Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

I have a Small Business Server 2003 R2 Server running Team Foundation Server tucked out of the way to conserve desk space (three servers, two clients, two desks: not much space).  I don't have it hooked up to a monitor (one: don't have that many monitors, and two: desk space).  So, I've been merrily using Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) in Windows XP to connect to this server to perform my various administration tasks (like install service packs, hot fixes, etc.).

Well, I finally had a couple of cycles to install some hotfixes for the new daylight savings time changes to various components, so I sparked up RDC to get the ball rolling on my server--as I have done many times before.  I was greeted with a message box as I logged in:

To log on to this remote computer, you must have Terminal Server User Access Permissions on this computer. By default, members of the Remote Desktop group have these permissions. If you are not a member of the Remote Desktop Users group or another group that has these permissions, or if the Remote Desktop User group does not have these permissions, you must be granted these permissions manually.

Needless to say I was dumbfounded--it worked fine yesterday.  After a bit of searching, it appears it was the 120 day anniversary of creating this server and Terminal Server (which is what is used for an application server in Small Business Server) had "expired" (i.e. its grace period for CALs had expired).  I was used to installing Windows Server and setting up Terminal Server for remote administration (there was a setting for that in Windows Server, I honestly don't remember what Small Business Server asked me when I installed; it certainly wasn't clear it was different the other Windows Server installation processes).  Apparently I missed the memo that remote administration is now called "Remote Desktop".  Clearly a WTF moment.

As it turns out, the hoops to get back to the ability of remote administration aren't clearly documented (I actually couldn't find any documentation on the process, I actually inferred the process from various non-Microsoft sources--there could be documentation somewhere, I just didn't find it).  The process requires that Terminal Server be uninstalled, the server rebooted, and Remote Desktop be re-enabled.  A point-list of the steps:

  1. Run Add/Remove Programs (run "appwiz.cpl")
  2. Click Add/Remove Windows Components (Alt-W)
  3. Uncheck Terminal Server
  4. Press Next>.
  5. Follow instructions, including rebooting.
  6. Open System control panel applet (run "sysdm.cpl")
  7. Click Remote tab.
  8. Check Enable Remote Desktop on this computer. (because removing Terminal Server disables this)
  9. Click Select Remote Users...
  10. Make sure administrators is in the list.
  11. Click OK.
  12. Click OK. for the next dialog.
  13. Wait a few minutes for things to get up and running and you're no ready for remote administration again.

I hope this helps someone get back up and running faster than I did...

Comments

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

I think something else changed the permissions... SBS boxes don't have a 120 day grace period and they are set up for Remote administration mode.. (but cannot do application mode)

Saturday, February 03, 2007 3:18 PM by Susan

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Susan, could be.  I hadn't installed anything on there; unless a recent Microsoft update changed something.  I did go through the process of adding users/groups to the Remote Desktop Users group, to no avail.  Only uninstalling Terminal Server and re-enabling Remote Desktop got me back to being able to remotely administer.

When installing Windows Server I usually select remote administration for Terminal Server; but, for this installation, I just don't remember.

Saturday, February 03, 2007 7:15 PM by PeterRitchie

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

worked fine! thanks

Thursday, February 22, 2007 2:13 PM by crus

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

This info is right on the money, thanks for posting it!

Saturday, February 24, 2007 5:17 PM by E Davis

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Peter, Thank you for this information. I have a bunch of computers all using active directory to log onto their PC's, and the Server is in another room where i only gave it a monitor/mouse/keyboard because of this very issue! I've just left it be until the last week, but recently decided it was time to fix whatever was wrong. It's funny how frustrating a little message like that can be when you check countless amount of security configurations and permissions, and then you check the entire microsoft website and can't find this solution anywhere. Anyways, thank you for posting this because without it i am sure I would of been trying a lot more ideas for countless hours.

Thursday, May 03, 2007 7:57 AM by Rien

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

THANK YOU! I've been using remote access to gather data for my PhD thesis and I don't think I would have finished on time without this reset.

