Remotely Restarting Windows Services or Systems

After a power outage, I found I was unable to connect to a Microsoft Windows 10 system from a Windows Server 2012 system on the local area network (LAN) using the Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). When I tried to connect, I saw the message "Remote Desktop can't connect to the remote computer for one of these reasons..."

Remote Desktop Connection - can't connect

I knew the system had rebooted after the power outage, because I could ping it and see its shared folders using the command net view systemName where systemName is the system's name.

C:\>net view \\anaheim
Shared resources at \\anaheim


Share name     Type  Used as  Comment

Moon           Disk
Users          Disk  (UNC)
The command completed successfully.


You can start, stop, and restart Windows services by running services.msc. You can run that from an administrator command prompt, Cortana's "Type here to search" field, etc. by entering the command services.msc or you can access the services via the Control Panel. When you run it, you can click on Action from the menu bar and select "Connect to another computer".

Connect to another computer

You will then see a window where you can type the name of the remote computer or browse the network for it.

Select Computer

You can scroll through the list until you find the service you wish to restart and then double-click on that service or right-click on it to stop it. You can then repeat the procedure to start it again.

Services - Remote Desktop Services

E.g., in this case I first tried stopping and restarting the Remote Desktop Services by double-clicking on that service.

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Remote Desktop 
Services Properties

After stopping and restarting the Remote Desktop Services, I was still unable to connect to the remote system by RDP, which I had attempted to do from a command prompt with the command mstsc /v:anaheim (the system is named Anaheim), so I attempted to turn off the Windows Firewall from the command line to see if that was the point where the problem lay. But that didn't work.

C:\>netsh -r anaheim Advfirewall set allprofiles state off

WARNING: Could not obtain host information from machine: [anaheim]. Some comman
ds may not be available.
The RPC server is unavailable.

An error occurred while attempting to connect to the remote computer. Make sure
that the Windows Firewall service on the remote computer is running and configur
ed to allow remote management, and then try your request again.


So I then turned off the firewall service through the Services window; the service is named Windows Firewall.

Services - Windows Firewall

I right-clicked on it and chose Stop.

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Windwos Firewall - stop service

That produced an error message and I was unable to stop the service, but when I right-clicked on the service again and chose Restart, I was able to restart the Windows Firewall service. Unfortunately, that didn't resolve the problem with RDP access, either, though, so I rebooted the remote computer with the shutdown command.

C:\>shutdown /r /f /m \\anaheim


With the shutdown command you can specify the remote system with /m \\sysName where sysName is the name of the remote computer. The /r option indicates the system should shutdown and restart rather than simply shut down. The /f option forces running applications to close without forewarning users and can be used to ensure the shutdown process proceeds even if some applications might otherwise refuse to quit. After the system rebooted, I was able to log into via RDP.

Update: When I later encountered the same problem with RDP access no longer working after a power outage, I was able to resolve the problem by disabling and re-enabling the network interface on the Windows 10 system.