XP Remote Desktop to Server 2003 via SSH tunnel failing (W2K OK)



I have a problem which has been driving me insane.

For a long time with no problems, I have been using Remote Desktop to
connect to my machine at work (Windows Server 2003) from my old
Windows 2000 box at home. I have been using SSH to tunnel the

Recently I built myself a new machine and installed XP Pro SP2 on it.
Using exactly the same method as on the W2K machine, and some
variations that have been suggested by articles I have found on the
web, I have had absolutely no success in connecting.

Here is an outline of what works on W2K:

o Use Putty to connect to gateway Unix machine:
SSH to machine with tunnel with source port 3389 and destination
where 77777 is an essentially arbitrary port in some range.
o In the terminal I then ssh to another Unix machine, let's call it
fred, on the internal work network:
ssh -l bob fred -L 77777:myserver:3389

Here bob is my Unix login name, and myserver is my Server 2003
machine that I want to remote into.
This command logs me into fred setting up the tunnel from my W2K
machine to the Server 2003 host.
o I then run the Remote Desktop client on my W2K box, specifying in the "Computer" setting on the initial dialog.
o This connects fine and I can login to the remote desktop.

With Windows XP, if I do exactly the same thing, I get the error:

"The client could not connect. You are already connected to the
console of the computer. A new console session cannot be established."

A bit of research revealed that this is a common problem, and the
solution is to use instead of

This initially appears to work but it is actually connects to Remote
Desktop on my XP client box!

So I disable RD on my client, try again and I get:

"The client could not connect to the remote computer.

Remote connections might not be enabled or the computer might be too

Now I don't know whether this is referring to a connection on my work
host or my XP client.

I have also tried different source ports 3390, 3391, and have tried
suffixing the with the port in the initial remote desktop
client login dialog (i.e. etc, or whatever source port
I am trying).

I have also tried disabling my firewall to no avail.

I would really like to solve this as I would like to decomission my
old W2K machine. At the moment, as I only have one keyboard, monitor
etc and no KVM switch, and the XP box is now my principal machine at
home, I am going through the ridiculous process of VNCing into the old
machine in order to remote desktop from there to work!

Any suggestions gratefully received, including any ideas for how I
might investigate what could be going wrong.


Sooner Al [MVP]


With XP SP2 you need to apply this patch to fix this loopback issue...


Good luck...


Al Jarvi (MS-MVP Windows - Desktop User Experience)

Please post *ALL* questions and replies to the news group for the
mutual benefit of all of us...
The MS-MVP Program - http://mvp.support.microsoft.com
This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no
How to ask a question

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question