Windows Server 2003 - Chronic RDP Problem

Posted on 2008-10-31
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I have a server (Win2k3 R2 SP2, Domain Controller) that stops responding to RDP connections about every two weeks.  A reboot fixes the problem.

To troubleshoot the issue, we've reinstalled SP2.  We've also installed the Hotfix referenced in KB 948496 (  We've also disabled TCP/IP Offloading.  None directly fix the problem; I schedule a reboot after each of the aforementioned "fixes" so it's just the reboot that helps.

The server also runs Syamntec AntiVirus.  

The Event Logs don't reveal anything.

I'm not sure what the Netstat output is while the server isn't responding to RDP connections as it's usually a priority to fix Remote Desktop by rebooting.  

There are several more of the same servers in other buildings.  While one or two has experienced this issue a few times, none have been as chronic as this one.  
Question by:CCLProTech
  • 5
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Author Comment

ID: 22849387
A port scan on the server shows that tcp/3389 is open.

Author Comment

ID: 22850023
I've also done a packet capture of an attempt to RDP to the server in question.

The server responds to the client's connection request with an [RST,ACK].  
There are only four packets exchanged between the client and server before the failure.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 22856209
There are known issues with RDP using service pack 2. Here you go, you might want to check this out.

Author Comment

ID: 22867915
We have already installed the hotfix listed at as well as modifying the registry as suggested.

Most recently the NIC drivers have been updated.  That was only two days ago, so I'm not sure how it's going to affect the problem.

A few of those links don't apply to use since we're not using ISA, not connecting via the Windows VPN (sometimes Cisco, sometimes local - same symptoms) and not using SmallBiz server.

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LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 22873159
what does netstat  -an  |find  "3389"  offer? Is the port listening?

Author Comment

ID: 22921201
Yes, 3389 is listening when we're having the problem.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 22923825
Now, I have seen intermittent commes and usually this is a problem with SP1. The TCPIP.sys driver was writtent wrong and the MTU channels were incorrect in SP1. Since you have SP2 this shouldn't be a problem. But, it doesn't hurt to check the mtu channels. You can do this via MTU ping.

Accepted Solution

CCLProTech earned 0 total points
ID: 23003201
The NIC driver was updated around two weeks ago and RDP has remained stable since then.

I'll give this another week and then close the ticket.

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