One of my users cannot connect the remote desktop this morning.

He enters his login/pass and gets back to the login screen again. He enters his login/pass a second time and then it works...

In the event log, I get this :

Log Name:      Application  
Source:        Desktop Window Manager  
Date:          14/12/2009 09:41:45 AM  
Event ID:      9003  
Task Category: None  
Level:         Information  
Keywords:      Classic  
User:          username  
Computer:      servername  
The Desktop Window Manager was unable to start because a composited theme is not in use. 

Server : Windows Server 2008 Standard 32bits
Client : Windows XP SP3 32 bits XP/Vista

Edit : It's the same problem for all the clients !

Any clue ?

1 Answer 1


Unfortunantly, Windows Server 2008 has no support for themes over TS. As the Desktop Window Manager (DWM) is turned off when a TS connection is started. The client version / RDP settings does not matter.

You should login to that account locally (not though RDP) and disable any themes.

  • 1
    You can enable themes by enabling it under Features, called Desktop Experience, and then set the Themes service to start automatically Dec 15, 2009 at 0:57
  • I'm not a Pro in Windows servers, looks like you're right. That can be a solution by the way :)
    – kolypto
    Dec 15, 2009 at 1:22

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