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Monday, September 17, 2007

Remote Desktop from Windows XP to Vista is Broken

No question, Remote Desktop is broken in Windows Vista Ultimate when connection from Microsoft Windows XP SP2. As I mentioned yesterday, I performed two "well" known fixes to try to get around the problem with connecting via Remote Desktop to Microsoft Windows Vista. The bottom line, the session freezes or hangs once the logon completes and the desktop screen starts to render. From that point, it is end the program or kill the mstsc.exe process.

A short recap:
1. The problem only occurs when connecting over a WAN connection to the Windows Vista Machine. I remember it working fine over my local LAN, and there have been a couple of other posts show that.
2. I made sure I had updated to the latest Microsoft fix, Remote Desktop Connection (Terminal Services Client 6.0) for Windows XP (KB925876).
3. I even tried making changes to the TCP/IP stack using elevated priveledges in Windows Vista and configuring the stack to "netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled" from the command prompt.

Still after all those changes, I cannot connect from my Windows XP Professional SP2 laptop to the Microsoft Vista PC over an internet connection WAN through my home router. So, I decided to pursue a different route other spending hours than tweaking the configurations, searching Google and calling Ashley to ask her to make changes she should never have to make to my computer. :-)

What did I do? I decided to install Virtual PC 2007, with a fresh copy of Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit (x86). The process took about 90 minutes and the results may surprise you. Instantly upon firing up Windows Vista Ultimate in the Virtual PC session, I could connect to my home pc running Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit (x64). No session timeouts, no hanging or freezing -- flawless, leveraging my shared virtual network connection from my laptop.

Is that crazy or what? I was glad I did their rather than troubleshooting my laptop and my FiOS router at my house. Sounds like I would have blown hours without a solution. Does this make sense to you? My only conclusion is that connecting via Remote Desktop from a Windows XP machine to a Windows Vista machine over a WAN is broken. Plain and simple.

Microsoft, can you fix this? It is quite a pain to fire up the Virtual PC everytime I want to connect!

Remote Desktop is also known as RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol), RDC (Remote Desktop Connection), or Terminal services.

3 comments:

Dan & Dana Crouthamel said...

Wow, I'm glad to see (or maybe not) that I came across someone else having the same problem as me. XP SP2 -> Vista Ultimate doesn't work over WAN (LAN is fine). Hopefully MS fixes this in the upcoming Service Pack for Vista.

bsturg21 said...

I am having this same issue, even though I now have sp1 installed for my Windows Vista machine. Did you find a solution to this? It is only over WAN, I can connect fine over LAN.

Ken Hanscom said...

Yes, I finally did find a fix for this problem. It has to do with local resources settings. Check here for the details:

http://www.somelifeblog.com/2008/04/fixed-remote-desktop-vista-xp-freeze.html

-Ken