I'm trying to make a remote desktop connection from my Macbook at home (running Snow Leopard) to my Windows XP machine at work. The two computers are on entirely different networks.

I log into my work network through VPN, and then I boot up Microsoft Remote Desktop Connection for Mac v2.0.1. I try to connect but eventually it says "The Mac computer cannot connect to the Windows-based computer" (to paraphrase).

I am using an AT&T 2WIRE router. I disabled the firewall, disabled stealth mode, and I've simply run out of good ideas. Do I still have to set up port forwarding if I've disabled the firewall?

I simply have no idea why this is not working... I see from googling that it generates problems for a lot of people. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can get it to work?

Thanks in advance.

  • First try to establish whether it's a RDP/RDC problem or a networking issue. Can you e.g. ping your work computer through the active VPN connection? Access its shared files?
    – Daniel Beck
    Jan 21, 2011 at 1:21
  • I'm connected to the VPN through Cisco Anytime Client, but I can't ping my work machine. I get a timeout.
    – ktm5124
    Jan 21, 2011 at 3:29
  • If my Windows XP computer is asleep / on standby could that be causing the problem?
    – ktm5124
    Jan 21, 2011 at 4:02
  • Yes, that was the problem. My work computer was on standby. I solved the problem by selecting the "Always On" power scheme.
    – ktm5124
    Jan 22, 2011 at 7:45
  • If you've solved the problem, you can type the solution into the answer box below and mark the answer as "accepted" so others with the same issue can see the solution easily. Cheers!
    – squircle
    Feb 6, 2011 at 17:38


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