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Inbound connections limit in Windows

This article was previously published under Q122920
This article applies to Windows 2000. Support for Windows 2000 ends on July 13, 2010. The Windows 2000 End-of-Support Solution Center is a starting point for planning your migration strategy from Windows 2000. For more information see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle Policy.
When a user at a computer that is running Windows NT or Windows 2000 Professional attempts to connect to a Windows NT Workstation system that already has ten users connected to it, the following error message appears:
No more connections can be made to this remote computer at this timebecause there are already as many connections as the computer canaccept.
When an eleventh user at a Windows for Workgroups version 3.x systemattempts to connect to a Windows NT Workstation system that already has tenusers connected to it, the following error message appears:
Error 71. The network request was not accepted.
The maximum number of other computers that are permitted tosimultaneously connect over the network to Windows NT Workstation 3.5,3.51, 4.0, and Windows 2000 Professional is ten. This limit includes all transports and resource sharing protocols combined. This limit is the number of simultaneous sessions from other computers thesystem is permitted to host. This limit does not apply to the use ofadministrative tools that attach to the system from a remote computer.
Any file, print, named pipe, or mail slot session that does not have anyactivity on it will be automatically disconnected after the AutoDisconnecttime has expired; the default for this is 15 minutes. Once the session isdisconnected, one of the 10 connections will be available so that anotheruser can connect to the Windows NT Workstation system. Therefore, loweringthe AutoDisconnect time can help to reduce some of the problems users mayencounter with the 10-connection limit or 5-connection limit on a system that is not used heavilyfor server purposes.

You can configure the AutoDisconnect time by running the following commandfrom a command prompt:
net config server /autodisconnect:time_before_autodisconnect
Specify the time in minutes.

Note The Windows NT Server service is self-tuning, normally the serverconfiguration parameters are auto-configured (calculated and set) each timeyou boot Windows NT. If you run NET CONFIG SERVER in conjunction with the/AUTODISCONNECT, /SERVCOMMENT or /HIDDEN switches, the current values forthe automatically tuned parameters are displayed and written to theregistry. Once these parameters are written to the registry, you cannottune the Server service using Control Panel Networks. If you changed any ofthe Server service settings, Windows NT is no longer able to automaticallytune the Server service for your new configuration. To avoid losing theServer service's auto self-tuning capability, make the change throughregistry editor instead from a command line or Control Panel Network.

For more information, see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledgebase:
128167 Server Service Configuration and Tuning
138365 How the Autodisconnect Works in Windows NT
All logical drive, logical printer, and transport level connectionscombined from a single computer are considered to be one session;therefore, these connections only count as one connection in the 10-connection limit. For example, if a user establishes two logical driveconnections, two Windows sockets, and one logical printer connection to aWindows NT Workstation system, one session is established. As a result,there will be only one less connection that can be made to the Windows NTWorkstation system, even though three logical connections have beenestablished.

The only way system A will have multiple sessions to another system, systemZ, is if system A is running services that create logical connections tosystem Z. For example, if a user is logged on to system A as guest and aservice is running on system A under the user1 account, and both the userand the service (as user1) establish connections to system Z, two sessionswill be established. Each logon session that uses the Server service countsagainst the connection limit.
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Article ID: 122920 - Last Review: 10/31/2006 03:03:03 - Revision: 3.4

  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • kbnetwork kbprb KB122920