Remote Desktop Connection has encountered a problem and needs to close

There is an error some of you already have or others will meet in the future that causes your Remote Desktop Connection to fail, usually with an error message as title says: Remote Desktop Connection has encountered a problem and needs to close.

If you check your event viewer through start – run – compmgmt.msc – event viewer – at application section you should see some errors about RDP saying something like this:

Faulting application mstsc.exe, version 6.0.6001.18000 (this is usually the version displayed for SP3), faulting module unknown, version, fault address Some_Hex_Code_Here.


Faulting application mstsc.exe, version 6.0.6001.18000, faulting module mstscax.dll, version 6.0.6001.xxxxx, fault address Some_Hex_Code_Here.

The thing with this error is that there are multiple causes as I noticed during the last months. It happened on computers with different symptoms, this is the reason why I won’t focus too much on why and when it happens but, instead, I will provide you with some temporary solution or a way to bypass it.

You could get this error by installing SP3, installing an update from Microsoft website (or reinstalling KB956744 if by any reason you would do this), power failure (which causes your computer to shutdown without any error and will corrupt some of the files RDP uses) and even a trojan.

I will try to create this error in test environments and when I find the true culprit for each of the cases I will edit my post and share it with you, so you know what and when to expect. Until then, you will have to accept the solution I’m giving right now.

This will be a guide for Windows XP, as I didn’t see any reports about this error on Windows Vista or 7.

1.  Stop mstsc.exe process if any still running in your task manager – processes.

2. Go to start – run – type “%windir%” without the quotes – create a folder named RDP.

3. Locate the following folder: C:\Windows\$NtServicePackUninstall$, copy “mstsc.exe” and “mstscax.dll” to the previously created one, called RDP.

4. Navigate to C:\Windows\System32 and copy the folder called “en-US” without the quotes, to the same folder created by you at step 2, so it would be C:\WINDOWS\RDP . At this point your RDP folder should have the following folder and files inside:

Windows XP RDP

5. Copy the two files named “mstsc.exe.mui” and “mstscax.dll.mui” from “C:\Windows\$NtServicePackUninstall$” to “C:\Windows\RDP\en-US”.

6. Change RDP shortcut to “”C:\Windows\RDP\mstsc.exe” by right clicking on it, then click properties, then at target change the path (usually you should have: %SystemRoot%\system32\mstsc.exe ). You will have to add “%SystemRoot%\RDP\mstsc.exe” without the quotes, to be the current path.

If this doesn’t work you should go into safe mode first.

How to do this ?

While your computer is booting, before operating system load screen, press F8 multiple times with small pauses between pressing the key. When it will ask you, choose “safe mode”, the first option usually .

While in this mode, do the following:

1. Go to Start – run – cmd [press enter].

2. In here type the following commands:

copy  c:\windows\ServicePackFiles\i386\lhmstsc.exe  c:\windows\RDP\mstsc.exe

copy  c:\windows\ServicePackFiles\i386\lhmstsc.mui  c:\windows\RDP\en-US\mstsc.exe.mui

copy  c:\windows\ServicePackFiles\i386\lhmstscx.dll  c:\windows\RDP\mstscax.dll

copy  c:\windows\ServicePackFiles\i386\lhmstscx.mui  c:\windows\RDP\en-US\mstscax.dll.mui

3. Restart and try again from the same shortcut you edited before.

If this doesn’t work either try reinstalling the Windows Service Pack 3 or copying the same files from another computer where it works correctly.

Last options if that doesn’t work either would be:

1. Scan your computer for malware. Yes, this can be the cause too… Update your anti-virus and start cleaning your computer. You are searching for a trojan and, as a hint, this is most likely to be the cause if it’s related to such a problem.

2. Try a System Restore to a previous date where your RDP worked fine.

One of this should work, most likely the first two possible solutions. If not, I’m waiting your private message so I can treat separately your case or add a comment and I will investigate more with some tests I will ask you to do.

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