Cannot Apply Remote Access Setup Wizard Settings in Windows Server 2012 R2

When configuring Windows Server 2012 R2 DirectAccess with a dedicated network location server, the Remote Access Setup Wizard may fail with the following error:

The configuration was rolled back successfully. The URL specified for the network location server cannot be resolved to an IP address.

Windows Server 2012 R2 DirectAccess Name Resolution Issue

However, the name can be resolved successfully and when stepping through the remote access setup, validation of the network location server is successful.

Windows Server 2012 R2 DirectAccess Name Resolution Issue

This has been identified as an issue with the DNS client in Windows Server 2012 R2. Microsoft has now released a hotfix to resolve this problem. For more information, click here.

Windows 8 DirectAccess Client Quick Tip

On a Windows 8 or 8.1 DirectAccess client, issuing a Get-DAConnectionStatus may return the following error:

Get-DAConnectionStatus : Network Connectivity Assistant service is stopped or not responding.
At line:1 char:1
+ Get-DAConnectionStatus
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo          : NotSpecified: (MSFT_DAConnectionStatus:root/StandardCi...onnectionStatus) [Get-DAConnect
   ionStatus], CimException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : Windows System Error 1753,Get-DAConnectionStatus

DirectAccess Connectivity Assistant Error

This issue is easily resolved by starting the Network Connectivity Assistant service by issuing the following PowerShell command:

Start-Service ncasvc

Get-DAConnectionStatus should now respond normally.

DirectAccess Connectivity Assistant Error

Configure Windows Server Core to use PowerShell by Default

Beginning with Windows Server 2012, the core installation mode is now the default and preferred installation mode. For workloads that are supported on Windows Server core, which includes the remote access role and DirectAccess, server core should be used to provide the highest levels of security and availability.

When installing Windows Server 2012/R2 core, the operating system defaults to using the old DOS command prompt. I find this particularly annoying since the majority of administration I do on a server core installation is in PowerShell. Also, most DOS commands can be run from the PowerShell console anyway, so why not have PowerShell as the default shell? Well, that’s easy enough to fix. To begin, at the command prompt enter start powershell.

DirectAccess Windows Server Core PowerShell

In the PowerShell window enter the following command:

Set-ItemProperty -Path ‘HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon’ -Name Shell -Value PowerShell.exe

DirectAccess Windows Server Core PowerShell

Log off the computer and when you log back in, PowerShell will be the default shell! If you need to execute DOS commands that don’t seem to work in PowerShell, simply enter cmd and you’re good to go.

DirectAccess Windows Server Core PowerShell