Security matters – we all understand that. No matter how highly refined an operating system or environment may be, there will always be some areas of vulnerability – and there will always be someone looking to take advantage of them.
Generally, we can be grateful for the fact that Microsoft is pretty diligent about rooting out these vulnerabilities and addressing them; those periodic security updates have undoubtedly saved an incalculable amount of grief. That’s not to say, though, that the update process will always be hassle-free.
Safety comes at an occasional cost, at least in terms of convenience. Many of us were reminded of this with the recent release of Windows Security Update Fix KB4103727.
Users who have implemented the patch and who use remote desktop to connect to a server can find themselves shut out unexpectedly. An error message such as the following is typical:
The problem is that an updated machine will be unable to connect to a machine that hasn’t been updated yet. Of course, most users can’t afford to wait around for days, weeks, or months until that happens.
Fortunately, there is a workaround. While it is not typically recommended that users short-circuit protections that Microsoft deems necessary, in some cases it is unavoidable. For many of those who depend on Remote Desktop to get their work done, this is such an occasion.
To regain the ability to remote in, it’s necessary to add the following registry key entry:
With the entry added, it becomes possible again to remote in as normal, albeit with a sub-optimal level of security protection. It’s still a better solution than at least one other alternative: Rolling back the update altogether by uninstalling it.
The problem can afflict anyone using a Windows 10 machine to connect to a server using Remote Desktop. Since not all users receive updates at the same time, this may not have affected some of C/D/H’s clients yet. We will, of course, be happy to help any of our clients who are having problems, but we suggest that you contact us to ensure that your systems are fully up-to-date and to prevent any possible interruptions.