I have a unique server setup and before you say anything, yes I know RDC isn't the best way to remote to a server but these are the constraints I have to deal with. Anyway I have a network of 4 servers 2 being used as domain controllers. Recently I am getting an error from 2 of the servers that are not domain controllers when I remote to them:

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Upon doing some research it states that my Terminal Services have been out of licensing for 120 days. This is where I get confused. NEVER have I had a licensing server running on any of my machines. All the RDC connections to work stations and Domain Controllers work without a problem; it seems to be just these 2 servers. It was working earlier this week and this just randomly started happening.

Servers are running Windows Server 2008 R2 and is just for databases etc. Is there a way to get my RDC back without installing a Licensing Server since I didn't have one before and things were working or doing the Registry Stop gap of resetting the 120 days?


2 Answers 2


You should be able to connect to the 'console' session by running mstsc /admin at start>RUN

If you don't have terminal services in your environment, it's likely you exceeded the maximum number of sessions (2 remote) included for management purposes, which is why you should always use the console session.

If you have multiple users administering the server, you will need to a) train them to log out, or b) Terminate idle sessions

  • Thanks for the reply. Why would I install a Terminal Service Licensing Server if I never used one before and things were working? Is it not possible to just RDC to the machine without the licensing server?
    – JukEboX
    Nov 13, 2015 at 13:18
  • Do you have terminal servers for users in your environment or no Nov 13, 2015 at 13:19
  • No I do not. Just RDC.
    – JukEboX
    Nov 13, 2015 at 13:21
  • Ok then, it wasn't clear what the 'other 2 servers' did, updated answer. Nov 13, 2015 at 13:22
  • what is there were no users connected at the time or locally and I was the only one trying to login to it?
    – JukEboX
    Nov 13, 2015 at 13:24

If you're getting an RDS licensing error then it means that you have the RDS role installed on one or more servers. You do not need the RDS role to be installed in order to connect via RDP to manage the servers. If your intention is to connect to the servers via RDP to manage them then remove the RDS role and the licensing errors will go away.

As Jacob mentioned in his answer, you can connect up to two simultaneous sessions to manage the server via RDP without the need of the RDS role or an RDS License Server.

  • Will removing the RDS remove the Remote Administration feature?
    – JukEboX
    Nov 16, 2015 at 15:56
  • No it doesn't. You can establish up to two sessions for the purposes of managing the server(s) without the need of the RDS role.
    – joeqwerty
    Nov 16, 2015 at 16:12
  • Great I will give it a shot.
    – JukEboX
    Nov 16, 2015 at 16:44

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