Monday, June 11, 2007 10:24 AM by Andrew

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

I came across the same problem, fortunately I planned ahead and created two admin users so was able to still log in using the second admin account.  I tried what you suggested but it didn't work in my instance, but what I found was a problem of my own making.  I run server 2003 on one of my home machines to play with, during my latest exploit to run pop3/smtp server I inadvertantly added my main login to the "mailbox" user account.  This I think caused my problem as I read somwhere (after the event)that "mailbox" users cannot login to the server, its a case of "either / or" but not both.  I may have been wrong but as soon as I removed my main login from the "mailbox" account I could use it once again to login normally, but this is my finding as everything was "ok" until I started messing and i'm no "server" expert ..... its just a hobby to me.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007 12:02 PM by Andy

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

It worked very well. Many Thanks

Thursday, October 11, 2007 3:04 AM by Ahmed Elhamamy

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

ok - very skeptical of the instructions but it worked like a charm. Thanks so much I have 6 new 2003 servers and wasn't aware of this issue. all my remaining servers are 2K's - thanks again

Wednesday, November 14, 2007 10:38 AM by Kristine

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Well I have put myself in a similar situation, however, my only means for getting to the server is through RDC and after going through the add/remove step then rebooting, I now get the message ;

"To log on this remote computer, you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer.  By default, members of the RDC users group have these permission.  If you are not a member, your Administator will have to set this manually"

If I can't RDC and hooking up a monitor isn't an option (don't ask, long story), is there ANY other way to get in to set up the RDC?

Saturday, November 17, 2007 3:17 AM by Mystie

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

@Mystie:  I don't know of a way to remotely connecting to a server if the server thinks you don't have permission to do it.  There may be a way, I'm no SBS expert; but off-hand if there were it would be a security issue.

You could try contacting customer support or asking the question on one of the SBS newsgroups like www.microsoft.com/.../default.mspx

Saturday, November 17, 2007 9:02 AM by PeterRitchie

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

I'm setup TS CAL and then installed the citrix presentation server v 4.0 , but I see this error with the thin client . please help mr . thx

Monday, November 19, 2007 1:46 AM by linta

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

thnak you so much , it make u feel u r not alone in the world with similar problems , It worked for me let me give my perspective just roll balck SP2 update it works perfectly yet to find what in SP2 cause this problem and what fixes it still lookiing for tha solution

Tuesday, December 04, 2007 8:52 AM by Palani

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Wow! This worked out great!! Its a while ago that you posted this, but im very happy that i found it.

thanks!

Saturday, December 15, 2007 9:33 AM by Guusje

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

i got the same problems and now it was resolved

Thank you very much!!!!,

Thursday, January 10, 2008 1:25 AM by Chaipond

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Will I have to re-install any other software like citrix if I do what is posted here?

Friday, January 25, 2008 7:53 AM by Fred

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

I don't know what citrix requires.  If it requires Terminal Server then you need a license for Terminal Server and the instructions in this post will make Citrix not work.  But, I doubt you'd have to re-install citrix.

Friday, January 25, 2008 9:03 AM by PeterRitchie

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

I have found this error can also occur on terminal services when a non-administrator tries to logon using the /console or -console option.

I run into it a lot because my desktop shortcuts usually have that option since I am administering, and when I try to test as a normal user I get the error about 3 times before I remember that!

Sunday, February 10, 2008 12:29 PM by Triple S

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

I got same problem and spent several hours to figure out.  I've been using mstsc -v:servername /F -console since it happened.  I didn't think about Terminal Server was installed.  Now it works.  Thanks for useful info.

Monday, April 07, 2008 11:14 AM by koolio

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

I have the same problem.  I have a 2003 server with citrix metaframe.  I try to connect to the application using citrix or RDP to the citrix server to no avail.  Are you saying I should uninstall terminal services on the Server and then reinstall?

Monday, April 07, 2008 1:24 PM by David

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

I don't know about Citrix, but uninstalling Terminal Server then enabling Remote Desktop got my remote connections via Remote Desktop Connections working again.

Monday, April 07, 2008 1:46 PM by PeterRitchie

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

So let me get this straight.  If I uninstall Terminal Server, Reboot the server and then Re-enable RDP and add all the users this should work?

Monday, April 07, 2008 1:58 PM by David

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

To confirm this is the problem, check the event viewer. On the system log there should be an error from the TermService saying that your 120 days of grace have expired.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008 9:18 AM by Rodolfo

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Thanks a bunch. These directions definetely helped me find the reason behind a very similar problem we were having.

To the poster called mistie:

If you can't RDC and hooking up a monitor isn't an option, there is one other thing to try.

start>run> mstsc /console

and try to connect to the machine. This works even when the CALs are expired, and has saved me in this situation.

Monday, April 14, 2008 12:09 PM by matt urban-ski

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Really thanks.

I was getting crazy about this :)

Thanks to you i saved a lot of time.

You're my hero, man :D

Tuesday, April 15, 2008 10:51 AM by Alessio

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

its just a simple question when we are connecting it from the client side it give us error at client side that

“To Logon to this remote computer you must have terminal server access permission on this computer”

Can you please guide us if any mistakes in OS or in Citrix?

kamran@nec-isb.com.pk

Monday, May 12, 2008 6:31 AM by Muhammad Kamran (kamran@nec-isb.com.pk)

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Something similar, maybe somebody knows the solution?

