Remote connection to Server 2012 Essentials

I didn’t succeed to connect to my Server 2012 Essentials through Remote Desktop until I remembered me that this one was set up by default as a domain controller, one of the major differences between this server and WHS 2011.

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First, check that Remote Desktop is enabled on the server, just to be sure:

  1. On the Start Screen, type SystemPropertiesRemote and run that tool
  2. Allow remote connection to this computer.

Next, I have disabled the Firewall, I don’t need to allow Remote Desktop Connection as an exception in this firewall.

Finally, Windows Server 2012 Essentials being a domain controller, accounts created on that machine belongs to the domain defined at the end of the installation. So, the user name to be provided in Remote Desktop must be like <domain name>\<user name> instead of simply <user name> (equivalent to <remote machine name>\<account> as by default, Remote Desktop uses the target machine name as domain name).

This subtle difference between Server 2012 Essentials and WHS 2011 (which was not a domain controller) could be a source of confusions while trying to connect for “end-users” used to work with workgroups instead of domains.




2 responses to “Remote connection to Server 2012 Essentials”

  1. rcm Avatar

    Hi there, I cant figure out rdp in 2012 essentials. Not even for admin.
    In server Manager, in remote desktop services, I can see events in red
    “failed to register with the service connection point”
    does not have sufficient permissions to access ssl…

    Do I need to remove Active Directory?


    1. Valery Letroye Avatar

      No, don’t remove Active Directory otherwise you will experience troubles with other services of Server 2012 Essentials. I tried once to remove it as I thought I didn’t need that. But it’s really not easy (if possible at all. Read) to replace the Domain with a Workgroup.

      Some info on that here:

      And more info on connecting from a workstation that is not in the domain here:

      It’s most probably because your client PC is not in the domain that you experience troubles…

      I have just installed a new Server 2012 Essentials for testing purpose and didn’t experience any issue to remotely connect with RDP… See my post where I took note on how I have fine tuned Server 2012 for my own need : /wordpress/fine-tune-server-2012-essentials/

      You could finally also be interested in this post about remote access to Server 2012 from anywhere:

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