Remote Desktop Connection Version 6 in XP SP3 by Default

One of the few noticeable changes that SP3 does on windows XP is the upgrade of Remote Desktop Connection from version 5.2 to 6.1. If you are a network administrator you probably spend a great chunk of your time working remotely on servers using remote desktop. In this post I want to highlight some of the new features in Remote Desktop version 6. Read on.

When Microsoft released XP SP3 for beta testers last year, I was one of those that downloaded the pack using the famous hack that circulated in the blogosphere on how to download such pack through a registry hack. One of the few visual changes I noticed on windows XP using SP3 was remote desktop. But there was a small annoyance, Every time I tried to connect to a server I received an error saying that “Remote desktop could not verify the identity of the remote computer” see the image below.

This was mildly annoying for me because I use remote desktop to connect to servers all the time. I was able to disable the warning by going to the advanced tab and select from the drop down menu “connect and don’t warn me” check the image below.

So, what’s new on Remote Desktop 6.1: according to Microsoft these are the new features on remote desktop:

  • Server authentication – Security measure that verifies that you are connecting to the correct remote computer or server and helps prevent you from connecting to a different computer or server than you intend to connect to.
  • Resource redirection – Redirect Plug and Play devices that support redirection.
  • TS Gateway servers – A gateway that enables authorized users to connect to remote computers on a corporate network from any computer by using an Internet connection with secure HTTPS protocol, thus using port 443 instead of default port 3389 for Remote Desktop Connection, allowing RDP connections without a VPN or firewall.
  • Terminal Services Remote Programs – Allow client computers connect to a remote computer and use programs that are installed on it.
  • Monitor spanning – Supports high-resolution displays that can be spanned across multiple monitors up to a maximum resolution of 4096 x 2048 pixels.
  • Visual improvements – Supports 32-bit color and font smoothing.

There you have it. something new in windows XP SP3.

Comments [13]

  1. stewart says:

    what happens if you are using terminal services and you experience congestion — performance is not acceptable. What are my options

  2. Carolyn says:

    What happens if you're using web terminal services connection? Changing settings on RDC has no impact.

  3. Chrisjan van den hee says:

    I implemented XP SP3, and now when i try to launch the remote desktop applicaition, i get an error The pre-release version of Remote Desktop has expired. mstsc.exe time stap is 07/10/31

  4. Nelson says:

    Chrisjan, it seems that you probably installed a beta version of Remote Desktop client on your computer before updating your XP machine to SP3. download Remote Desktop 6.1 from Microsoft website again,install it and see if that fixes the problem.

    let us know about your solution.

  5. robert says:

    after updating to SP3 I no longer can remote desktop. there are no errors popping to to tell me the issue it simply does not connect

  6. Nelson says:

    Robert, what version of XP are you running? have you made sure the other computer you are trying to get into is properly running and accepting RDC calls?

  7. Tom says:

    I have 20 WinXPSP2 PCs that connect to a Windows 2000 Terminal Server. A few users upgraded to SP3 and now they cannot connect. They get: "Remote Desktop connection has encountered a problem…"

    If they click either "Send error report" or "Don't send" RDC closes. If they just move the error window out of the way they can connect and everything is fine.

    Any ideas?

  8. Mark says:

    How do I tell which version of RDC I have installed on my XP system?

  9. Nelson says:

    Hi Mark, to check what version of remote desktop you are using, once you open remote desktop connection right-click on the small computer icon on the upper left corner of the title bar, then click on ABOUT.

  10. Nelson says:

    Hi Tom, thanks for stopping by and kind of sucks some of your users are getting that error when they upgraded to XP SP3. have you check the security setting on the remote desktop client of the users that upgraded to SP3? on the Advanced tab, there is an option ” If the actual verification does not meet minimum policy requirements” make sure “connect and don’t warn me” is selected.

    let me know what’s your solution though.

  11. Rosti says:


    since the upgrade to SP3, I can no longer connect to WinServer 2000 running Terminal Services. I get an error

    "Because of a protocol error, this session will be diconnected. Please try connecting to the remote computer again."

    Needless to say, no point re-trying as there is now a difference in the protocl and the two do not communicate.

    Is there something I can do to the Win2000 Server (without a total upgrade to a later verion) or at the client end to regain connectivity?


  12. […] go ahead and disable it. If you want to learn more about Remote Desktop, read my post on some features of Remote Desktop. To disable remote desktop, right-click on My Computer and choose Properties. Now click on the […]

  13. Muhammad Rahman says:

    I have noticed that some of my printer drivers work on 6.0 and the same ones don't work on 6.1. It's really annoying trying to redirect local printer to TS session. I am using Server 2008 R2 and all my clients are XP with SP3. This problem is happening with only Xerox, and updating drivers didn't solve the problem. I had to rebuild the server. It was painful for sure.

    I would recommend you test it all out in a testing environment first before you update your systems enterprise wide. This is just a general statement about the RDP version 6.0 and 6.1. This is not an answer to any specific questions.

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