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RDP gets blocked with a BLACK screen

This issue is a known Windows bug that occurs when the primary drive ( C: ) runs out of available free space. When this happens, Windows often overwrites control panel color settings for the desktop and login screen, resulting in the “blacked out” login screen and/or desktop.

When the login screen is black, you can often still access the normal Windows desktop, you just have to alt/tab through the various login screens:

When you first connect via RDC, there are two blanks you can tab through, the top one being the username (which should be Administrator, or, whatever you have set as your admin name), then, when you tab again, you will be in the password field. After entering the username and password, you should be able to Tab/Enter, and gain access to the system. If the system was just recently rebooted without warning, another screen (black) will pop up, asking why the server was rebooted. You can type anything here, and tab/enter again.

If the Windows desktop is also black, please open a ticket in Orbit and let us know, and technicians can log in locally and apply the following fix. H

However, should you be able to navigate the desktop, simply perform the following:


1.) Again, this is caused by Windows running out of available space. The first thing you will need to do is clear an adequate amount of space on your system. If you do not have sufficient free space, Windows will soon overwrite any color changes you apply. Once you have cleared off space, proceed to step 2.

2.) Copy everything between the asterisks (not the asterisks themselves) into a notepad file on your desktop. Name it whatever you like, perhaps colorfix.
Save the changes. Then, rename the file extension to .reg.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Colors]
“ActiveBorder”=”212 208 200”
“ActiveTitle”=”10 36 106”
“AppWorkSpace”=”128 128 128”
“Background”=”102 111 116”
“ButtonAlternateFace”=”181 181 181”
“ButtonDkShadow”=”64 64 64”
“ButtonFace”=”212 208 200”
“ButtonHilight”=”255 255 255”
“ButtonLight”=”212 208 200”
“ButtonShadow”=”128 128 128”
“ButtonText”=”0 0 0”
“GradientActiveTitle”=”166 202 240”
“GradientInactiveTitle”=”192 192 192”
“GrayText”=”128 128 128”
“Hilight”=”10 36 106”
“HilightText”=”255 255 255”
“HotTrackingColor”=”0 0 128”
“InactiveBorder”=”212 208 200”
“InactiveTitle”=”128 128 128”
“InactiveTitleText”=”212 208 200”
“InfoText”=”0 0 0”
“InfoWindow”=”255 255 225”
“Menu”=”212 208 200”
“MenuText”=”0 0 0”
“Scrollbar”=”212 208 200”
“TitleText”=”255 255 255”
“Window”=”255 255 255”
“WindowFrame”=”0 0 0”
“WindowText”=”0 0 0”

3.) Once again, ensure you have sufficient free space. Then, double-click on the registry file you created. This will enter the color changes into the system. Then, go ahead and choose Shutdown/Restart to have the system reboot.

4.) When the system has rebooted, you should have a normal login screen and desktop.

5.) In rare cases, the login screen will remain black. Unfortunately, there is no known way to address this in these cases, but luckily, the black login screen is only an annoyance, as it can be bypassed with the above information and some careful keypresses. However, once you pass this login screen, you should still have a regular Windows desktop. If not, you will need to double check that you have a good amount of space on the primary drive, and perhaps try reentering the registry changes as above.

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