Remote Desktop locks up at login - black screen

Posted on 2008-11-17
Last Modified: 2013-11-21
I have recently reformatted 2 machines and downgraded from Vista Ultimate to XP Professional SP3.  One is at my house, and the other is at work.  Both workstations are completely different hardware-wise, and I have used remote desktop successfully when they were both Vista for 8+ months.  Nothing has changed on either network, and the hardware is exactly the same as it was when it was Vista.  

Now, when connecting to either computer remotely via Windows Remote Desktop, either between the two, or from a 3rd (or 4th) completely separate computer (on randomly different networks), I get the bar at the top with the IP address, and the login screen, I log in, and the screen goes black and basically locks up the computer until i do a manual shutdown of it via the power button on the front of the machine.  

I have searched and searched for answers and have found various different solutions, but none of them seem to be the right one. Again, this is just with these two newly formatted computers with all service packs and patches, and the firewall has been adjusted accordingly.  Anyone have any ideas?  I'm thinking it has to do with something in a patch because both computers were redone within a week of each other, but nothing on Microsoft's site seems to shed some light on this really strange problem.
Question by:CompguyG
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    what additional software is on both xp machines ??  Firewalls, AntiVirus, anything along those lines.
    Also, have you tried connecting with a different user account??
    LVL 8

    Assisted Solution

    Hi CompguyG,

    I have problem with Terminal services on SP3 as well. What i did is uninstall SP3 and install SP2. It works perfect for me.

    Or if you want to keep SP3 you can try download Terminal Services Client 6.0.

    Good luck.
    LVL 77

    Expert Comment

    by:Rob Williams
    The most common solution to fixing a black screen at logon is to disable "Bitmap Caching", in the Remote Desktop client connection properties, under options/Experience'.

    A gray or other color screen is usually due to a screen saver being active on the host/server computer, but you could try disabling that as well.
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    PS...  Not a solution, but I strongly recommend REALVNC instead of RDP.  Free for personal use and it has far more options and offers better performance.

    Link to free edition

    Accepted Solution

    I have found the solution and it works great.

    The root of the problem is that the session image space is too small and it can't load any more drivers into it.  The session image space is shared for the display driver drivers and printer drivers.  There tends tobe an issue with rdpdd.dll = remote desktop protocol display driver.

    You can fix this bug by increasing the size of the session image space via a registry key.  Add the following key:
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]


    Thanks to all for your input.

    Author Comment

    After looking closer at jckingjc's comment about service pack 3, I did some extensive browsing today to find this solution.

    Expert Comment

    FYI, we had to increase the setting CompguyG indicated above to 80 for it to work

    Final value was 00000080(128)

    Expert Comment

    thanks, that worked great!!

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