For the last 9 months or so I’ve had a succession of issues with remote desktop between my Windows 7 desktop PC and various HTPC’s which are also running Windows 7. After quite a long journey I seemed to have finally irons out all the problems.
The first issue appeared, as if by magic, when I found some newly installed PCs were freezing when accessed via remote desktop. I could log in fine, but if I minimised the remote desktop window when I returned I couldn’t get any communication. The remote PC hadn’t crashed — I could close remote desktop and then log back in, but every minimise caused a loss of communication. I worked around this based on advice I read somewhere about upgrading to remote desktop 8.1
Upgrade to RDP 8.1
To upgrade Windows 7 you need a total of 5 updates, installed in the correct order. You may already have some of them installed.
Once these updates are installed (on both local and remote PC), and you have restarted, you need to enable RDP8. This can be done 1 of 2 ways…
Run “gpedit.msc” and use group policy editor. The setting for RDP8 is located in Computer Configuration-> Administrative Templates-> Windows Components-> Remote Desktop Services-> Remote Desktop Session Host-> Remote Session Environment->Enable Remote Desktop Protocol 8.0.
Whilst editing it would also be worth setting “Set Compression Algorithm to RDP Data” to “Optimized to use less Network Bandwidth”
Alternatively you can use a registry modification (useful on windows 7 home premium) in [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services] set a dword called fServerEnableRDP8 to 1
Fix BSOD when sleeping, shutting down or restarting
After I had done the above I found my session freezing was cured. I also noticed that remote desktop went back ot not using Aero visuals over RDP which is fine — I don’t need them for remote access. However, I found that whenever I restarted, shutdown or sent to sleep the remote PC, it would crash with a BSOD referencing wdf01000.sys.
After much experimenting I found that a simple change to my RDP settings cured this BSOD. In the “options” for my connection, I selected the “local resources” tab and unticked printers. I then clicked the “more” button and unticked everything I found.
Since then I have been able to use RDP without crash or freeze.
In many ways I suppose this counts only as a workaround — I would be interested to know about a proper fix, although I suspect this would require a hotfix from Microsoft. I believe the crashing with RDP8 is related to an IRQ issue with USB. My best guess is that some kind of sharing of USB via RDP isn’t being closed correctly during the shutdown process. If anyone has any more insight I would be interested
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