HTTP Error 500 from Virtual Server Admin Site - mstsc /admin, not mstsc /console

Sometimes you find things out the hard way. This one started bugging me a few weeks ago, so I started to dig around to see what I could find. Have you ever been faced with this (HTTP Error 500) when remotely logging on to the console session of a machine running Virtual Server and pointing Internet Explorer at the Virtual Server?


Yes, sure, I have in the past many times. The answer was to use mstsc /console when remotely connecting. This is just so ingrained in the way I administer my VS boxes at home - it's long since been permanently etched into my grey matter. So I was a little bemused when this appeared to have stopped working. My mistake was in thinking that "Of course I used /console, so why would I not be on the console?". More by luck that anything else, I verified my session ID, and sure enough, as the picture shows below, I'm on session 2, not session 0 (the console).


Uh indeed??!?! A little Internet searching dug up this post on the Terminal Services team blog. In a nutshell, /console has been deprecated in Windows Server 2008 (implicitly meaning also Windows Vista SP1) and replaced with /admin. And of course - I'd upgraded to Vista SP1 recently. Everything now made sense.

[IMHO: Although I see why the TS team made the change, for an application to silently ignore a really well known parameter which users have relied on for years to connect to a Windows Server 2003 remote console session just seems wrong - I would have made sure that users were at least told that the parameter is deprecated. Oh well.]

Sure enough, if you run mstsc /? in Vista SP1, this is what you now get. Notice the /admin being present.


Time to teach an old dog new tricks. Repeat with me:  "mstsc /admin /v:...."