The Terminal Services Licensing discovery process in Windows 2000 is a background process that attempts to find a licensing server for Terminal Services by using Remote Procedure Calls (RPC) to all Windows 2000 domain controllers in the same domain. The process runs continuously, since licensing conditions may change at any time.
If Terminal Services Licensing discovery fails -- that is, if it can't find the licensing server -- this error is logged, which usually looks like this in the error log:
Event ID: 1010 Source: TermService Type: Warning Description: The terminal services could not locate a license server. Confirm that all license servers on the network are registered in WINSDNS, accepting network requests, and the Terminal Services Licensing Service is running.
This may continue to happen even after you have set a default licensing server for Terminal Services; odds are the location of the server may have changed, or the location provided previously wasn't valid to begin with. (It can also mean that RPC calls to the server in question are failing, either due to the way the network is set up or because of RPC not running on one of the machines.)
To force a particular license server for Terminal Services, open REGEDIT on the machine performing the license seek and navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesTermServiceParameters. Edit or create the REG_SZ value DefaultLicenseServer and set it to the network name or IP address of the license server to use. This can either be a local machine name or an Internet address, although the administrator must make sure that the destination address can be reached from that machine.
This will override the normal search process as well, so that no future scans will be made for a license server. If no license server is found at the provided address, no future searches for a license server will be conducted.
Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter.
This was first published in December 2002