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September 23, 2020

Build 20185 Brings New RDP Hijinks


Allrighty, then. Once again, a new Dev Channel Insider Preview brings “interesting” RDP access issues to the fore. After I upgrade my two Dev Channel test machines — a 2018 vintage Lenovo X380 Yoga, and a 2012 vintage Lenovo X220 Tablet — I follow a specific post-upgrade routine:

+1: RDP to the test machine
+2: Run Disk Cleanup (or the Settings-based alternative) to slim down its disk footprint, plus other routine cleanups
+3: Create an image backup using Macrium Reflect to capture a new, pristine system image

That worked fine on the X380 Yoga, but I wasn’t able to establish a working RDP connection to the X220 Tablet.

This isn’t the first time I’ve had to troubleshoot RDP after an upgrade so I have a kind of checklist of items I start working through until I get things working. This time I had to go all the way to the bottom of that list — as Murphy too often decides must happen — before I got RDP working on the X220. Sigh.

The Post-Upgrade RDP Troubleshooting Checklist

I’ll just list the whole thing out, then explain what worked after it’s over. As you already know, I didn’t achieve nerdvana until the last step, anyway…

+1: Check Network Status. If reset to Public, change to Private.
+2: Check Advanced Sharing Settings (search on “Advanced sharing” to jump right to this Control Panel item)
+2.a: Under All Networks, make sure to “Turn on” public folder sharing,
+2.b: Under All Networks, “Turn off” password protected sharing
+3: Turn off “Enable remote desktop,” then turn it back on (Do this either in Control Panel/System/Remote Settings or in Settings/System/Remote Desktop)
+4: Reboot the remote target PC

I’ve been seeing this behavior with some degree of frequency on the older Lenovo across multiple recent Dev Channel builds. It’s just one of those things I have to check after an upgrade because I’m totally habituated to using RDP to access my fleet of Insider Preview test machines (2 each for Dev Channel, Beta Channel, and Insider Preview Channel). Most of the time, RDP keeps on working after a Feature Update (Upgrade) is applied. But when it doesn’t this checklist has yet to let me down. Thus, you might find it helpful, too. Cheers!

Author: Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a 30-plus-year computer industry veteran. He’s a Princeton and multiple University of Texas graduate who’s worked in IT since 1981 when he started his first programming job. Over the past three decades he’s also worked as a manager, technical evangelist, consultant, trainer, and an expert witness. See his professional bio for all the details.

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