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Context

Several computed running Windows XP SP3 had remote desktop working okay. One could use Microsoft's client mstsc.exe on another WinXP, or rdesktop from Linux.

Problem

Suddenly one day, remote desktop started to have problems with rdesktop. The symptom is :

disconnect: Server initiated disconnect.

and the connection gets closed. This happens within 5 seconds from successfully authenticating. Connection can stay ok a long time as long as you don't authenticate successfully. This is reproducible every time.

Same problem happens with Windows client mstsc.exe, a window opens telling (translated from french) "Your session had ended. It may have been closed by an administrator. Try reconnecting. If problem persists please request help from an administrator."

Investigation

I have looked in Event Viewer, no event is correlated with connection attempts. I have captured stream in wireshark for analysis. Wireshark mentions :

DomainMCSPDU: disconnectProviderUltimatum, reason: rn-provider-initiated.

VNC works on the same machines. Machine are nearly new, not much software was installed, only Windows components and hardware drivers. Just in case it matters at all, video board is Matrox Millenium P690 PCI with dual-DVI output. Sometimes, doing remote desktop to an already running session causes a window to appear about "PowerDesk-SE Application" crashing. We have seen the machine start with broken dual-head configurations (windows behaves like left screen is active, though no signal comes out, and right screen has 256 colors instead of 24 ou 32bpp), that was fixed by running the Matrox tool from the tray.

I am clueless about why the connection gets closed.

Questions

Has anyone experienced such a problem ? How to solve it ? Any hint ? Thanks.

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As written in the question, the problem also happens using a WinXP client, not only rdesktop. So it could be anything rather than a rdesktop-specific implementation problem.

Moreover, the connection can stay up a long time and closes only seconds after successfully logging in, this suggests that it's caused by something that happens after logging in.

After reinstalling video driver and trying other ideas, I noticed that when logging in locally, the UltraVNC icon appeared about 5 seconds after login.

Right-clicking on it then choosing "stop service" fixed the problem: I could continue the session from a remote desktop.

So, it looks like the problem is caused by UltraVNC. I'll see if uninstalling it fully cures the problem.

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