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Windows Remote Desktop, suddenly a black screen - no login

I have two computers at office, one XP, one Windows Server  2003 R2.
I access both of them remotely, using Remote Desktop.
I do not use a VPN, I have just had the router assign different ports.

The server is always there, haven't had any problems, I can always connect.

Now, to the problem:
The XP machine is unreliable. After several successful connections, I suddenly get a black screen (it is obvious that it connects since I see the white panel slide down from the top of my screen).
But - I only get this black screen - no login box.
After this, there seems to be no way out, I have to go to the office, log in directly, when back home again I can connect to it again, until it suddenly finds out it is about time to show this black screen.

It is crucial to get this fixed, I am totally dependent of accessing the machine remotely.
Any clues? Is there a way to tune the XP machine? A limit that needs adjustment or something? Does it think too many are connected, while actually no one at the moment is connected?

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Ingvar
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IngvarNilsen
Asked:
IngvarNilsen
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1 Solution
 
Rob WilliamsCommented:
Often you can resolve the "black screen issue" by disabling "Bitmap Caching", in the Remote Desktop connection client properties under 'Experience'.
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JMMICommented:
Until you get this solved, you could try VNC, they have a basic version free...
http://www.realvnc.com/download.html


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Irwin SantosComputer Integration SpecialistCommented:
restart the server and it will go away.
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Nick DennyCommented:
This kind of behaviour could also be caused by video drivers on the XP machine.
Suggest update/reinstall of drivers.
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precisenzCommented:
Adjust the MTU - the black screen is usually attributed to Packet Fragments across a VPN, but you could have issues across different routes.

HKLM\system\currentcontrolset\services\tcpip\interfaces\<currentadapter> - find the adapter that has your LAN IP in it.

Create a DWORD value called MTU, and set a decimal value - try 1200.
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IngvarNilsenAuthor Commented:
Hi JMMI,
VNC is no option in this case, I want to use Windows Remote Desktop for several reasons.

To all,
thanks for your help. It seems I am not the only one having this problem!
In the mean time, I have tested it further. I have two client machines who can connect to my office machine, and they both experience the same. They both can connect to the Windows 2003 server, and they both show the black screen when trying to connect to the XP machine.

Restarting the XP would be the solution, if I only could do it remotely!!! I have to wait until working hours and phone somebody and tell them to manually restart the machine. No real option for me.
So - seems I have to write (I am a programmer) a service that listens to a certain port, and that will restart the machine when it gets the right signal from me.
Come to think of it - would be a nice piece of freeware I could upload to my web site :-)

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Ingvar
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CKWTCommented:
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CKWTCommented:
do you by any chance have Norton 2005 or Symantec Systemworks? or any other type of realtime protection and network protection type software...

Norton's Worm protection is a pain in the b@LLs!!...

Good luck

CKWT
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IngvarNilsenAuthor Commented:
To CKWT,
the web site says
"Published: October 25, 2001", so "latest" is a little unclear :)

BTW; I do not use any Virus protection at all or anything similar.
This may seem strange, but I hate those applications.
I practice safe sex, use a router/firewall, in addition a software firewall on the PC, and always have the latest Windows update. I backup my OS every night, store any document on another drive, and can do an OS rollback any time without losing work.

In any case, this does not explain why I can connect to the server and not to the workstation.

So, now to the Remote Desktop again, I tried in the office to log in inside the router/firewall, with the same result - a black screen. I will investigate further.

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Ingvar
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CKWTCommented:
sleepy..ZZZ..zzz.......
I'll try when I could read again.. after a few hours sleep from a 12Hr day of work... and 8 of messing around PC

CKWT
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IngvarNilsenAuthor Commented:
The solution is within reach, light at the end of the tunnel!
Now I really need your help, here is what happened.

I came to the office today, and tried to connect to RD with my laptop. Same result, a black screen.
I left the laptop running, with the black screen.
Then I turned on the monitor for the workstation(the workstation itself is running 24 hours a day)
No video signal!!!
I then touched the keyboard, and two things happened simultaneously.
1) I got a videosignal on my workstation monitor showing the login screen for Windows XP
2) Lo and behold - the same happened on my laptop, the logn screen suddenly appeared on the previous black screen!

So - somehow the video card(s) shut down. Although my power managem,ent settings in control panel tell them "never" to do this. Now thew solution is near. Can it be any BIOS settings that overrule control panel power management settings?

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Ingvar
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CKWTCommented:
look for ACPI on BIOS
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dually681Commented:
you most likely have a bad screensaver, disable it and test again.
Enjoy, Dually681
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Rob WilliamsCommented:
Or check the Power management setting for the Network adapter.
Device manager | Network adapter | Properties | Power Management | " un-check Allow the computer to turn this device off to save power"
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IngvarNilsenAuthor Commented:
I am ending up having done several things, which leads to me not really knowing what was the cause :-\

1) I have changed the ACPI settings in BIOS from C3 to S1.
2) Then I have disabled Suspend for the graphics card, not sure if that will have any influence on it at all. The main graphics card is a PCI card, I have a triple monitors set-up, and run two grapchics cards in order to have 3 DVI-enabled monitors.

I do not think it is the Screen Saver, I always use the Windows Log On screen saver.
If the network card was shut down, I would probably not even see the black screen. I will investigate further and come back, thanks everybody for your help!

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Ingvar

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dually681Commented:
the 2 grapics card would have given it away, if you had emntioned that first time around I would have told you your video drivers might be corrupting and causing this blackout.  if its not the screensaver its the multiple cards issue.
good luck !!!
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dually681Commented:
one more question is why do you need 3 monitors on a machine you use remotely? just asking???
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IngvarNilsenAuthor Commented:
Ok, the computer in question is my workstation in the office. In the office, I use 3 monitors, fantastic, will never go back.
Now, out travelling, and from home, I want to continue working with my familier applications and data, and not the least my familiar settings, therefore I connect to the machine at my office.

Additionally I have the benefit of being able to use an "old" laptop as the client.

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Ingvar
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IngvarNilsenAuthor Commented:
After adjusting the BIOS, it seems the problem went away. It is a little early to judge it, but I am crossing fingers and hoping.

Thanks to all who replied!

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Ingvar
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