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    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.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by rawk; August 24th, 2011 at 12:46 PM.
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    Stumpier old Moderator
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    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.
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    Lost in code
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    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.
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    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
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    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.
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    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.

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