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VPN and Remote Desktop Stuck Login Screen

by david302--2008 / September 6, 2008 9:14 AM PDT

Hello Forum members,

For work, I connect to our company's network through Cisco VPN. The problem that I am having is that I can connect to my Windows XP machine just fine (Remote Desktop), but if I lose my Internet connection for any reason, when I try to re-login to my XP box after re-establishing VPN connection, I put in my User/Pass/Domain and after I click OK, the login screen just gets stuck at the 'Log On to Windows' screen. I doesn't 'Freeze', as I can cancel just fine. But I can't login again (remotely) until the machine is rebooted.

I spoke with our IT dept. and their response was to only disconnect Remote Desktop from the start menu.... That does partially solve the problem. But sometimes my laptop battery goes dead, I drop my wi-fi.

Has anyone experienced this behavior? Is there a patch, group policy setting, VPN config setting that will let me RDC after an unclean disconnect from the network/XP box?

Thanks in advance for advice.


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Sounds grim.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 6, 2008 9:22 AM PDT

Call up the IT guy and discuss it more but why not just reboot? You did write "But I can't login again (remotely) until the machine is rebooted."

At least that works and what else you can do is stop running on battery power. "sometimes my laptop battery goes dead, I drop my wi-fi." reminds me of the doctor that is told "Doc, it hurts when I do this."

Doc sez "Don't do that."


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Very funny
by david302--2008 / September 6, 2008 9:29 AM PDT
In reply to: Sounds grim.

Q: Why not just reboot?
A: Because I don't want to drive to the office on the weekend. And, this annoys almost everyone in our offices.

Thanks, Doc, but I need a better answer than 'just don't do that.' Can someone offer a more substantive post?

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How about some kind of timeone on that machine?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 6, 2008 9:37 AM PDT
In reply to: Very funny

At least you can stop the battery issue. THAT IS UNDER YOUR CONTROL.

As to the machine that needed reboot, I use your posts for the details. No where did you explicitly state which machine.

-> Now to how to deal with this. The clue is the loss of the VPN connection. Let's think about a way to schedule a reboot if you don't do something say every hour.

You could use the old reboot.exe and schedule a batch file every hour that looks like this.

if exist(dontboot.txt) goto theexit
reboot (you set the parameters)
del dontboot.txt

Now schedule that to run hourly.

When you are logged in you only need to create that file every hour to keep the machine from rebooting on schedule.

In closing, this is not your business tech support but friendly people that will help those that are not demanding support.

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I see i typo'd
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 6, 2008 9:38 AM PDT

I meant timeout...

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Your feedback was appreciated.
by david302--2008 / September 6, 2008 9:54 AM PDT
In reply to: I see i typo'd

I'm not trying to offend, nor did I *demand* help. I am also no n00b.

True, I shouldn't run on batteries when connected to VPN. But, that is not the only instance where this happens. Sometimes I work until 3:30am, and i may accidentally close RDC with the X rather than the start menu. It happens. I'm human. I am hoping there is a windows setting that will kill the remote desktop session after a period of inactivity.

The reboot solution that you propose would seem to work, but I would have to relaunch all my programs and possibly lose my latest work in all my apps, which would be no good for me.

Thanks again.

Again, I apologize if I was curt or dismissive.

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I thought this was a VPN and not RDC.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 6, 2008 10:00 AM PDT

Sorry these are disparate things. RDC has it's own issues so I would open a discussion about that. VPN is the pipe and can include a RDC session but its best if we discuss one or the other.

My cure may not be needed at all for RDC. Why not set it's timeout?

To Set Timeout Options for Remote Desktop Connections

1. From your computer's Start menu, point to Programs, point to Admin Tools, and then click Terminal Services Configuration.
2. In the right pane of the window, click RDP-Tcp.
3. Click the Sessions tab.
4. Specify the values you want to use.

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PS. Yes, I did see remote desktop.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 6, 2008 10:03 AM PDT

But not RDC or Terminal Services so my neuron didn't fire up on that issue or settings. VPN to a remote desktop can be many many things such as VNC or "others."

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I think that might the be answer
by david302--2008 / September 6, 2008 10:11 AM PDT

Aha! I think that is the answer. I'll bet that the admins were too liberal with this setting. I will update this thread with my results on Monday.

You are a scholar and a gentleman. Thanks for your time and effort.


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My final to this issue...
by david302--2008 / September 7, 2008 6:25 AM PDT

Here is what I did to solve this issue. Ref:

'Set time-out settings for disconnected, active, and idle sessions'

On my XP box, I opened Group Policy Editor

gpedit.msc <from the run line>

In Group Policy:

Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> Terminal Services

Changed Keep-Alive Connections from 'Not Configured' to 'Enabled'.

I changed the Keep-Alive Interval to '30' (in minutes)

Click OK.

Goto the Sessions folder under the 'Terminal Service.'

Computer Configuration> Administrative Templates> Windows Components> Terminal Services>Sessions

I changed Set time limit for disconnected sessions from 'Not Configured' to 'Enabled', with End a disconnected session to '1 hour'.


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