Need help with XP Remote Desktop



I am trying to view my notebook from my desktop machine as my first
attempt at using MS RD under XP SP2 (both machines). They are side by
side for this.

I activated RD on both machines. My notebook admin user account (call
it USER1) is marked as having RD access. I also have a password for
this account. My desktop machine also has RD support checked.

At this point my notebook is logged on as USER1.

On my desktop machine I get into the RD Connection dialog and enter in
my notebook's computer name or IP address. The screen goes black, the
RD bar appears on top, and I get the 'Log on to Windows' dialog. I
enter USER1 and it's password.

After hitting enter my notebook logs off user1 and the XP login screen
appears for USER1. My desktop machine is still black. I login to my
notebook again and after a few seconds I get a message on my desktop

Remote Desktop Disconnected
The connection to the remote computer was broken. This may have been
caused by a network error.
Please try connecting to the remote computer again.
OK Help

My desktop machine has been black throughout this until after I receive
the message. Then I return to my Desktop's desktop.

OK. So what am I doing wrong? I previously tried some other RD
programs and never had a problem with them on the same two machines.
Seems MS likes to aggravate me.


Sooner Al [MVP]

Can your RD into the laptop from another machine besides the one that is


Al Jarvi (MS-MVP Windows Networking)

Please post *ALL* questions and replies to the news group for the mutual
benefit of all of us...
The MS-MVP Program -
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no


Thanks for the reply!

I tried running RD the other way. I accessed my Desktop PC from my
Notebook. This worked like a champ!!

I then tried going the reverse way again and the very first time I got
a little further. On my Desktop PC I saw the Program Launcher that
sits on my Notebook's desktop. It was partially drawn in on a totally
black desktop. It was not functional. After a few seconds a flashing
icon appeared on the upper right corner of the screen. It indicated
(via an 'X') that the connection was broken. After this one time I
could not get this far again. Always a black screen as in my original

So what do you think this is telling me? I can go one way but not the

btw... The notebook is on a wireless connection to my Linksys WRT54G
router. My Desktop PC is hard wired to the router.

It seems I am making a connection. Could it be a display problem as
opposed to a network problem?

As I would probably be more apt to access my Desktop PC from my
Notebook I suppose I really shouldn't complain :) But from a
curiosity point of view I would like to determine what is preventing me
from accessing my Notebook remotely. Knowing the cause and finding the
solution might help me in the future not to mention others who are
reading this.



I am having the very same issue with my RDC connection to my Dell Inspiron
8500 (Wide Screen) running XP Pro SP2 connected via a WPA-PSK-protected
wireless G network. I get the Windows login screen from the computer running
the RDC client but then I get the black screen and the connection eventually
times out with the same message that steetwolf gets. Both computers are on
the wireless network (RDC is running the Mac OS X version from a Mac laptop
though I've always been successful before and I believe that this is an issue
on the WinXP side as steetwolf is having the exact same issue.)

Any troubleshooting help would be appreciated.


My notebook is a Dell Latitude D600 with built in wireless. Also using


It's interesting that I am actually logged onto my notebook from my
desktop even though I can't see anything.

During a test run, when my Desktop screen was black, I logged back onto
my notebook and had to restart Windows for something unrelated to RD.
I got a message asking if I wanted to restart because other users were
logged into this machine.

So I am connected. I just can't see anything.


Sorry to keep replying to myself.

Tried connecting to/from another Desktop PC in my house and RC worked
fine. This PC is wired. All PC's I tested go through my WRT54G

Sooner Al [MVP]

Well that certainly points to something on the other RDP client... Weird
issue so the only thing I can suggest is...

1. Do you run some sort of anti-virus, anti-Trojan or firewall software that
may be causing this issue?
2. Is this an upgraded machine? If so its possible something in the upgrade
went wrong.

Beyond suggesting a repair install I really have no idea what the issue
might be...


Al Jarvi (MS-MVP Windows Networking)

Please post *ALL* questions and replies to the news group for the mutual
benefit of all of us...
The MS-MVP Program -
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no


I agree. It seems that I am logged in as well though I also only see the
black screen. I have EZ Antivirus running and also have MS's anti spyware
beta running though I've tried disabling them to no avail. I have also
connected via RDC to a Toshiba laptop running XP Pro with SP2 from the same
Mac RDC client, so I'm wondering if it has something to do with the fact that
the Dell Inspiron 8500 is wide screen laptop with a non-standard resolution
of 1280 x 800 -- someone stated that screen resolution could affect RDC's
performance, though just a guess...

