The Remote Desktop client on Windows XP x64 (SP2) sometimes gets into a state where it can't find certain remote computers by name. For instance:

dc.example.local =

Attempting to RDP to dc.example.local yields the error message:

This computer can't connect to the remote computer.

Remote Desktop cannot find the remote computer. Type the computer name or IP address again, and then try connecting. If the problem continues, contact the owner of the remote computer or your network administrator.

If I use the IP address, I can connect fine.

"nslookup dc.example.local" resolves correctly. "ipconfig /flushdns" does not change the situation. I can connect to other computers by name with no problem.

Rebooting temporarily corrects the issue. When this occurs, it's not always the same machine that's broken. Before my last reboot, I couldn't hit sql3.example.local. Everything worked perfectly for a while, now I can connect to sql3 but not to dc.

I am not running any firewall software on this client, and there are no suspicious messages in my event logs. Other workstations are unaffected by this problem.

Anybody have an idea?

  • On the "nslookup dc.example.com", you meant dc.example.local? Not nitpicking, just want to make sure. – user1797 May 6 '09 at 15:12
  • Yes, fixed that. – sh-beta May 6 '09 at 15:29

How many DNS servers do you have? Will it be possible that --if you have more than one-- one of them do not have those machines on record?

  • Good catch. Somehow I neglected to maintain the example.local zones in Active Directory, so my secondary Domain Controller did not have them. Odd, though, that the RDP client would bind to a single resolver for a given server name. – sh-beta May 6 '09 at 15:28

It could be DNS-related, if you run Active Directory - what does a dcdiag dns test on the DCs say about it (just to check)?

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