How to bypass Windows Terminal Server trial period limitation

The method described below is a violation of the license agreement! Use it at your own risk!

Description of the problem

Windows-based terminal servers (remote desktop servers, etc.) require the purchase of additional licenses, otherwise the terminal server will work in trial mode - without any restrictions on functionality, but only for the first 180 days. After 180 days have passed, users will not be able to connect to such a server, since it will complain about the lack of licenses.

Reset trial period

Since when connecting remotely to such a server an error will appear about the lack of licenses to connect to the server, it will be possible to connect to it only through a console session - to do this, you need to run the command mstsc/admin.

However, you can reset the trial period of the terminal server without any problems, just perform a few manipulations in the Windows registry. To do this, launch the registry editor and go to the following registry section:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\RCM\GracePeriod

In this registry section, you need to delete the registry value with a name starting with L$RTMTIMEBOMB..., however, most likely nothing will work, since by default computer users do not have rights to make changes in this section. To correct this misunderstanding, you need to open the permissions of this section and change its owner to Administrators.

This is done as follows:

  1. You need to right-click on the desired registry section and select “Permissions” from the menu that appears. 
  1. A list of permissions will open. There you need to click on the “Advanced” button. 
  1. Additional options will open, where the owner will be written at the very top, and next to it there will be a “Change” button. Click on it. 
  1. A window will open where you will need to enter the name of the administrators group - for example, “Administrators”. To correct the name in a format understandable to the system, click on the “Check names” button.

If everything is correct, the system will underline the group name, after which all that remains is to exit all previously open windows by clicking the “OK” button (to apply the new permissions).

After this, all that remains is to delete the registry value with the name L$RTMTIMEBOMB..., and then reboot the server. If everything was done correctly, the trial period will be reactivated, and users will be able to work on this server as before.

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