Terminal Services: Multiple time zones and only one terminal server

In this series, Expert Christa Anderson helps readers solve USB printer issues with Terminal Services, as well as configuring Remote Desktop Web for access through ISA.

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The following is a collection of expert responses to reader questions by Christa Anderson.

Christa Anderson

I work at a small company based in Cardiff. We have an office in the States and are about to open one in Amsterdam. We are using Terminal Services but we are having an issue with the time differences as we only have the one terminal server.

The USA and NL offices both run on GMT for their emails and all our applications, this is causing us a big problem. Can you help?

Christa Anderson:This is something I deal with, too -- my company's headquarters are in Frankfurt, Germany, but my office is in Washington, D.C. -- and I'm often coordinating meetings in yet a third or fourth time zone! You don't say which version of Windows Terminal Services you're using. If it's Windows 2003, then you're home free: by default Windows 2003 Terminal Services displays the user's time zone. If you're using an older version of Windows Terminal Server you'll need third-party software to help you. Windows 2000 isn't capable of making this distinction on its own.

Could you explain to me the essential distinctions between Windows 2003 Terminal Services and Citrix Presentation Server?

CA: The short answer is this: one is made by Microsoft and one is made by Citrix.

(Sorry--it was too good to pass up.)

The longer answer is that there is no short answer. Presentation Server is an add-on to Terminal Server, extending it rather than replacing it. What I think you're asking is whether you need Presentation Server or can use Terminal Server on its own. In that case, I'd focus on what capabilities you need your remote connections to have and then review the feature set for each.

How do I configure Remote Desktop Web for access through ISA or make it available on the Internet?

CA: Take a look at this Support article from Microsoft -- I think it will help you.

I am setting up three remote offices, all using XP Pro and HP1320 printers. I am connecting with Terminal Services to Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition. The three remote clients log on to the server and I can access all programs. I am having difficulty getting HP1320 to print data from the server while in session. One of the remotes has HP5 printer and it works great. Do you have any suggestions?

CA:I don't have a 1320 myself, but I reviewed the specs and it's a USB 2.0 printer. USB printers connected to the local computer don't map -- TS only supports LPT and COM port mapping, unfortunately. You'll need to either share those printers with the network (so you can connect to them as network printers) or get third-party print management software that supports USB redirection.

After bringing 2003 DC into a Windows 2000 network, we noticed that our network admins were not able to connect to the 2003 boxes using Terminal Services in Remote Admin mode. They are able to connect to 2000 boxes but not 2003.

As a domain admin I don't have a problem "TS'ing" to the Windows 2003 boxes but those of lower permissions cannot. I want to say that it has to do with the Group Policy difference between Windows 2000 and 2003 but I can't say for sure.

Any suggestions on what to try or look at?

CA:Remote Administration connections are by default restricted to domain administrator accounts. To let Joe User (JoeU) log on, you'll need to follow these steps:

1. Add JoeU to the Remote Desktop Users group by opening his user account and moving to the Member Of.
2. Grant JoeU (or the Remote Desktop Users group) the right to log onto the server in question. This policy is located in Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\User Rights Assignment\Allow Log On Through Terminal Services.

Notice that this will not work unless you complete both steps. By default, the RDU group does not have permission to log onto a domain controller. You do not have to configure the "Allow users to connect remotely using Terminal Services" group policy to allow JoeU to log on.

Christa Anderson, a columnist for Windows and .NET Magazine, is an internationally-known speaker and writer about server-based computing. Her books include Windows Terminal Services (Sybex, 2002), The Definitive Guide To MetaFrame XP (available from www.realtimepublishers.com) and co-authorship of the best-selling Mastering Windows Server 2003 (Sybex, 2003).

This was first published in May 2006

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