I can connect remote desktop as a administrator, but not as user with admin rights, or with any right (tried all rights and polices). I was able some time ago, but i don`t know what happend that it stop working. May be I changed something but can not recall.

Any clue?

Monday, June 16, 2008 5:24 AM by Lenco

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

I have Citrix PS 4.5 installed on a W2003 Server and I solved mine by changing the Environment settings for both ICA and RDP to open the Desktop.  

I think the problem happens in the RCA environment, when you select the middle option to open the application specified by the user.  This seems to also changes the ICA setting and I believe this cause the weird all of a sudden ""...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions" message.

Friday, June 20, 2008 4:45 PM by Lee

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Awesome!!... thx

Monday, July 07, 2008 12:20 AM by Preeti

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Thanks! It's work ok!!

=)

Monday, July 07, 2008 2:32 PM by Julian

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Life saver... thanks

Thursday, July 10, 2008 7:52 AM by Mehdi

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Lenco,

Make sure you add the user account to the local remote desktop group on the server you are trying to RDP to.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 11:46 AM by Mostafa

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Thanks man. I was trying to remote into a client this evening and had the same error message. I was not on site to fiddle around to see whats going on so I stuck the error message in google and happened upon this fix you have listed. I didn't try it but hey it deff going to work. Thanks, This will save me sometime tomorrow on an already busy schedual.

Regards

ma

Monday, August 25, 2008 10:31 PM by Mike A

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

tengo un problema cuando me conecto al terminal server me sale el siguientes mensajes:

To log on to this remote computer, you must have terminal server user Access permissions on this computer. By default  of the remote desktop users  group have  these permissions. If you are not a member of the remote desktop users group or another group that has these permissions, or if the remote desktop user group do not have these permissions, you must be granted these permissions manually.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 3:41 PM by Julio

# For Citrix USERS

support.citrix.com/.../CTX103922

Is how I had to fix this, hope it helps.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008 12:39 PM by Gary

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

not to confuse the issue but we have 3 of us using mstsc with the same administrator login to many 2003 servers and I am the only one to get that error.  I have XP SP2, one co-worker has XP SP3, and another has Vista.  They do not have any issues.   I use the /console option and they use the /admin option (SP3 and Vista change)

I tried upgrading to SP3 but got a BSoD that I spent 2 days trying to recover from.

Anybody have any ideas?

Thursday, September 18, 2008 1:33 PM by Bill C

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Thanks.. this works like a charm.  

Sunday, September 21, 2008 1:09 AM by Jay

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Working fine.....Thanx a lot...

Sunday, September 21, 2008 1:38 AM by Vijay

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Quite strangely I was experiencing same problem,however,I did not have terminal services installed so this solution did not work for me. I ran mstsc script:  "mstsc /console /v:ServerName" and Oila! was able to connect. After running the script, all my RDP icons began to work again.

Monday, October 27, 2008 3:41 PM by chris s

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Thanks for this istruction!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 1:37 PM by Sash_net

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Big help, thanks a lot.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 3:01 PM by Prafull

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

champion! thanks for your simple and clear instructions

Tuesday, February 10, 2009 3:52 PM by Mr Page

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

peace on you..

you save my day.!!

thanks

Tuesday, March 31, 2009 9:36 AM by Ibrahim

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Awsome!!!

Thanks!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009 9:28 AM by Louie

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Thank You, this work right away.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009 2:11 PM by Monik

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Thanks!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009 1:55 AM by Iris

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

You are fantastic, thank you for sharing knowledge. It's works  !

Thursday, July 23, 2009 9:16 AM by Theotime

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Thanks man.It worked fine.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 7:44 AM by Ron

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Thank you very much!  This was the only forum that actually had a solution.

Friday, September 11, 2009 8:22 AM by Name

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Big big Thanks!

Monday, October 19, 2009 8:53 AM by Xaj007

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Thx a lot: this is the only way I found to solve my problem!

Friday, November 20, 2009 7:08 AM by Davide

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

gRATE DUDE IT REALLY WORKS THANKS A LOT.........

Monday, December 07, 2009 6:55 AM by gIRISH

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Thanks! That was I need! :-)

Monday, December 07, 2009 11:04 AM by Hans

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

awsome! exactly what i needed.

THANKS FOR THE SHARING

Thursday, January 07, 2010 12:06 PM by pkd

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Great it works

Friday, February 05, 2010 3:49 PM by one of all

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Worked! Thanks!!!!!!!! I spent 4 hours on this *** yesterday. Thanks MS.

