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Remote Desktop/Terminal Services Unavailable After Reboot

After rebooting a server (or workstation), it is not possible to reconnect to the system using Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services). Other services such as file & print services operate normally.

Explanation 1

This may occur if the user who initiated the shutdown did so via the Automatic Updates dialog, and the user's profile has been configured not to allow shutdowns. In this situation, the process appears to accept the shutdown command, but instead silently fails. The server does not actually shut down and reboot, but the Terminal Services service, although still running and apparently listening on the correct TCP port, does not accept connections.

The solution is to reboot the server.

The settings which may prevent the user from initiating a shutdown are:

  • In the registry, NoClose set to 1 under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer.

  • In group policy (via gpedit.msc), Remove and prevent access to the Shut Down command set to Enabled under Local Computer PolicyUser ConfigurationAdministrative TemplatesStart Menu and Taskbar.

Explanation 2

This may also occur if the Terminal Services service starts before the adaptor has an IP address, and is listening on a Automatic Private IP Addressing (APIPA) address. Use the following command:

netstat -an|find "3389"

which will show something similar to:

  TCP    169.254.89.247:3389   0.0.0.0:0              LISTENING

This may happen if Terminal Services is configured to listen on the system's network adaptor, rather than “All network adaptors” (even if the system has only one network adaptor):

A NETSTAT command should show:

  TCP    0.0.0.0:3389          0.0.0.0:0              LISTENING

After making the change, restart the Terminal Services service (if using Windows Vista/2008 or later) or reboot (Windows XP/2003 and earlier).

Explanation 3

See Windows Vista/2008: General All-Purpose Miracle Cure For Many Bizarre Problems.

Explanation 4

For another cause of this issue, see Various Windows Services Fail After Reboot.

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