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...

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