Derik Whittaker



Oh no, my RDP session is blank!!!

Today I was working on one of my VMs and out of no where I got an error that explorer.exe had crashed.  As soon as it did my desktop went blank and I had no icons or start bar.  At first I was a bit confused what to do.  I tried to right click the desktop…. but that did not work.  I tried to log off and log back in hoping that would give me back my desktop… did not work.  I even tried to launch explorer.exe on login (that open in RDP advanced options)…. but that did not work.  I do not have access to reboot the vm, but i did not want to kill the running services as I knew the server had not crashed as I could still hit it via file shares and the Hudson Server on it was still up.

In order to get it working I decided to log in as another user, kill the RDP session of my original user and then relog in as my original user.  This seems to have restarted explorer.exe.

If you ever find yourself in this situation remember DON’T PANIC you can solve this issue with very little effort.

Till next time,

Posted 10-06-2009 7:34 AM by Derik Whittaker
Filed under:



Will wrote re: Oh no, my RPD session is blank!!!
on 10-06-2009 10:44 AM


On W2K3 I have the choice to choose to run "Task Manager".  The task manager has a Run item on the File menu.  Run explorer and all is back to normal.  I just did this last night when explorer crashed when I was on a remote session.

Derik Whittaker wrote re: Oh no, my RPD session is blank!!!
on 10-06-2009 10:47 AM


Crtl+Alt+Delete will trigger that on your local machine, not the RDP machine.

Tony wrote re: Oh no, my RPD session is blank!!!
on 10-06-2009 10:49 AM

This happens on my desktop every once in awhile. Explorer will just stop working and/or die. Leaving me with a pretty view my desktop wallpaper and nothing else.

The solution that I have done is to open up a Task manager via the ctrl + alt + del menu. Go to file -> new task which is the same as the run option in the start menu. Type in explorer and hit ok. Everything comes back.

I don't know if this will work with RDP as I am not sure how you would get to the task manager. None the less it is something to try. :)

Will wrote re: Oh no, my RPD session is blank!!!
on 10-06-2009 10:55 AM

I guess I haven't seen that situation.  I have had explorer die in my term serv session.  Desktop icons dissappear etc.  But, the session was still active.

Are you on the console session for the remote machine?  Maybe that makes a difference.

Keith Bloom wrote re: Oh no, my RPD session is blank!!!
on 10-06-2009 11:05 AM

Ctrl+Alt+End in and RDP session will do the same as Ctrl+Alt+Del locally

You can also list the RDP sessions on a remote machine using the command qwinsta and kill a session using rwinsta

Sijin Joseph wrote re: Oh no, my RPD session is blank!!!
on 10-06-2009 5:58 PM

Typo in the title, I was so confused by it for a while. Mostly because I play Call of Duty 4 a lot and RPD in that game means

RDP on the other hand is something I use everyday :)

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