ATI Catalyst 8.3 Problems with Remote Desktop

So I’ve been having problems connecting to my home PC via Remote Desktop for some time and I didn’t really have a clue on what the problem is. For the longest time, I believed that it had to do with AVG since for some reason AVG would prompt me to reboot every single day and when I don’t, remote desktop appeared not to work anymore. Reinstalling AVG from scratch appeared to have fixed it.

The problems I was hitting included immediately disconnecting from the Terminal Service after logging in with the correct username and password or ending up in a blank screen where I’m not seeing anything. Half time time, I’m able to log into my admin account and log off my default user and retry. Other times, my admin account encounters the same problems.

Anyway today’s problem was the weirdest, where I’d be disconnected immediately when trying to connect. It didn’t even prompt me for credentials. I thought I’ll just go home and reboot the computer, however this apparently didn’t fix the problem. I tried uninstalling AVG to see if that helped, but unfortunately it didn’t appear to be the cause of the problem.

I scratched my head and wondered what else could be causing the problem. I recall since I was going to reboot, I decided to update my graphics drivers. I have an ATI Radeon X1600Pro and upgraded to the latest ATI Catalyst 8.3 for Windows XP. I uninstalled all the ATI crap and rebooted and immediately I was able to connect via Remote Desktop. However my monitor was now running in like 800×600 mode.

I found this thread stating that ATI Catalyst Suite prevented some other people to connect via Remote Desktop:

RDP is working, removing ATI Catalyst Suite did the trick

Hi Scott, just wanted to thank you for your assistance, it ended up being the ATI Catalyst Suite which is installed with the video driver (these servers have ATI Radeon X550’s in them).

Removing the Catalyst Suite and using just the ATI driver alone did the trick. Don’t know why as the Catalyst doesn’t change the video driver, it just gives you a control panel utility. Go figure.

I’ve submitted a KB article request to AMD as it seems to effect at least 5 different Radeon cards that I have.
Thanks again,

Posted: 11/15/2007 @ 08:17 AM (PST)

So I went and downloaded the newest Display Driver only and installed that. However, I immediately hit the same Remote Desktop problem again. Grrrrr… I decided to try previous drivers one by one moving backwards and stop after the 1st one that worked. The sucky part of this is after each driver installation, I had to reboot to be able to test if my Remote Desktop connection is fixed. Good news is that after installing ATI Catalyst 8.2 Display Driver, my Remote Desktop connection was in full working order again, so I didn’t have to keep on going. I didn’t bother installing the Catalyst Control Center this time around since I don’t believe there’s any need for me.

In conclusion, it appears a change in ATI Catalyst 8.3 broke compatibility with Remote Desktop (at least on Windows XP).

For others who have encountered this problem, I hope this helps!

9 thoughts on “ATI Catalyst 8.3 Problems with Remote Desktop

  1. Had the same thing…ATI has had a few annoying bugs in their drivers lately. For a few months I was trying to figure out why there was a little square in the top left corner of my desktop. Thinking it was spyware I searched around and found out it was a bug in their driver…and now we can’t RDP…thanks ATI.

  2. To avoid these problems, try one of the remote desktop services available on the web. For instance, LogMeIn, Teamviewer, etc. I’ve recently signed up for Techinline Remote Desktop ( which is a very easy to use service and it’s a fraction of the price of the other products I mentioned above. Since it runs through the browser, it’s very easy to use and nobody has to install asolutely anything. All your client has to do is give you a 6-digit number and you’re good to go. I don’t personally think that it could get much easier than that

  3. Seriously?

    Steven, I don’t want to come across as mean, but why would you suggest using a third party software to get around an issue with a driver the vendor should fix? I hope you were just suggesting there are other alternatives to remote control with that post and that you are not an ATI/AMD employee avoiding the real issue. There are too many companies lately who try to ignore the fact they do not ave a good QC process for driver updates. Lets hope AMD/ATI improves their QC process so that issues like this do not continue.

  4. I’m still experiencing this problem intermittently, usually after undocking/redocking my laptop. (It’s the laptop that I’m trying to connect to from another machine). I’m running Catalyst 8.10 on it.

  5. i use ati radeon driver with windows server 2003 (several tweak to make it look like a workstation), and guess what?

    1. cannot connect to win2k3 console remote desktop using either /admin /console switch. it will appear black screen, and after several times, disconnected.

    2. but i can connect through remote desktop if not connecting to the console (not using admin or console switch), using the same administrator account or another account.

    conclusion (i think): i cannot connect to the console (the same procedure with windows xp since you are connect directly to the console for the 1st connection). maybe because console is already load the graphic driver, and another new remote session just using rd driver instead of console driver

Leave a Reply