Thursday, March 04, 2010 7:55 AM by muhammad

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

you are absolutely genius. thanks for your suggestion.

Thursday, March 04, 2010 11:31 PM by nagesh nale

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

This procedure worked with no issues. thanks.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010 10:48 AM by another saved user

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

OMG - thank you so much for this note re remote desktop saved me a heap of time getting the issue resolved

The server had gone well past it 120 days however I simply found unchecking the TS going to the point where it tells you its uninstalling and then going back and rechecking it did the same thing without a reboot:)

excellent post!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 6:13 AM by Paul

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

I love you!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 2:49 AM by agrogers

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Thank you very much. This was the only forum i got the solution

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 1:31 AM by Nitin

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Thank you very much. You rescue me from server room:)

Monday, June 28, 2010 8:32 AM by Abdullah Aslan

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Right on - I spent a couple hours before I ran into thi solution - good job!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010 4:49 PM by astro803

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

thanks a lot, i tried many ways to connect by remote desktop, your solution was great

Friday, August 13, 2010 2:38 AM by LRIVAS

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

1) Verify your listener settings:

- Open Terminal Services Configuration

- Open properties for your ica-tcp listener.

- goto the tab - "ICA Settings"

- Under “Initial Program”, uncheck the option: “Only Launch Published Applications”

If you want to use RDP to access your Citrix server, please make this change to your rdp-tcp listener.

2) Also, please make sure that local policies (Allow users to connect remotely using Terminal Services) are set-up correctly.

If you still face any issues, goto event viewer for lisencing issues.

Thursday, August 26, 2010 9:36 PM by himanshu

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Thanks buddy!!! It helped a lot!!

Friday, November 26, 2010 1:20 PM by Ricardo

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

We had this issue on a server where I suspect somebody previously installed Terminal Services to test with which kicked off the 120 free license, then uninstalled Terminal Services and re-activated RDP.  

When somebody else installed Terminal Services, we'd inexplicably get this error no matter what security settings we tried.  

The other issue is we couldn't use the licensing manager to connect to our license server, it would just say it couldn't connect.

The Fix:

In Terminal Services Configuration, go to Server Settings - License Server Discovery Mode - Set to your license Server mode and enter your license server's name.  This will not work until a reboot.  

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 4:49 PM by Chris

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Really Nice.. It is working fine now..

Thank you.

Thursday, March 03, 2011 2:41 AM by Raj

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

You'r the one.... nothing worked before your hint. what a stupid and nonsense message box microsoft left to complicate our lives.

thanks a lot

Monday, May 02, 2011 10:18 PM by bandido

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

if youre an citrix admin, dont do the above!

Open registry and search for the word "LicenseServers" and check what server is mentioned there. Change it to the name of your license server if needed. If you dont have one, you need to install one.

We took down a license server and forgot that there is a difference between ts-licensing and citrix licensing. Your servers need a ts-license server and if they cant find one the 120 days graceperiod will go active, rendering your servers unuseable after 120 days.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 6:42 AM by Jan

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Nice one pal, worked mint :)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011 9:44 AM by Stuart Gregory

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Great.!!! it works for me....Thanks

Thursday, December 08, 2011 3:04 AM by Muhammad Naeem

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

tanX its working

Tuesday, January 03, 2012 6:13 AM by hadi

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Great stuff! Saved me lots of time. it was the first solution i tried and it worked.

Monday, January 09, 2012 7:37 AM by KG

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Hey Peter, your post helped me a Lot!!

Thanks a lot!!

Thursday, January 26, 2012 9:42 AM by UB

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Hi! Peter,

Really thanks and appreciate such well define solution for such pathetic problem

Thanks to you I saved a lot of time.

You're hero, man :)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012 12:02 AM by Muhammad Tousif Shahid

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Dear Peter

Thanks a lot it solved my problem

Wednesday, January 02, 2013 11:43 PM by Tasneem Ahmed

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

Hey this worked like a champ!!  Thanks for the Post!!  I was pulling my hair out!!

Thanks again!!

Saturday, March 23, 2013 7:07 PM by Tom

# re: Sudden "...you must have Terminal Server User Access permissions on this computer." Error.

This worked for me. I was hesitating to do it because I found a warning message when trying to remove the checkmark from Terminal Services. It says that all software installed while Terminal Services was active needed to be reinstalled after removing the checkmark. I took the chance and all is good so far.

Thanks !!!! Great job !!!

Friday, January 10, 2014 8:12 AM by Oscar

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