Windows 10 May 2019 Update Bug: Some Users Report a Black Screen in Microsoft Remote Desktop

Rafia Shaikh
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Microsoft can't take the weekend off...

Microsoft has been trying to make things better with the Windows 10 update process, but a few things keep going awry. A new issue has been reported that is affecting Remote Desktop users running the latest Windows 10 May 2019 Update with older display drivers. Some of these users are experiencing black screens when connecting to remote computers.

Here's what one user had reported soon after the release of the new Windows 10 version:

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I upgraded my secondary machine from 1809 to 1903. When I access it now using Remote Desktop all I get is a black screen in the RDP windows. I then upgraded my primary machine to 1903 hoping that would help, but no. Fortunately I also have GoToAssist installed so I was able to log into the secondary machine that way and checked for updates, still no help. Finally I reverted it back to 1809 and Remote Desktop once again works. I could keep using GoToAssist but RDP over my local LAN is much faster.

Microsoft has acknowledged this problem with the company's Remote Desktop Protocol and WVD Program Manager, Denis Gundarev, saying (via MSPU):

There’s a known issue with some of the old display drivers.

Display drivers report some of their capabilities upon load. In previous Windows versions this reported data wasn’t used or verified. Because of that, some of the old versions of the legacy display driver may report invalid data and it would be ignored. Starting with Windows 10 1903 RDP uses this data to initialize the session.

"Our team has identified the issue and we are currently verifying the fix that will dynamically switch to the software renderer if the problematic driver is detected," he had assured on June 12. It looks like the fix is taking some time, but there are simple workarounds to address the problem.

Gundarev said that the best option right now is to "install an updated display driver from the hardware manufacturer." And if a new version isn't available, "you can workaround this by disabling the problematic driver in the device manager."

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