Problems Loading Windows Update on Server 2000 and Server 2003

I recently had the misfortune of having some really old Server 2000 and Server 2003 boxes thrown my way that needed patching, and Windows Update was not loading in Internet Explorer 6 when it should have. Both servers gave slightly different error codes, but ultimately the rather quick fix was to go into Internet Explorer, and in the tools menu, into internet options. The in the advanced tab, under security, make sure that TLS 1.0 was enabled, which in the case of these two servers was not.

For good measure I also disabled SSL 2.0 and 3.0, as those really should have been turned off by now. after this was done, a quick restart of the browser allowed me to get to Windows Update again.

.NET Framework Cleanup – Full Uninstall

I came across a server today that had some horrible problem with the .NET frameworks on it, and none of the updates or service packs from Windows update would install. I couldn’t remove any of the .NET applications using either the App/Remove Programs GUI, or via the correct msiexec install strings. I’m not sure how the server came to be like this, but it was a problem I had to sort out and basically I was a little stumped, until I came across Aaron Stebner’s MSDN blog. He had a post about completely removing the .NET applications in their entirety.

The application works on all versions of .NET and you can find it on his blog here
Once you’ve run the cleanup tool, reboot and then you can just install the applications from Windows Update again. The application worked very well and once it was finished, all was well in the .NET world.

Unable to connect via RDP to a Server 2003 R2 server

I came across a problem today with a rather aged Server 2003 R2 server. I rebooted it as part of some troubleshooting, and after the reboot found I was unable to connect to the server via RDP. So, I jumped on the VM console to check various things, the Terminal Services service was started, but I did force a stop of this and start it again. Checked over the registry to ensure the listening port hadn’t been changed for any reason. Checked the terminal services configuration to ensure the connection wasn’t disabled and there were no strange limits imposed on the connection, but all looked normal. I did try disabling and re-enabling the connection, but still no luck. When I did a netstat -ao and looked for anything listening on 3389, there was nothing at all listening, no Terminal Services or any conflicting service was listening on port 3389.

In the end, after a bit of a search on Google and a bit of checking, one suggestion mentioned was to re-register the Terminal Services DLL. So using the following command regsvr32 remotepg.dll I tried this and the registration failed. Tried to un-register it first with regsvr32 /u remotepg.dll but again this failed. So, I came to the conclusion there might be a problem with the DLL. So, I copied the DLL from another working machine, un-registered and re-registered the DLL again, which succeeded this time round. Then after a reboot, I was hopeful, but still no joy. Final, checking the Terminal Services configuration again I noticed that now the connection was disabled, right clicking and going to All Tasks and enabling the connection, I was then able to connect via RDP. Success