How to: Install RDS on a Server 2012 R2 Domain Controller

By Rory Monaghan

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STOP!! Do not install RDS on a Windows Server 2012 R2 Domain Controller in a production environment! This is not supported.

STOP AGAIN!!! For most of you, I would bet that you won’t need my blog. I suggest you first try out the steps listed by Ryan Mangan first, which you can find here: https://ryanmangansitblog.com/2015/02/22/deploying-rds-2012-r2-on-a-domain-controller-the-walk-through-guide/.

Unfortunately, I found myself in the unfortunate situation that the steps listed in Ryan’s blog didn’t work for me. If you try Ryan’s steps and they don’t work, follow my steps but be warned. This┬ásolution really sucks!

In my case, it appeared that the Remote Desktop Services component and features did install. After install I noticed that the Remote Desktop Management service failed to start. I attempted to remove the RDS role but the remove failed. I had no choice but to blow it away. After trying Ryan’s steps and not getting past the issue of this service failing to start I tried a bunch of different things. Like installing the RDS services before putting on ADDS.

Solution: I ended up going back to Server 2012. I made sure not to install updates during the setup. It was painful! I hit some issues install the RDS Service at first due to ASP.NET 4.5 and the Extensibility feature refusing to install. I needed to force that manually. In the end I got RDS installed on the server with AD setup. I then patched it for hours and now I have a fully patched working Server 2012 R2 box with RDS installed. Seriously, if you are thinking of skipping Ryan’s steps and just trying this, DON’T! Try his steps first, you could save yourself a lot of time if it does work for you.

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