August 24th, 2011, 01:44 PM
Blank screen in remote desktop
Yesterday, I had to physically go to our Windows Server box where we are renting space in a data center. It needed a reboot. After the reboot, I logged into the machine to ensure everything was working properly. Everything was fine, so I unplugged the monitor/keyboard and left the data center.
Today, I'm trying to remote desktop into this box, but all I get is a black screen (I always set desktop backgrounds to black). No icons, no start menu. I can't even send Ctrl+Alt+End or Ctrl+Shift+Esc to bring up the task manager. After much googling, I have tried opening multiple remote desktop sessions and disabling Bitmap Caching to no avail.
I'm betting the issue has something to do with the fact that I remained logged into the "native/local" session of the box. Since there are no other accounts created on the machine (Administrator only), I can't remote desktop into a different login.
Does anyone have any ideas how I might go about recovering the session remotely? I'm really trying to avoid going back to the data center.
Last edited by rawk; August 24th, 2011 at 01:46 PM.
August 24th, 2011, 04:49 PM
Years back I managed to reboot a remote server by using an admin login to it's sql server that allowed me to do a quick sp to issue a command-line shutdown -r command.
After that I always kept a 2nd connection method available, i.e., vnc or ssh or something.
I've never been able to appreciate the sublime arrogance of folks who feel they were put on earth just to save other folks from themselves .." - Donald Hamilton
August 24th, 2011, 06:37 PM
I believe it is actually possible to remote into the native/local session. There's a flag that you can pass to the remote desktop program in windows, something like "/admin" I think.
August 25th, 2011, 12:17 PM
mstsc.exe /admin to loginto the interactive session.
Also if you can remote manage the server resart the Terminal Server service (2003)
Or the remote desktop services if 2008
August 25th, 2011, 01:04 PM
Thanks all. I tried it every which way. /admin. /console. Run as admin.
I had all but given up and was about to head out to the data center when I figured I would try it one last time. I didn't use /admin or anything special -- just default settings -- and it somehow worked.
I have no idea what, if anything, I did to make it work or if the box just suddenly decided to start acting right. Maybe attempting to connect via /admin forced some kind of reset such that when I tried normally, it worked fine. Just guessing and glad it's working and trying not to question a blessing too much.
Once I got in, I immediately installed RealVNC. It's not quite working correctly, but that's a whole other can of worms.
Again, thanks for the suggestions.
September 6th, 2011, 10:53 PM
Just because of personal preference, I would say get UltraVNC. Not sure what major differences there are but I manage multiple servers and access them all with UltraVNC.