Only empty desktop when connecting On Windows 2008 R2 server

Bug #1164748 reported by Thomas Nys on 2013-04-04
This bug affects 3 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone

Bug Description

When I connect to a remote-app, the only thing I get is is an empty desktop.

Thomas Nys (thomas-nys) on 2013-04-06
Changed in winconn:
status: New → Incomplete
status: Incomplete → Confirmed
Alex Stanev (realender) wrote :

This means login process couldn't finish.
What is windows version/SP applied?
Did you applied registry settings, as described here:
Can you connect RemoteApp from other windows box?

Changed in winconn:
status: Confirmed → New
Hagen Kuehn (hag-k) wrote :

I think I encounter the same issue although I'm using a different Windows version. In my instance I'm using Windows 7 Ultimate SP1. I followed the instructions provided by Brian Mullan

- Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (running within VirtualBox)
- Host machine is Ubuntu 12.10 64-bit
- Free RDP installed via Ubuntu Software Centre (version freerdp-x11 1.0.1-1ubuntu7)
- WinConn installed by following instruction provided on

Although I think I have set up everything correctly, when trying to connect I only get the Windows desktop displayed rather than only the application. Please see attached screen recording "WinConn-ConnectsToDesktopRatherThanApp.webm" for details on how it's observed.

Hagen Kuehn (hag-k) wrote :

I tested this again. At first the problem remained the same but after I had to restart my Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 in order to install the latest Windows service fixes, I then was able to access the Windows Explorer and MS Word seamlessly. So at least in my case, it started to work after my Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 got the latest Windows service fixes installed.

Hagen Kuehn (hag-k) wrote :

Today, only one day after I posted my euphoric response above, I encountered the same problem again :-). I have no idea why but eventually I encountered the issue reported with Bug #1172375.

Hagen Kuehn (hag-k) wrote :

After having overcome the issue reported with Bug #1172375 and having had it generally working, this morning it again showed the Login Screen and subsequently the entire Windows Desktop rather than the application in its separate window only. -- Basically I encountered the issue reported with this bug again. -- This time I was very certain that I haven't changed anything on my system since. However looking closer at my guest OS, Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, I then saw again a pending service fix installation, which required a restart. After having restarted Windows 7 Ultimate in order to install the pending services fixes, it all started to worked again.

Current Conclusion:
It seems, whenever Windows is being updated and/ or has a pending service fix installation, it presents the user with the entire desktop rather than opening the application and rendering it in its own window.

I hope I got to the bottom of it now :-)

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