Remote Desktop connection problem

Lately I’ve been having connection issues with a workstation on a remote network.
The remote computer would always accept the connection and show the desktop but it would sporadically give me: “The connection has been lost. Attempting to reconnect to your session…” pop-up and freeze.

After a few seconds it would reconnect and work fine for a few seconds/minutes and then lock-up again. This issue would only occur when connecting from a Windows Vista or Windows 7 workstation, but not from Windows XP.

I searched the interwebs for a solution and figured out the cause for the issue.

The remote computer had its RDP-port changed from 3389 to 443 to bypass firewall restrictions from the corporate network.
This would case certain Windows features to misinterpret the traffic and interfere with the connection.

Anyway, the cause for my specific issue was “Windows Auto-Tuning” (first introduced in Windows Vista), it was breaking (“optimizing”) the remote desktop traffic.

To shut this feature off simply open a command-prompt with elevated privileges and type:

netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled

There is no need to reboot your computer, it will turn the feature off immediately.
To re-enable the feature write:

netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal

5 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for this- I looked all over for a fix for this

    Reply
  2. didn't work

    Reply
    • Joakim

      Hi Sam,

      Which OS are you running on the "server" and which version of MSTSC are you using?

      Best regards,
      Joakim

      Reply
      • Hie Joakim

        I also have the same problem, i have tried the netsh command but still the RDP conncetion keeps dropping.

        I am connecting to Win Server 2008 R2 and the client is Win7 Professional with mstsc.exe version 6.3.9600.16415. I have run a couple of updates and even downloaded the rdp update http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2830477 but still all is in vain.

      • Useful and Great..Its really hard to find informative info but here I can… Pretty nice post. I just wanted to say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing and I hope you write again soon..Thanks

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