Unable to do MSTSC/RDP – terminal services hanged after startup

Issue: Server is rebooted and after reboot it is responding via ping command but users/administrator unable to connect to server via MSTSC or RDP

Scenario: Windows 2003 SP2 server, terminal services are enabled, remote session control is enabled

Troubleshooting steps:

1.        Try to ping server using ping -t , if it is responding fine then go to next step else contact your Windows administrators who need to bring server up Manually using RAC control of by hands and eye support  

2.       If server in pinging, then from different server, go to Run> Services.msc. In services mmc console, right click and connect to remote computer, it will show services status of remote computer (where you are facing issue). Check if terminal services are running fine, if services are stopped then try to start it, otherwise issue might be with services got hanged, go to next step to troubleshoot hanged terminal services  

3.       Now to kill hanged terminal services, use following method,

·         Go to Run>cmd>command prompt window will open up

·         Type > tasklist /svc /S < remote server name >  

Note: if need to use different user name then use command as:  

tasklist /svc /S servername/U username /P password  

·         It will list down all service status including terminal services as below, (PID will be different in your case)  

Image Name PID Services


svchost.exe 4130 TermService  

·         Now, to kill this service use taskkill command as follows (change PID value as per your machine, for e.g, here 4130 is used, in your case it might be different)  

taskkill /S REMOTESERVER /U administrator /P password /PID 4130

SUCCESS: The process with PID 4130 has been terminated.  

·         A success prompt will show, now you can go to services.msc console and start terminal Services

You can use pskill command (PSKill is a sysinternals tech net download – http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896683),  

pskill -t \servername -u username -p password 4130  

do some searching for switches if necessary.  

·        Now try to do MSTSC, it should work fine, if it didn’t or you want a much simpler solution then follow below step to reboot machine remotely  

4.       If above thing looks complex or didn’t work out for you, then follow below steps to reboot your problematic server remotely using following command at command prompt,  

c:/>shutdown -r -m \ip address or server name


c:/>shutdown.exe /m \remotecomputer /r  

5.       Once system is up, you should be able to do mstsc, if still it didn’t solves your problem then contact your windows administrator or there is possible cause that your system is hanged at reboot screen itself which means it is not rebooted yet, to troubleshoot it, try to do following,

·         Connect to server using MSTSC and then connect to server with console switch i.e. <server name> /console

·        If connects fine then no issue, try to shut down again, else go to next step which is like “Jugaad trick” means hit or miss type of solution but worked many a times,

·         Go to another server, go to Start > All programs > Administrator tools > Terminal Service Manager > Connect to server in question

·         After connecting to server, you will see three tabs, go to Processes tabs, and try to kill all user services and then one by one system services, the service which is hanged if killed will reboot server  

6.       Now after reboot everything should work fine, if it didn’t contact Wintel administrator or follow above 1-4 steps again. 

Possible bug in your system: http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb%3Ben-us%3B930045&x=16&y=8

Other useful references:





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About the Author: Nitin Garg

Indian born, trekker, biker, photographer, lover of monsoons... I love to blog the topics I research and find useful for self or online community to save time and energy :) Everything you read on my blog is my own personal opinion!

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