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Remote management: Four common problems and solutions

This checklist addresses four remote management problems commonly seen by network consultants and systems integrators, and offers suggestions on how to troubleshoot them.

This checklist, which originally appeared on SearchWinComputing.com, addresses four remote management problems commonly seen by network consultants and systems integrators, and offers suggestions on how to troubleshoot them.

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I've always thought that the Terminal Services/Remote Desktop features were among Windows Server's best packages because you can manage a server that's hundreds of miles away without leaving your desk.

On the other hand, Terminal Services do not always work as expected.

If this has happened to you, you know how frustrating it can be. But help is on the way in this checklist. I've described some common problems that you may encounter when using Terminal Services for remote management and some suggestions on how to try to find the root of the problem.

 Remote management problems
Problem: You can't establish a connection to the remote server
Check out and/or try the following:

* If you are attempting to access a server in a remote facility, make sure that the facility's firewall allows you to use port number 3389.

* When using the Remote Desktop client to connect to a server, try entering the server's IP address rather than its name. It could be that the DNS server is not resolving the server's name.

* If the remote server is using a non-public IP address and exists on an entirely separate network, then you may not be able to directly connect to it. You may have to implement a VPN so you can manage servers in the remote office. If you need to manage such an environment right now, talk someone in the remote office into temporarily enabling port forwarding on the firewall. Port 3389 would need to be forwarded to the server that you are trying to manage.
You receive the error message: "The Local Policy of this System Does Not Permit You to Log in Interactively"
* This problem is caused by a group policy setting that does not allow the account that you are using to log on to the server directly from the server's console. You can change this setting by opening Group Policy Editor and navigating to Computer Configuration | Windows Settings | Security Settings | Local Policies | User Rights Assignment.

* Now just double click on the Allow Log On Locally policy and enter the username for the person who needs to be able to manage the server.
You receive the error message: "The Local Policy of this System Does Not Permit You to Log in Interactively"
* Open Active Directory Users and Computers. Right click on the user's account and select the Properties command from the shortcut menu. Select the Terminal Services Profile tab from the user's properties sheet and verify that the "Deny this User Permission to Log Into Any Terminal Server" check box is not selected.

* Open the Terminal Services Configuration Tool. Right click on the RDP-TCP object in the Connections folder, and select the Properties command from the resulting shortcut menu. When you see the RDP-TCP Properties sheet, select the Permissions tab and verify that you have the necessary permissions.
You experience poor performance
In this situation, you should check the following:

* Make sure adequate bandwidth is available.

* Open the Terminal Services Configuration Tool. Right click on the RDP-TCP object in the Connections folder and select the Properties command from the shortcut menu. When you see the RDP-TCP properties sheet, select the Client Settings tab and make sure that color depth is limited to 16 bits or less.

* When you conclude a session, be sure to log out rather than just closing the client. Closing the client often holds the session open and continues to consume server resources.

About the author
Brien Posey, MCSE, is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for his work with Windows 2000 Server and IIS. Brien has served as the CIO for a nationwide chain of hospitals and was once in charge of IT security for Fort Knox. As a freelance technical writer he has written for Microsoft, CNET, ZDNet, MSD2D, Relevant Technologies and other technology companies. You can visit Brien's personal Web site at http://www.brienposey.com.

This tip originally appeared on SearchWinComputing.com.


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