Strange Visual Artifacts when using Windows Remote Desktop

I’ve noticed something strange while using RDP. Actually, I’m not sure if it’s the RDP protocol or Microsoft’s RDP client. When you use Windows Remote Desktop and view a folder’s contents using Windows Explorer, some of the text may display oddly in the various columns. This seems to happen mostly when the view is selected as “Details”. Sometimes filenames are turned into garbled gibberish. Here’s an example that I experienced while simply browsing files in Explorer.

In another example, I remoted into a Windows XP Professional machine using Terminals 1.7. While looking at some scheduled tasks with the ‘details’ view I noticed an unusual entry under the “Last Run Time” column. The text was garbled and looked like some new character set was being used. I refreshed the screen by hitting ‘F5’ and closed and reopened the window. Nothing changed. For some reason I decided to resize the column. Oddly enough, when the column was resized small enough to where the text had to be truncated with an ellipsis, the text appeared normal. However, when I resized the column to be wider, as soon as it was wide enough to where the normal text wouldn’t require any ellipses, it reverted back to the strange text. I noticed that it seemed to only affect the tasks that had not run yet. All other columns appeared to have normal text. I manually started a new job. Now the information in the ‘Last Run’ column seems to be formatting correctly:

Here is where it really begins to get strange. When I took screenshots of this whole phenomena from the host machine (the computer running the remote desktop client) the garbled text didn’t appear in the pictures! What gives? Take a look at these screenshots. As I viewed them with my own eyes, they were garbled similar to the first picture and yet using Windows’ built in screen capture on the host machine, the garbled text was somehow “decoded”. In the picture below, the top line was garbled but the bottom line was not as I looked at it. Adding yet more to the weirdness, the top highlighted line makes no sense. Why would the words “Add or” be in the “Last Run Time”column?!

A temporary fix to the issues was stumbled upon by accident. I tried changing the view from ‘details’ to ‘Icon’. No artifacts were seen in the icon view. When I switched back to the details view, there were no more artifacts. I never figured out why this happened, why taking screenshots of the remote connection from the host machine “decoded” the characters or why the words “Add or” were in the Last Run Time column after “decoding”.

No answers. No clues. Just weird.

Leave a Reply

Follow TheNubbyAdmin!

follow us in feedly

Raw RSS Feed:

Contact Me!

Want to hire me as a consultant? Have a job you think I might be interested in? Drop me a line:

Contact Me!

Subscribe via Email

Your email address is handled by Google FeedBurner and never spammed!

The Nubby Archives

Circle Me on Google+!

Photos from Flickr

Me on StackExchange

The IT Crowd Strava Group

%d bloggers like this: