server comes with 25 CALs which I believe are both regular and RDS CALs, but in my case I didn't purchase that but instead purchased server 2012 standard because I intend to eventually scale to more than just 25. So I just purchased regular CALs for my machine.

So, is there any other way to get to the dashboard or otherwise restore files onto a client? If not, is there any way to avoid setting up an RD licensing server and installing RDS cals or something like that?

Thanks.

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My question was answered on technet in this forum thread: https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/bab16fb2-2aad-4463-a9e9-4bbcc5be7588/cannot-open-dashboard-from-connected-client-to-restore-a-single-file?forum=winserveressentials&prof=required

I'm not sure why this should be necessary, but the fix was:

Regedit on the Essentials Server HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Terminal Server\TSAppAllowList “fDisabledAllowList” My guess is that the value you have is "0". If it is, just change to "1". No reboot necessary.

Once this value was changed in the registry the dashboard application can be launched from the client even without the Remote Desktop Services role installed on the server used for backups. So no RDS CALs are needed.

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