RDP connections exceeded in Windows Server 2008R2

If you are prevented from logging on to your server via RDP and receive a message that the maximum number of connections have been exceeded, see steps below to login to the special session to then disconnect the other user sessions:

1. Open Command Prompt on your local windows computer
2. Type: mstsc /admin
3. Hit ‘Enter’ key and login
4. This will open a new session enabling you to log off other sessions.
5. Open task manager, go to the users tab and log off idle or disconnected users

The special session you are using to login has restrictions. Once you have logged off the other users, you should log back into the sever in the normal way.

Remember that remote desktop sessions are closed out from the server if the user Logs Off from the server and not when they simply close the session from clicking the X in the upper corner.

To configure session settings on a windows 2008R2 server with Remote Desktop Services role installed, go to RD Session Host Configuration, RDP-Tcp properties, Sessions tab, and enter value to end a disconnect session after a specific period of time, end an idle session, etc. (tsconfig.msc also opens the RD Session Host Configuration window). More details can be found here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc754272.aspx

SQL Server Express Edition

We are often asked by our clients if they can load SQL Server Express on their hosted server and where can they download it from. Yes, it is available as a free download. Below is a quick summary of SQL Express. Riptide Hosting also offers monthly licensing options for SQL licensing for Web Edition, Standard and Enterprise including 2016, 2017 and 2019 versions. SQL Web Edition is a cheaper option for public and internet accessible web pages.

Microsoft SQL Server 2017,2019 Express is a FREE version of SQL Server that is ideal for many web & small environments. SQL Server Express has certain restrictions such as a 10 GB database size. The express edition does have some reporting services features included. See our SQL Server Hosting page at https://www.riptidehosting.com/SQL-Server-Hosting.aspx for additional information. Links below to download SQL Server Express.

LINK TO DOWNLOAD SQL 2019 EXPRESS: Scroll down on this page to Express SQL 2019 Express (scroll down in link)  Direct download SQL 2019 Express

COMPARISON OF SQL SERVER 2019 EDITIONS  SQL Server 2019 Edition Comparison

One important change for SQL 2019 is that TDE (Transparent Data Encryption) is available in the Standard Edition of SQL Server 2019 instead of only in Enterprise Edition (not available in Express). Always Encrypted (since SQL 2016 SP1) is available in all editions including Express. These can be complimentary encryption technologies.

SQL SERVER 2019 HARDWARE & SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS  SQL Server 2019 Software and Hardware Requirements

FOR 2017: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sql-server/sql-server-editions-express
FOR 2014: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dn434042.aspx
FOR 2012: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=29062

LINK ON COMPARISON OF SQL SERVER 2017 EDITIONS  https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/sql-server/sql-server-2017-editions

If you need more features and power than what SQL Server Express provides, contact us for pricing on SQL Standard, Web and Enterprise Editions.  We can provide SQL Server 2019 or SQL Server 2017 (2016) on a monthly basis via MS Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA) with a much lower cost than you purchasing perpetual volume licensing.

Windows Server 2003 End-of-Life is July 2015

Extended support for Windows Server 2003 ends July 14, 2015 which means all patches and security updates will end in July 2015. Now is the time to begin planning your migration to Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2012 R2. Migration time is a great time to utilize a datacenter for uptime as well as new hosted hardware without the upfront cost of buying new servers. We offer virtual and dedicated server options based on your needs.

You can upgrade an old operating system but we recommend starting with a fresh install of a newer operating system on newer server hardware made to run it. Riptide Hosting can set up a new server for you and provide a transition period for you to migrate to the newer OS. We can provide assistance with migrating data, cross-connecting the servers, providing IP address information, etc. If you have any questions give us a call.

One of the Riptide Differences is being able to quickly understand your requirements and offer solutions. Give us a call or visit our website at www.RiptideHosting.com

Redirect sound audio from remote desktop server to local machine

Follow the steps below to allow redirection of sound from a remote desktop server (terminal server) to local/client machine. This applies in Windows Server 2008R2. – see notes further below if you are using Windows Server 2012R2.

1) Install the “desktop experience” feature in server manager and then start the windows audio service. We have noticed that the server should be rebooted twice after installation of the desktop experience role. We do not install this feature by default as it consumes additional resources. After the reboots, make sure the windows audio service has started – if needed, click on the sound icon in the lower right corner, right click to sounds, follow prompts.

2) Confirm that sound redirection isn’t restricted on the server. Go to RD Session Host Configuration, right click on RDP-tcp and go to properties, go to client settings tab and verify that audio playback is not disabled. – UNCHECK THE BOXES TO ENABLE


3) On the Remote Desktop Connection client on your local machine, under local resources, verify that it says “play on this computer” for remote audio playback.   Check these settings on your client prior to logging into the server.


To price hosted remote desktop servers click the ‘remote desktop link’ above for pricing.



