Software Protection Service and RDS

My environment at work currently houses a RDS farm, including five host servers, a couple session brokers, etc. We use RDS to deploy a Dynamics to users to run virtually.

A couple of days ago, we ran into an issue where users who were connected to two of the RDS servers were not getting their local printer policy, while those who connected to the other three were. After scouring event logs, it looked like Group Policy was failing for these users siting authentication issues.

I began to search for reasons why this would happen. As any good troubleshooter would do, I compared what was working with what was broken. The only difference I saw was that there was one service running on the three that worked which was not running on the two that did not: Software Protection. The description of this service is “enables download, installation and enforcement of digital licenses for Windows and Windows applications.”

At first, I thought that this could not be the resolution. However, after more research, it makes perfect sense, as utilizing a Remote Desktop license would require the authentication of a computer or user that uses the digital license. With this service stopped, it was causing the applications to run in a “notification mode.” I started this service on the two RDS servers and, as expected, users who connected had their local printers mapped!

I hope that this quick blurb helps save somebody a few hours of research!

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