Problems with Installing Applications on Windows Servers via Remote Desktop

Terminal Server remote client not allowed dialog box

If you have tried to install an application on a Windows Server when logged in with Remote Desktop Connection and the result was a dialog box like the one above, this post is for you.

Understandably, many software companies want different kinds of licensing to be used when installing on a server running Terminal Services. The assumption is that you will likely be using it as a Citrix server, allowing many users to access the application at once. If this is what you are intending to do, then you must follow the licensing scheme required by the software vendor.

However, what if your intention is to install it only for yourself? In my case, I have a virtual development server that no one else uses, but I log onto it with Remote Desktop. When trying to install an application the other day, I got a message similar to the one above. How does it know that I’m logging on remotely?

Other users have had similar experiences, and some of the suggestions on this post on SuperUser gave me an idea.

What if I was logged onto the Console rather than an RDP session? This is a virtual server that is not physically located in the same place as me, so that seemed unlikely. Then I remembered VNC! After installing a free copy of UltraVNC Server on the server and Viewer on my PC, I was able to log in as an apparent session from the Console.

The application was satisfied and allowed me to install it without any further complications.