Oct 262009


Windows 2003 terminal servers wouldn’t allow audio redirection over RDP.

Client: Windows XP SP3 w/ RDP 6.1 client (6.0.6001).

Servers:  Windows 2003 Standard R2 (32-bit) , SP2, all current patches.

Servers are in “Terminal Services” OU that sets group policy “Allow audio redirection = Enabled.”  Viewing in RSOP MMC confirms that the setting is applied.

gpresult /v:

GPO: Terminal Server Test
KeyName:     SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services\fDisableCam
Value:       0, 0, 0, 0
State:       Enabled

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services\fDisableCam == 0

Connect via RDP.  Open Control Panel -> Sounds and Audio Devices.  Uncheck “Mute” and click “Apply.”  “Mute” is checked again.

Clicking “Advanced” under “Speaker Settings” results in error “DirectSound settings not available.”





RDPCLIP.EXE wasn’t running.

It's always a checkbox....

I didn’t realize that rdpclip.exe was needed for audio redirection and must have unloaded it when trimming startup programs to lower cpu/memory.  I had already disabled clipboard redirection to speed things up, so I figured there was no need to run rdpclip.exe, which, as the name implies, was originally a Windows 2000 resource kit utility to allow copying and pasting files between client and server.  My kingdom for an architecture diagram….

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