Remote Desktop Crash and DirectX SDK on Vista

So I'm about to start development work today and I crank up remote desktop to access the virtual machine on my development server.  And it crashes.  So I try accessing other virtual and real machines.  And it keeps crashing.  So I disable anti-virus and close everything possible.  Keeps crashing.  If you're interested, this is the error:

Faulting application mstsc.exe, version 6.0.6000.16386, time stamp 0x4549b425, faulting module ntdll.dll, version 6.0.6000.16386, time stamp 0x4549bdc9, exception code 0x80000003, fault offset 0x00042ea8, process id 0xd28, application start time 0x01c8ac7a33dfff9c.

So I do some Google searches and don't find much of relevance.  But I do try disabling UAC (I'm running Vista Business).  Still crashes.   Then I try to remember the last time it worked and what I've installed since then.  And I did install something interesting yesterday, namely the DirectX SDK (March 2008).  So I do a system restore to the point I saved before I installed the SDK.  Still crashes. So I undo the restore, which fails...  But I'm not ready to give up yet.  So I uninstall the SDK.  And remote desktop starts working again.

So, it appears that installing the DirectX SDK hosed remote desktop on my Vista Business machine.  Don't understand why, but there you go.

6 comments: (+add yours?)

Jeff Handley said...

Nice find. That reminds me of how I found that VS.NET 2003's Find in Files will hang in Vista if you have visual theming turned on.

Winston Johnston said...

Exception code 0x80000003 is for STATUS_BREAKPOINT and means that a breakpoint or ASSERT was encountered when no kernel debugger was attached to the system.

My guess is that when you installed the DirectX SDK, you accessed the DirectX Control Panel (Dxcpl.exe) and enabled some of the debugging features.

To fix this without uninstalling the DX SDK, just run Dxcpl.exe and disable debugging features.

Winston Johnston said...

Ping back from:

Joe Wirtley said...


Thanks for the comment. For my purposes I lived without the SDK, but it's good to know how they can coexist.

Karen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
maximo said...

Great! Thanks for sharing.. for quiet sometime I didn't include SDK too because there times that it's making things complicated on the back end server.

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