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How to shutdown or restart Vista via RDP?

I'm sure Murphy must be around the corner, because when I recently upgraded my video card from nVidia to a new ATI HD 2600 based card, I encountered a lot of problems that I did not expect.

As I've written before, the ATI video card and drivers in my notebook performed flawlessly from Vista Day 1. The nVidia drivers for the Quadro FX 550 on my workstation however had lots of problems, but in the end I've been able to solve it with more recent beta drivers and removing the SoundBlaster X-Fi card. Since that moment my workstation behaved perfectly also — no troubles with sleep, hibernation, shut down, restart whatsoever!

However, when I recently decided that the nVidia card was way too slow for this powerful machine, I've chosen an ATI-based card so that I would not encounter those problems again. But! Apparently the latest ATI Catalyst 7.7 and even Catalyst Beta 7.8 drivers still have problems with this brand new ATI HD 2600 XT Super, turning the whole sleep/shutdown/restart procedure back into a nightmare.

Sometimes the machine doesn't boot at all, just two beeps meaning it is tired of waiting for video initialization. At that point you can't even access the BIOS. The only way to revive is remove the power cord while it is turned on, or remove the card and reinsert it. Both solutions reset the video card from whatever buggy state it was left in.
Other times, it boots perfectly and restores the last session you were using, except you get NO picture... just a black screen! The only way to gracefully recover from this mess is to use Remote Desktop Connection from another machine. A glance at the event log reveals the following suspicious events:
The device 'ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT' (PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_9588&SUBSYS_00000000&REV_00\4&cff77c&0&0020) disappeared from the system without first being prepared for removal.

The device 'High Definition Audio Controller' (PCI\VEN_1002&DEV_AA08&SUBSYS_00000000&REV_00\4&cff77c&0&0120) disappeared from the system without first being prepared for removal.

The device 'High Definition Audio Device' (HDAUDIO\FUNC_01&VEN_1002&DEV_AA01&SUBSYS_00AA0100&REV_1000\5&921ff23&0&0001) disappeared from the system without first being prepared for removal.

Note: The HD Audio device is a feature of the ATI Radeon HD 2600/2400 series, it is located on the video card and not on my motherboard.

Update: I've been able to fix these problems, see my recent posting about it.

Now using my workstation via RDP is fine and works really well, but it is no substitute for the real thing. It's as slow as the nVidia FX 550, so what did I change cards for then?

So the time has come to reboot the machine...but how to do that via Remote Desktop Connection? As you can see, you don't get the usual choices from the Start menu. The Power button has been changed into an X to disconnect the session:

The fly-out menu isn't any better, you just get Log Off and Lock:

If you look carefully, you'll notice a new button on the Start menu, it's called Windows Security. (This also happens on Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 2000 Workstation/Server)

This brings you to the following screen (similar as pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete on your own Vista machine) where you'll notice the red power button in the bottom right corner. There you go: Restart, Sleep and Shut Down!

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  Posted by oVan on Tuesday, August 07, 2007 | PermaLink | 3 comments
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