Remote Desktop over OpenVPN from standby fails

Remote Desktop over OpenVPN from standby fails

Post by AKA Ja » Sat, 12 Jun 2004 20:22:46


I have a PC at work with a static IP address. For several months I've been
using OpenVPN to connect from home. I can easily run Remote Desktop
Connection over this OpenVPN connection.

Now that it's summer, I wanna reduce the amount of heat produced in my
office. So I want my PC to go into standby after half an hour of non use.
But this is where things go wrong. And this is very wierd. RDC seems to
crash for no apparent reason when I wake my sleeping office PC from home.
Has anyone else had this problem? Is there a fix? Here's the procedure
that causes the crash:

1) Before leaving work I log off and put my PC into standby.
2) At home, I send a magic packet to my office PC to wake it up.
3) After a few seconds, my OpenVPN client successfully connects to my office
PC. This proves the magic packet works.
4) I can now browse my office PC's shared folders and ping it. This proves
the OpenVPN connection works. It's possible that the OpenVPN connection is
a little more temperamental than usual but I'm not sure.
5) When I launch RDC, it crashes on the login page. My home computer won't
let me do anything (not even control-alt-delete). After a few minutes the
RDC client exits without any error message.
6) When I get back to work, I find my office PC has crashed and I have to do
a hard-reset.

And here's the list of things that definitely do work:

1) Do exactly the same as above but from a PC at work (not using OpenVPN).
The PC successfully comes out of standby and the RDC works fine. This
proves the magic packet wakes the PC and that RDC works fine after waking
the PC from standby.

2) Do exactly the same as the failing procedure but shutdown the PC fully
(ACPI state S5). I can boot my PC from home, initiate OpenVPN and run RDC
without fail. This proves the magic packet can be sent successfully from
home and that the OpenVPN is configured correctly.

So, my question is: why does RDC fail specifically when I wake my office PC
from standby from home? Perhaps the OpenVPN server doesn't like going into
standby? Or is there a bug in the RDC software?

My config is:

Office PC
- Windows XP Pro SP1 fully patched
- OpenVPN 1.6
- Intel D875PBZ motherboard with onboard gigabit Ethernet adapter
- I've set the BIOS to allow the Ethernet adapter to wake the PC
- The BIOS is set to put the PC into ACPI state S3 (suspend to RAM) when the
OS asks for "standby".
- I've told the Ethernet adapter's driver to forcefully wake the PC on
receiving a magic packet
- Running Kerio personal firewall. It's configured to allow the relevant
OpenVPN and RDC connections.
- My institute has a hardware firewall with 2 incoming ports open - one for
the magic packet and one for the OpenVPN connection.

Home PC
- Windows XP Pro SP1 fully patched
- OpenVPN 1.6
- 3Com 802.11g wireless network
- Pipex 512k ADSL connection
- Hardware router


Remote Desktop over OpenVPN from standby fails

Post by AKA Ja » Tue, 15 Jun 2004 18:03:04

K, I've looked into this some more and it's undeniable odd.

The problem seems to be that the Remote Desktop Connection server doesn't
like being woken from standby by Wake-On-LAN. I don't think the problem is
in anyway related to OpenVPN.

Here's what fails:

1) Put PC into standby
2) Go to another PC (either on the LAN or from home) and wake my Office PC
3) At this point, everything works - I can connect to my shared folders,
ping my office PC etc
4) But RDC fails! It crashed on the log-in

Here's what works:

Exactly the same as above but this time I wake the PC by pressing a button
on the keyboard.


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