Why do I get a black screen when using Remote Desktop Connection?
August 14, 2007 5:31 PM   Subscribe

When I use Remote Desktop Connection to log into a Windows XP Pro box, why do i get a black screen?

Argh...this was working for me before. My client machines include an iMac G5 (running the PPC version of RDC), a Macbook (running the new universal RDC beta under OS X, and RDC when I boot the Macbook natively into Windows XP Pro. All of them now just give me a big, fat black screen and nothing else. The machine I'm trying to log into just keeps humming along, without the current user being logged off, which it normally does when someone tries to connect using RDC. All the machines are on a local home network.

I've checked all the obvious things on the target machine as a result of googling for my specific problem. The only change I think I made since the last time things were working was a change to the video card on the target machine. I removed a broken ATI AIW 9600XT card, and associated drivers and replaced it with a Radeon 9600 XT card and a Hauppage 150 tuner card.

Any suggestions or tips for debugging the problem?
posted by jaimev to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Response by poster: I forgot to mention that I also tried running RDC on the target machine to connect back into the same machine, and I also got a black screen. I half-expected to get logged out but nothing happened.
posted by jaimev at 5:35 PM on August 14, 2007

Taking a stab here: is it possible the screen resolution on the PC is set to some weird, incompatible setting? Or that the display on the target machine is set to a second input, and the RDC client defaults to a primary input? Since you just changed video cards and drivers and have a black screen issue, that's where I would start looking. Also, if you reinstall the previous video card, does the problem go away?
posted by mosk at 5:47 PM on August 14, 2007

i get black screens on my RDP sessions every once in awhile and just CRTL-ALT-END (which sends a CTRL-ALT-DEL to the host) until I get a screen. it's silly 'precision drop' voodoo, but it usually works for me.
posted by fishfucker at 7:31 PM on August 14, 2007

I've gotten black screens when the machine I'm connecting has a screensaver on. Hit a few keys, move the mouse and see if it goes away.
posted by hootch at 7:36 PM on August 14, 2007

Not adding anything useful, but chiming in that I've seen that here. VNC frequently doesn't have the same issue. If I VNC into the box, and then disconnect then use RDP, it usually is fine.
posted by TuxHeDoh at 6:29 AM on August 15, 2007

Best answer: Hmm...never had that happen before. Maybe double-check the firewall settings on the Win client (or even turn it off, at least for testing). It sounds like you have the newest version of RDC (it just came out maybe a week ago)? One more shot in the dark, you could try using Cord, an open-source RDC program. I've been using it with great success.
posted by edjusted at 1:36 PM on August 15, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. I finally had success with edjusted's advice on using Cord. I fired that up, and was surprised it worked the first time. After I quit Cord and fired up RDC, *that* began working as well. It seemed like Cord did something to the target machine to get it out of its funk and now things are working great.
posted by jaimev at 7:39 AM on August 16, 2007

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