0x204 Microsoft Remote Desktop

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May 09, 2019 A bit more precisely, what program is being used for remote desktop? I am using Microsoft's Remote Desktop program from the Apple App store. I think it is version 10.something and in the past year or two replaced the older Remote Desktop (version 8.something). With the Microsoft Remote Desktop app, you can control Windows remotely on a Mac, Android or iOS device.

TLDR: Modify your power plan to ensure your VM isn’t going to sleep!

I had recently deployed a new Windows 10 based VM that would serve as an RDP jump box to access lab resources. Initially RDP worked fine, but I noticed that after a while I couldn’t connect any more. The only way to rouse it from this state was to open a direct console window from the vSphere Client, or to reboot the VM.

The exact error message from the Remote Desktop for Mac window is:

“We couldn’t connect to the remote PC. Make sure the PC is turned on and connected to the network, and that remote access is enabled.

Error code: 0x204”

In addition to the 0x204 error, I also saw “Error code: 0x4” numerous times as well.

The two error codes I kept getting (0x204 and 0x4) were not helpful and just led me on a wild goose chase. These codes were only reported on the Mac RDP client and Windows was more generic:

Clearly the message “Make sure the PC is turned on” garnered no attention from a seasoned IT professional like me, but in the end turned out to be relevant. The issue was that the Windows 10 VM was going to sleep.

I only noticed this when I saw a blacked-out screen in the console preview and the lack of a hostname or IP address listed. This tells me that VMware tools hasn’t checked in for a period of time.

I’m not sure if an incoming RDP connection attempt would wake a physical machine in this state, but sleep isn’t very beneficial to a VM. I simply modified the power settings to prevent sleep and hibernation and the issue hasn’t happened again.

Windows Server varieties don’t behave this way, but because Windows 10 is primarily intended for bare-metal laptop and desktop use cases, power saving features are enabled by default.

This is a pretty basic problem, but I thought I’d do a post just in case it helps someone else who overlooked the obvious like I did and instead tried chasing up hexadecimal error codes 🙂

RDP error code 0x204 is a Remote Desktop Connection problem that mostly occurs when the user tries to connect to remote Windows PC from macOS, Android, or different OS but failed due to driver issues or security restrictions. The detail error message as below:

We couldn’t connect to the remote PC. Make sure the PC is turned on and connected to the network, and that remote access is enabled.
Error code: 0x204

Remote Desktop

To resolve this RDP error 0x204, you may like to follow our resolution steps below.

Content Summary

Solution 1: Enable Remote Connections on Remote PC
Solution 2: Allow Remote Desktop through Windows Defender Firewall
Solution 3: Disable 3rd Party Antivirus Software
Solution 4: Uninstall 3rd Party Firewall
Solution 5: Create Offline Invitation with Windows Remote Assistance
Solution 6: Remove Temp Folder of Remote Desktop on macOS
Solution 7: Port Forwarding Mapping in Router
Solution 8: Update Device Driver
Solution 9: Reinstall Remote Desktop App

Solution 1: Enable Remote Connections on Remote PC

Step 1: Press Windows key + R to open a Run dialog box.

Step 2: Type SystemPropertiesRemote.exe and press Enter to open the System Properties screen. Click Yes to grant administrative privileges if UAC (User Account Control) prompted.

Step 3: Go to the Remote tab > Remote Desktop section.

Step 4: Select the radio button for Allow remote connections to this computer option, check to Allow remote connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network level authentication (recommended) for more secure authentication methods that can better protect your computer.

* If you are trying to connect to the remote computer from a different network, you will need to uncheck Allow remote connections only from computers running Remote Desktop with Network level authentication (recommended) option.

Step 5: Click the Apply button to save the changes.

Solution 2: Allow Remote Desktop through Windows Defender Firewall

Step 1: Press Windows key + R to open a Run dialog box.

Step 2: Type firewall.cpl and press Enter to open the Windows Firewall settings menu. Click Yes to grant administrative privileges if UAC (User Account Control) prompted.

Step 3: Click on the Allow an app or feature through Windows Defender Firewall link at the left-hand side menu.

* Alternatively, you can navigate to Control Panel > System and Security, click on Allow an app through Windows Firewall link located under Windows Defender Firewall.

Step 4: Click on the Change settings button located in the top-right section.

Step 5: Scroll down through the list of allowed items and enable the Private and Public box associated with Remote Desktop and Remote Desktop (WebSocket).

Step 6: Press the Ok button to save the changes.

Step 7: Restart your PC.

Solution 3: Disable 3rd Party Antivirus Software

McAfee Internet Security is the most common 3rd party Antivirus suite that is known to cause the error 0x204 by triggering a false-positive and threats the port used by the RDP as a malicious attempt to access files remotely. Disable the real-time protection (active shields) of 3rd party Antivirus suite directly from the taskbar menu to fix the issues imply.

Solution 4: Uninstall 3rd Party Firewall

Step 1; Press Windows key + R to open a Run dialog box.

Microsoft Remote Desktop Error Code 0x204 Mac Mojave

Step 2: Type appwiz.cpl and press Enter to open the Programs and Files menu.

Step 3: Scroll down through the list of installed applications and locate the 3rd party firewall. Right-click on it and choose Uninstall from the context menu.

Step 4: Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the process inside the uninstallation screen.

Step 5: Restart your computer.

Solution 5: Create Offline Invitation with Windows Remote Assistance

Step 1: Press Windows key + R to open a Run dialog box.

Step 2: Type msra.exe in the text box and press Enter to open the Windows Remote Assistance wizard. Click Yes to grant administrative privileges if UAC (User Account Control) prompted.

Step 3: Click on Invite someone you trust to help you.

Step 4: Click on Save this invitation as a file or other option such as Use Email to send an invitation or Use Easy Connect.

Step 5: Go to the remote PC to open the invitation created previously.

Solution 6: Remove Temp Folder of Remote Desktop on macOS

Step 1: Ensure the Remote Desktop Program on macOS is completely closed.

Step 2: Click on the Finder icon located at the bottom-left corner of the screen).

Step 3: Use the search function to search for group containers, then press Return to retrieve the results.

Step 4: Delete the UBF8T346G9.com.microsoft.rdc.

Step 5: Restart your macOS.

Solution 7: Port Forwarding Mapping in Router

Step 1: Get the IP address of the remote PC that you want to connect to. The recommended way is to execute ipconfig command on remote PC and take note for the IPv4 Address entry.

Step 2: Log into your router and locate the Port Forwarding section.

Step 3: Enable Port Forwarding function and add the profile to forward TCP port 3389 to the IP address of the remote PC.

Solution 8: Update Device Driver

Error 0x204 could occur if you added hardware to the computer. If this happened, you could try to update the device driver and check if it helps to fix the problem:

Step 1: Run hardware diagnosis application software supplied by the system manufacturer to determine if any hardware component failed.

Step 2: Remove or replace the newly installed driver.

Solution 9: Reinstall Remote Desktop App

Error code 0x204 microsoft remote desktop

Step 1: Open the Microsoft Remote Desktop app.

Step 2: Click on the overflow menu (…) button next to the name of the Remote Desktop connection you want to delete, and click on Remove.

Step 3: After you disabled the app, try to install it again.

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