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RDP client is connecting to the server just fine, but only drawing about half of the login screen and then stopping. This is happening on two of my Windows 7 Ultimate boxes, both of which are clean installs. I have three other Windows 7 Ultimate machines that are able to connect just fine, all of these are also clean installs. The only differences that I can find in the setups of the machines is that the ones that don't work properly have multi-core processors and have hardware virtualization support turned on (for XP Mode support in Win 7). I'm using a D-Link WBR-1310 router and having the same issue in both wired and wireless setups. Any help would be awesome. I may even dance.

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@Scott - Your question from SO was automatically migrated over here, so I asked to have them merged. Also, you may want to associate your accounts - go to your profile page and click the Accounts tab. It'll give you a rep boost here. – Jared Harley Jan 13 '10 at 3:35
please please please don't dance... – quack quixote Jan 13 '10 at 4:19
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Lots of variables here..

  • Does it happen if you use a crossover ethernet cable to directly connect the two machines, ruling out the existing switch/router and cabling?

  • Are there other differences is hardware configuration between the machines? Like video card, ethernet card, etc?

  • Have you tried updating the ethernet drivers? Windows 7 drivers are pretty up to date out of the box because the OS is so new, but I've seen really surprising problems from default windows ethernet drivers before.

  • Have you tried updating the video drivers? Those are always worth updating because they change so rapidly.

(You could also try using RDP from within a Windows XP VM on the same machine, just for kicks.)

I highly, highly doubt this is because the relevant machines are multi-core. I'd personally go on a driver-updating frenzy myself, based on previous experience.

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Previous experiences like this perhaps? :) – John T Jan 13 '10 at 4:37
I gave it a shot, and new network drivers didn't seem to solve the problem. I upgraded the wired NIC drivers on my desktop and laptop, as well as the wireless drivers on the laptop. Still having the same issue. – Scott Wolf Jan 19 '10 at 14:14
@scott did you try RDP'ing from the XP VM on the same machine? – Jeff Atwood Jan 19 '10 at 14:15
Seems to be working from the XP VM. Odd. – Scott Wolf Jan 20 '10 at 4:56

If this is the problem I've been experiencing (for years, at this point), here are some additional data points:

  • It only happens to me when I've got Aero enabled on the remote end. This might explain why you only see it in Windows 7 Ultimate - that's the only version of Windows (other than Enterprise) that allows remote desktop servers to pass Aero.
  • On my machines, the problem generally occurs if I scroll in a non-maximized RDP client window. It also happens if I minimize the client window (but not always).

There are two workarounds:

  1. Disable Aero. On the RDC client, this means unchecking "Desktop composition" on the Experience tab.
  2. If you want Aero enabled, then there's a workaround each time the problem happens. Press Ctrl-Alt-End to get the Windows Security screen on the remote machine. Then hit ESC to exit it. That should "wake up" the remote side.

I really hope MS takes this bug seriously some day and fixes it. Until then, we've got the workarounds listed above.

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