More insight on this and also on how to troubleshoot the problem would be



I tried different resolutions on my notebook, color depths, and also
set the DPI from Large to Normal. Didn't help at all. I really don't
see anything else regarding my notebook's display setup that would
cause this problem. I suppose I could use the default VGA drivers and
see if RD works with this configuration.

I grabbed a copy of RealVNC and that worked just fine both ways. But
why run an extra program when the same feature is built in to the OS?


RealVNC works great for me as well -- and I can use Apple Remote Desktop to
control the PC but VNC is not as secure as MS RDC so.... back to the ol'
drawing board. Could it have something to do with the wireless connection
and that we are both using WPA-PSK? If I feel up to it today I may try to
disable the wireless connection and see if using a wired connection on both
ends makes any difference. I beleive it was on another thread that I saw
that someone had success by disabling the drivers that came from his
computer/wireless card manufacturer and using the MS WinXP wireless driver

Alan White

I resolved my problem by disabling simple file sharing.
Hopefully it might be as simple as that for you too.


I'm having the very same problem and I'm also running a linksys wireless
network. I saw that you disabled simple file sharing to fix this. But my
question is how do you do this on a 2003 server OS? That's the machine I'm
running the TS client from...I'm also running a XP home edition pc which does
not allow you to disable simple file sharing. so I'm at a loss and really
need to figure this out. Anyone have ideas?

Thanks so much,


?? I'm not trying to connet to a machine running xp home- that's my client

I am connecting to a 2003 network. I have tried using another 2003 server
(on my home network) to connect as well as a machine (on my home network)
running Xp home. I should be able to use either of these to connect but they
both do the same thing: they connect, i get a black screen, time goes by,
then a message saying the connection was broken try again. It's the same
scenerio everyone else has described.


Sorry. You wrote "that 2003 is where you are running the TS client from" and
I interpreted it that you were trying to connect to home. Anyway file
sharing does not have anything to do with RD.


The post above said that this fixed his problem, which is the same as mine.
I'm willing to try anything at this point.
Jan 12, 2006
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Hey guys,
thanks for all the great support - the idea concerning the video drivers led me to try DISABLING BITMAP CACHING (found in the "Experience" Tab). It now works again like a charm.
I have a VPN tunnel between two branch offices and using remote desktop on 5 computers that connect to remote computers on the other side of the tunnel. Remote worked until recently, then I got the black screen issues and/or read-only access on all of the computers, but one! I tried everything, from reconfiguring the VPN to reinstalling Windows on two test-machines on both sides. None of those worked.
The MTU size might also have something to do with the problems related to black screen issues and/or read-only access in Remote Desktop Connection. In my case, I think the provider on one of the sides decreased the MTU, so that packages had to get smaller in order to be fully transmitted and received on the other side.
Then again, if disabling bitmap caching does the trick for you too, there's no need to bother with other more complicated means of solving this.

Have a great day!

PS You might also consider not playing remote sounds at all - this further decreases package sizes.
Last edited:
Dec 20, 2006
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Hello, I've been reading this post because I seem to be running into a problem, maybe it is related to what ya'll are talking about... but I'm not sure.

I'm at work running a Win XP Pro machine, attempting to log in to my home computer which is a Win XP Multimedia Dell Ins E1505 Widescreen computer behind a Linksys WRT54G V5 router with port-forwarding enabled on port 3389. The laptop at home is instructed to only answer to my static IP at work, reducing chances of hackers attacking my computer.

But get this! Every day I'm able to log into my laptop to listen to my library of music through iTunes, access files, email, etc. As soon as I return home after logging off at work. My laptop screen is completely black.. I cannot access a log on screen nor desktop. The only way to log into the laptop when I get home is to force restart the machine. The screen is not black because the monitor is off.. you can tell the monitor is on and receiving signal, with just a black screen displayed. (Does that make sense?)

Not sure what is going on, anyone have similar problems?? I was reading this post, and it seems that the screen resolution that RDP forces the laptop to display remotely is interfering with my widescreen resolution when using the screen at home. Could that be the problem? I've tried to match the 1280 X 800 resolution through RDP client, but it does not allow widescreen, only standard proportions.

Maybe that is the problem, maybe not! Anyone running into the same problem with the same situation?
Dec 20, 2006
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I have a Dell Inspiron E1405 Dual Core laptop at home and have the same exact problem you describe travis. When I connect to my Vaio 570P laptop at work via a VPN from the Dell laptop at home everything works fine. But when I remote connect to my Dell laptop from work it's hit or miss when I can connect. I get a black screen sometimes. When I can connect its fine but when I get home the screen on my laptop is blank/black and won't function so I have to reboot. Is this a Dell thing?

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