Windows Server 2008: RDC Enhancements and Administrative Sessions

Today we're going to talk about some RDC enhancements and also talk about Administrative sessions in Terminal Services.  So without further ado let's begin with Administrative Sessions ... When the Terminal Server role is installed on Windows Server 2008, remote connections initiated using the Remote Desktop Client application consume Client Access Licenses (CAL's).  To administer […]

Today we're going to talk about some RDC enhancements and also talk about Administrative sessions in Terminal Services.  So without further ado let's begin with Administrative Sessions ...

When the Terminal Server role is installed on Windows Server 2008, remote connections initiated using the Remote Desktop Client application consume Client Access Licenses (CAL's).  To administer the machine remotely without consuming a CAL, you can use the /admin switch when launching the Remote Desktop Connection client application (e.g. "mstsc.exe /admin").  Using the /admin switch, you can have a maximum of two active administrative sessions, including the one on the physical console.  There are a few differences between administrative sessions and user sessions:

  • The Time Zone is not redirected for administrative sessions even if the setting is enabled on the server
  • PNP Device Redirection is not available for administrative sessions
  • TS Easy Print is not available for administrative sessions
  • Drive and legacy print redirection is available for administrative and user sessions
  • Administrative sessions are exempted from the Deny this user permission to log on to Terminal Server policy in the TS profile of the user.  If this option is selected for a user, they cannot connect remotely using MSTSC.EXE without using the /admin switch.  If the same user is part of the Administrators group or listed in the access control list that permits logon to administrative sessions then they can connect with the /admin switch
  • Administrative sessions are exempt from the session limit imposed on the server
  • When the limit on the number of administrative sessions is exceeded, the contention is handled by allowing a new user to disconnect existing users.  There is never any contention for CAL (user) sessions.  As long as you have a valid CAL, you can connect remotely unless the session limit has been reached

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Microsoft, Windows Server 2008, WS2008, RDC, Administrative, Sessions, Knowledgebase, Troubleshooting