Windows Remote Desktop Silently Fails When Trying to Connect

I was trying to use Remote Desktop to connect to my work computer; which I'd done successfully a plethora of times in the past. But for some reason yesterday, it decided not to work. The Remote Desktop client provided by Microsoft usually gives me an error if it's an authentication issue, or someone else is already connected, etc... but in this particular case, I got nothing. The client disabled all buttons when I clicked "Connect, and a few seconds later re-enabled them without any notification why.

After determining that multiple people (both connected via VPN and on the local network at work) had the same results, we started trying to find out what was up. Rebooting the computer did not solve it.

After much pain and suffering, we discovered this message in the event viewer (several times):
\SystemRoot\System32\RDPDD.dll failed to load

Doing a search on the internet quickly (and thankfully) brought me to Brad Rutkowski's Blog which had an article about the \SystemRoot\System32\RDPDD.dll failed to load error.

The article suggests several fixes. I've only confirmed the "D" option which is a registry tweak that increases the size of the session image space. It worked like a champ and I'm now able to get back into my work machine from home.

The only things I remember doing recently were a slew of Windows Updates from around 13 August 2008 and I think I update the nVidia drivers a week or so before. (Incidentally I hadn't tried remoting in since those two updates were done.)

For convenience, I've repeated the registry tweak fix here:

D) A solution found at http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=67147&hl=remote%20desktop&st=60 worked for me (and others.)

It's a registry fix that increases the size of the session image space. Add the following key:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management]


Where 00000020 is hex for 32

In any case the event was a red herring and was just a generic error being bubbled up from Win32k.sys..

Please see the blog post on Brad's site for the rest of the options if this doesn't work for you.

Thanks Brad for providing that information!

Please tell us about your experiences with this problem...


Once Outlook 2003 Comes Up in Safe Mode it Keeps Coming Up in Safe Mode

I had a problem where, after using Remote Desktop to bring up my work computer, Outlook 2003 would appear as if in "Safe Mode" making it look quite dorky. I believe this to be caused by my Remote Desktop settings being set to 16-bit so things aren't so bogged down during the remote session. Closing Outlook and re-opening it didn't help.

Rebooting, as is often the case, resets things and makes them right again where it will come back up in Normal Mode, but that's not an acceptable solution when you have several other windows open and you're not ready to shut them all down to reboot just to fix Outlook dorkness.

What I found was that the problem had to do with the fact that I had a Windows Mobile device sometimes hooked up with my machine using ActiveSync. This causes another non-GUI instance of OUTLOOK.exe to be running in your task manager so it can keep things in sync.

When this is the case... closing down the GUI only closes down the one instane of Outlook, leaving the one the mobile device opened still running. This keeps Outlook from resetting it's mode the next time you launch the GUI.

The solution:
Open Task Manager by either right-clicking the taskbar and selecting "Task Manager"; or by hitting Ctrl-Alt-Delete and selecting the "Task Manager" button.

When in Task Manager, click the "Processes" tab and click the "Image Name" column header to sort them alphabetically (this will get all instances of Outlook together.) Highlight each instance, one-at-a-time, and click "End Process."

Once they're all cleared out, you'll be able to re-launch the Outlook GUI and have it appear in "Normal Mode" again, without requiring a reboot of the computer.

I hope this helps someone, and I'm not positive if it works on other versions of Outlook; but I'd have to imagine it does... please chime in with your comments if you have had similar situations; and/or know if this solution works for other versions of Outlook.