Friday 5 March 2021

Windows 2019 Remote Desktop Start menu stops working

 This one has driven me crazy over the last year or so as different things appear to break it and different fixes appear to resolve it.

  • Windows server has missed a few updates
    • Every fix should start with updating, unless an update broke the system then skip this part

  • Windows Firewall as too many rules
    • Each time user logs in to the server a few rules are added to the firewall but over time this can lead to thousands of rules being made,  this was fixed in Windows 2016 but it appears that 2019 needs a reg key enabling to sort it.

      Also you will need to clean out all the old rules,  quickest way is too open the "Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security", right click on "Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security on Local Computer" and select Restore default policy

      This will reset the polices but you had an custom polices these will not be gone and need to be remade.  still quicker then trying to delete bad ones with the system locking up all the time.

      Only Forward: Remote Desktop Host firewall is filled with multiple firewall rules (

  • Firewall Reg Keys that need removing and remaking
    • Open Powershell as admin
    • Type the Following:
      • Remove-Item "HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SharedAccess\Parameters\FirewallPolicy\RestrictedServices\Configurable\System"
      • New-Item "HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SharedAccess\Parameters\FirewallPolicy\RestrictedServices\Configurable\System"
      • Remove-Item "HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SharedAccess\Parameters\FirewallPolicy\RestrictedServices\AppIso\FirewallRules"
      • New-Item "HKLM:\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\SharedAccess\Parameters\FirewallPolicy\RestrictedServices\AppIso\FirewallRules"
  • Corruption in the Universal Windows Platform applications
    • I think its the explorer app that gets damaged but am not 100% on that.

      run the following in an PowerShell(admin) console

      1. sfc /scannow
      2. dism /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
      3. dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth

      Now if point 3 ends with an error like it can not find the source to resolve the issue,  you can use a donor system to pull the files from but its got to be working and updated to the same level (ish,  I have had success with a outdated 2019 as a donor to an updated 2019 but mileage may vary here it could break more then it fixes)

      4. Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /source:\\<DEVICE>\C$\Windows\WinSxS /limitaccess
      5. Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

      Now point 3 and 4 can be swapped with using the install media if you have it available but I have never tested it this way as I have never had it to hand but the command is

      Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /source:wim:D:\\sources\install.wim:1 /limitaccess
      (on the install.wim:1 the :1 is the version of the OS you are using, like core / Desktop / Data Center / Standard)

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