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When I remote into my Windows 8 desktop with Windows 7 it works fine but when try with Windows 8 I get an empty screen after it connects. Keyboard commands work despite the screen being black; I can open Explorer etc. using them and they persist when I reconnect with Windows 7.

Any ideas on what is wrong?

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Have you fully patched both computers including option updates? (RDP version 8.0 has come out several weeks ago on Windows 7 and maybe also on 8). –  harrymc Jan 10 '13 at 15:06
In addition to @harrymc's suggestion, take a look at the source Win8 RDP settings. Also, are the source (Win7 and Win8) hosts on the same LAN as the target Win8, and the NIC and Comms port speeds verified OK? Lastly, try different NIC ports for the source hosts on your switch. –  Lizz Jan 11 '13 at 6:35
Does changing the Windows 8 theme have any effect? On the Experience tab for Remote Desktop Connection, what happens if you connect choosing Modem (28.8 Kbps) and deselect Bitmap Caching? –  user314104 Jul 30 '13 at 1:13

3 Answers 3

This Technet thread suggests:

  1. Type Ctrl + Alt + End
  2. Then cancel
  3. Then exiting and reconnecting

You could also try disabling bitmap caching using this KB article.

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Ctrl+Alt+End worked for me, it brought up the Options where I could start the Task Manager and then could tab to other windows. I found out that I had left Firefox in fullscreen mode, and it was not refreshing, causing the black screen. –  user1113270 Aug 20 at 15:33
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Open the Local Group Policy Editor on the machine you are running the Remote Desktop client.

Under Computer Configuration>Administrative Templates>Windows Components>Remote Desktop Services?Remote Desktop Connection Client

Enable the setting called Turn Off UDP On Client

Now I'm able to connect without issue... somehow UDP isn't making it through and this change fixes the problem!

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I spent hours diagnosing this issue, "Turn Off UDP On Client" works around it for me also.

Turns out our office Draytek 2820 has a UDP flood DoS attack trigger which was set to 300 packets / second. Upping to 1000 packets per second resolves this for me.

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Yes it does. "Any idea what is wrong?" Yes. My router UDP flood attack was false triggering. Exactly the same symptoms and that fixed it. This answers the question. –  Andrew Edwards Jul 13 '14 at 12:21

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