Unfortunately, a recent update to Windows Servers running the 2016 operating system can cause the server to stop responding to remote desktop connections. This post covers how to get remote desktop working on Windows Server 2016 when an update causes it to fail.
How to Get Remote Desktop working on Windows Server 2016
Once remote desktop fails due to the update, there is only one way to fix the issue: connect to the server directly. This can be done in different ways depending upon the type of server.
If you are running a physical server, you will need to gain access to the console and log into the server locally. Physically logging into the machine fixes the issue automatically and once finished the server can be accessed via remote desktop again. Logging in locally only needs to happen once to fix the issue and thankfully the issue will remain fixed once the process is completed.
Depending upon how far away the physical server is, this process can be accomplished within minutes or it might take hours. In some instances, calling someone who is physically closer to the server so they can log in might make sense. Either way, the actual fix, logging in and out of the server, only takes a few minutes. Be sure to test connecting with remote desktop before physically leaving the server to be sure it is fixed.
Virtualized servers are also subject to the remote desktop issue. However, virtual servers can be easier to fix.
To fix the issue on a virtual server:
- Log into whichever virtual machine management console you have for your servers, e.g. VSphere console / VCenter Server console or Hyper-V Manager.
- Once logged into the management console, click on the name of the host machine with the issue.
- Open the console for that machine.
- Log into the server from the console and then log out.
- Test the remote desktop connection as it should now be working again.
As always, updates are important because they often address security risks. Knowing how to fix or adapt to any issues updates might cause is invaluable!