Easier than in 2008R2 as you don’t need to install the Desktop Experience role.

  • Enable the windows audio service by right clicking audio service sound icon in lower right corner of taskbar and go to sounds.  You should see a message that audio service is not running and asking if you wish to enable it – select YES.



  • Close the Sounds windows and log off the server.  During our testing we didn’t have to reboot the server but if it doesn’t work below, try rebooting. 
  • When you login, you have to allow audio redirection in the remote desktop connection client on your local PC before connecting.
  • audio_redirection
  • You can test if this worked by watching the video on our www.riptidehosting.com home page and can hear the sound!




Remote Desktop sessions varying speed opening database reports

Windows Server 2008R2 with remote desktop services role (terminal services) and Access database

We recently had a user notice that database reports would open up at different speeds in different remote desktop sessions. After trying many different things, it was determined that printer redirection was causing some sessions to open database reports more slowly than others and the reports would open much faster if printer redirection was unchecked under local resources when making the remote desktop connection.

Printing issues on Terminal Server with Domain Controller role

Applies to Windows Server 2008R2
Microsoft does not recommend installing the Remote Desktop Services role (Terminal Services role) on a domain controller in Windows Server 2008R2. If you have installed both roles, you may notice printing issues whereby documents won’t print to your redirected printer even thought it shows as available. First review the event viewer and look for entries regarding printing and Access is Denied. You may need to change permissions/security on the windowssystem32spoolprinters folder to full access for printing to occur.

See link from support.microsoft.com for additional information:

Can I delete files in the WERReportQueue folder on Windows Server 2008R2

If you have noticed that your windows server has a lot of files in the folder ProgramDataMicrosoftWindowsWERReportQueue you can delete them to free up space on your drive.

It is recommended using “Disk Cleanup” to free up the space.

To disable the files from accumulating you can turn Windows Error Reporting off.

On a Windows 2008R2 server open “Server Manager”
Open “Resources and Support”
Click “Configure Windows Error Reporting”
In the “Windows Error Reporting Configuration” box
Select “I don’t want to participate, and don’t ask me again”


See the steps from Microsoft below


WordPress error Windows Server HTTP Error 403.14 Forbiden

If you see the following error after a successful install of wordpress on a IIS 7.5 on a Windows Server the fix might be to change your default document to index.php    In the case of the following error we found the default document set to index.aspx since it was inherited from the parent website, in this case a asp.net website.

Solution change your default document for your WordPress website. 

To change your default document in IIS 7.5 open IIS select/highlight/click the WordPress website (folder)

Then scroll down in the middle panel and double click the “Default Document” icon under the IIS section.  Here you can verify the default document(s) for your WordPress website and check to see if it is set to “index.php”

Actual Errors displayed in web browser
Error Summary HTTP Error 403.14 – Forbidden

The Web server is configured to not list the contents of this directory.

403 – Forbidden: Access is denied.

You might see the full error is you are viewing your wordpress website on the actual server via a browser which would like this

Server Error in Application “RIPTIDEHOSTING.COM/BLOG”

Internet Information Services 7.5

Error Summary HTTP Error 403.14 – Forbidden

The Web server is configured to not list the contents of this directory.

Detailed Error Information

Module DirectoryListingModule

Notification ExecuteRequestHandler

Handler StaticFile

Error Code 0x00000000

Requested URL http://www.riptidehosting.com:80/blog/

Physical Path C:inetpubwwwrootRiptideHositng.comblog

Logon Method Anonymous

Logon User Anonymous

Most likely causes: •A default document is not configured for the requested URL, and directory browsing is not enabled on the server.

Things you can try: •If you do not want to enable directory browsing, ensure that a default document is configured and that the file exists. • Enable directory browsing using IIS Manager. 1.Open IIS Manager. 2.In the Features view, double-click Directory Browsing. 3.On the Directory Browsing page, in the Actions pane, click Enable.

•Verify that the configuration/system.webServer/directoryBrowse@enabled attribute is set to true in the site or application configuration file.

Links and More InformationThis error occurs when a document is not specified in the URL, no default document is specified for the Web site or application, and directory listing is not enabled for the Web site or application. This setting may be disabled on purpose to secure the contents of the server. View more information »

Windows Server 2008 R2 stuck on windows update at 32%

Last week we had a customer who’s Windows 2008 R2 server stopped responding after selecting to restart the server.  If updates are allowed to be applied when rebooting your server will try updating.  In this case the server started applying server updates and was stuck at 32% for several hours and displayed the following

Please do not power off or unplug your machine

With the customers permission we did reboot the server and it came back to the same screen but proceeded to finish the updates after a few minutes.

A reboot may not fix your server but after several hours or days you will need to take action to proceed.  You may end up needing to repair windows or remove certain files if the reboot does not work.