Not the catchiest of titles I admit but I am trying to be clear and distinct for google and possible feedreaders. Another title might be to quote a Swedish progressive rock song called Titanic (1977): "It started as a shudder on the lower deck", because that was in many senses true today. In short here is what happened:
Colleague: "Hmmm, I seem to be unable to start an installation of BizTalk Server 2009 on one of our production servers."
Me: "You need to start MSTSC with the /console parameter."
…cut to hours later…
Me: "Wow you actually cannot install BizTalk 2009 on a Windows 2008 machine using MSTSC from a Windows 2003 Server!"
The implications of this are, almong others, that installations that requires elevated rights on a Windows 2008 Server is impossible to preform remote from a Windows 2003 Server.
In order to install BizTalk Server on a remote machine using MSTSC you need to start it using the console parameter and up untill Win2008 this worked fine. Now it gets complicated. Win2008 does not have the concept of console in the terminal services arcitecture according to this article. Instead you start MSTSC using the admin parameter.
This makes sense since Win2008 uses elevated rights. In fact it is almost the same as console. However you need to run MSTSC version 6.1 (or actually 6.0.6001.18000, guess they rounded up) and now the issue arise.
The lates version of MSTSC for Win2003 is 6.0 (or actually 6.0.6000.16459) for Win2003 and it does not support the admin parameter and no release that supports the admin parameter has been scheduled accordning the Terminal Services team blog.
The comments on the post tell me I am not alone in this problem. The discussion is a bit heated to say the least ("I think that class-action suit is needed") and has lasted up until the 25th of June this year. Most people seem to use Win2003 on a jump server that people log in to and then connect to Win 2008 servers. This scenario makes it impossible to install BizTalk.
In short, to connect as admin to a server using Windows 2008, you need to use XP SP3, Vista with SP1 or higher or Windows 2008 (R2 will work as well).
Really, as of writing this post there is no real solution to the problem. Some guy gave a tip saying to use the MSTSC DDLs from the XP version and simply copy them to the Win2003 server. I just do not see that happening at a server center with 100+ servers. Our solution was to do yet another jump and use a Win 2008 server as the next jump server and start MSTSC 6.1.
If you are using Windows XP SP3, Vista or Windows 2008, this is not an issue since they run MSTSC version 6.1. If you need to download it you can either use Windows Update or get the XP version here. The Windows 2003 version can be found here, together with information about the release. If you run Vista or Windows 2008 version 6.1 is installed.
--- Later addition ---
Commenter "Niklas" suggested that a possible solution might be to first log on to the Windows 2008 server and then connect from that server onto itself (connect to localhost) using the local MSTSC with the /admin switch. At the present time I do not have access to enough servers to test this, however, to coin a phrase: It's crazy! It's crazy enough to work.