by lunarg on November 11th 2007, at 20:24

A Terminal Server can be put in two modes:

  • execute mode: this is the default mode. In this mode, users can log in the TS and run applications.
  • install mode: putting a server in this mode will notify the TS of changes in the system when installing software. This is important, because otherwise software would fail to properly get installed, and there would be all kinds of ugliness going on.

In Windows 2003, a server should automatically be put in to install mode if your installation software has setup, or install in their file name. In Windows 2000, you have to put the server in the correct mode, by installing software using Add/remove programs in the Windows control panel. Note that in Windows 2003, if your installation files don't have those keywords in them, you need to use the Windows 2000 method anyway.

There is also an alternative way to switch modes on a TS, and that is through the command line:

Put a server into install mode before each installation of any bit of software.

To activate install mode


After the installation, put the server back into execute mode. You have to put it back there, regardless if the installation was succesfully, or failed utterly.

To activate execute mode


If you're uncertain about which mode you're actually in, you can check its status:



This is only valid for Windows 2000 and 2003. In 2003, this is no longer required, and it automatically detects when software installations occur, regardless of filename.