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Recovering client access licenses on a Terminal Server license server

Updated: January 21, 2005

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2

Recovering client access licenses on a Terminal Server license server

After a Terminal Server license server is activated, you can purchase and then install client access licenses (CALs) on that server so that it can issue those licenses to terminal servers upon request. The terminal servers, in turn, issue licenses to clients. Terminal Server licensing modes determine the type of CAL that a license server issues. In Windows Server 2003, two types of CALs are available: Per User and Per Device. A Per Device CAL gives each client computer or device the right to access a terminal server that is running Windows Server 2003. A Per User CAL gives one user the right to access a terminal server from an unlimited number of devices. In this case, only one CAL is needed instead of a CAL for each device.

To configure the Terminal Server licensing mode, you must set the licensing mode on the terminal server to match the type of CAL that you purchase and install on the license server. To set the licensing mode on the terminal server, you can use Terminal Services Configuration. For more information, see Configure the Terminal Server Licensing mode.

When the Per Device licensing mode is used, after a client logs and authenticates to a terminal server for the first time, and after the terminal server locates a license server, the terminal server issues the client a temporary license by default. After a client logs on and authenticates to a terminal server for the second time, if the license server is activated and at least one Per Device CAL is installed on the license server and not yet issued, the terminal server issues the client a permanent, Per Device CAL. Per User CALs are not monitored by Terminal Server. This means that even though there is a Per User CAL in the license server database, the Per User CAL is not decremented when it is used. Additionally, if you use the Per User licensing mode, when a client logs on to a terminal server for the second time, the temporary license is not upgraded to a permanent CAL.

By default, for terminal servers and license servers that are running Windows Server 2003 or Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 (or that are running Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 and earlier with the hotfix described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-052 applied), an expiration period is applied for each Per Device CAL that is issued. This expiration period, which is not configurable, is a random number of days between 52 to 89 days after the license is issued. When a client connects to a terminal server, the expiration date for the CAL is checked. If the expiration is set to occur within seven days, the terminal server connects to the license server and renews the CAL. During this time, the CAL is given another expiration period of 52 to 89 days. If the license server is not available, the terminal server attempts to replace the CAL each time the client logs on to a terminal server session. After the CAL expires, the license server returns any CAL that was not renewed to the group of available CALs.

This functionality facilitates the automatic recovery of Per Device CALs that are lost due to hardware failure, operating system reinstallation, and other similar events. This functionality is also available for terminal servers and license servers running earlier versions of Windows 2000 that have the hotfix described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-052 applied. For the hotfix to work correctly, you must apply it to all terminal servers and license servers in your organization.

Important

  • CALs cannot be recovered automatically in the following cases:

    • CALs that are issued by license servers and terminal servers that are running Windows 2000 Service Pack 2 and earlier and that do not have the hotfix described in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS01-052 applied. In such cases, these CALs remain assigned to the devices to which they are issued. If the CALs are lost, you must contact the Microsoft Clearinghouse to recover them. If you do need to contact the Clearinghouse to recover CALs, make sure that you have the License Purchase Agreement information available. Having this information with you will facilitate the CAL recovery process. For information about how to contact the Clearinghouse, see Locate the Microsoft Clearinghouse telephone number for your country or region.

    • Catastrophic failure that results in the loss of the licensing database. In the event of a failure that results in the loss of the licensing database when a known good backup is not available, you must reinstall Terminal Server Licensing and reactivate the license server, and then contact the Clearinghouse to re-issue any previously issued CALs. The original CALs that were issued are based on the identification number of the license server at the time of issuance. A license server ID number is a unique 35-character alphanumeric representation of the certificate of a license server. This certificate is provided during license server activation, and it is used to obtain CALs. If the license server ID number changes, CALs that are based on the old license server ID number cannot be re-installed.

A re-issued set of CALs is displayed in the Terminal Services Licensing administrative tool as another CAL installation. Other than being a separate CAL installation, re-issued CALs are not distinguishable from an original installation.

The following problems might result from a Terminal Server licensing mode mismatch:

  • If a terminal server is set to Per Device mode and the license server with which it communicates only has Per User CALs, the license server only issues temporary licenses. When the temporary licenses are close to expiration, the following message appears on the terminal server: "Your terminal services temporary client license will expire in N days. Please contact your system administrator to get a permanent license." In this case, Event ID 26, Source: Application Pop-up appears in the application event log.

  • Similarly, Terminal Server clients that run Windows XP or Windows 2000 might receive the following error message, if the client cannot connect to the terminal server for this reason: "The remote session was disconnected because the local computer client access license could not be upgraded or renewed." In this case, Event ID 1011, Source TermService appears in the application event log on the terminal server.

To correct these problems, switch the Terminal Server Licensing mode from Per Device to Per User. For information about switching modes, see Configure the Terminal Server Licensing mode.

Keep in mind that even though Per User CALs are not monitored by Terminal Server, this does not remove administrators from End User License Agreement (EULA) requirements to have a valid terminal server (TS) CAL for each user. Failure to have a valid Per User CAL for each user, if Per Device CALs are not being used, is a violation of the EULA.

The following text is from the EULA for Windows Server 2003.

Two different TS CALs are available to you: "Device" and "User." Each TS Device CAL permits one Device (used by any User) to conduct Windows Sessions on any of your Servers. Each TS User CAL permits one User (using any Device) to conduct Windows Sessions on any of your Servers. You may use a mix of TS Device CALs and TS User CALs simultaneously with the Server Software in your environment. You can have a Terminal Server request Per User licenses or Per Device (default) but not both simultaneously.

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