Can't RDP into or out of Dell Micro 7080 20H2

20H2 RDP Mystery Remains Unsolved Until …

I’ve been raving about the SFF Dell Optiplex 7080 Micro a fair amount lately. I remain convinced it’s a good purchase and will be a great machine for long-term use. That said, there is the proverbial “one thing” that lets me know for all its glories, it’s still a Windows PC. I’ve been dealing with an RDP mystery — as shown in the lead-in graphic for this story — that actually affects RDP traffic in both directions. Its 20H2 RDP mystery remains unsolved, as all my troubleshooting efforts so far have failed.

Read on, though: I did eventually figure this out, and get RDP working. It turned out to be a basic and obvious oversight on my part. Sigh.

What Do You Mean: 20H2 RDP Mystery Remains Unsolved?

Despite chasing down a large laundry list of things to check and set, I get password related errors when trying to RDP into or out of the 7080 micro. The lead-in graphic shows what happens when I try to RDP into the box. When I try to RDP out of the box, I get an out-and-out invalid password (“may be expired” error) instead.

Obviously, something funky is up with authentication on this Win10 install, because when I try to access the device through the File Explorer network connection, I get a request for network credentials, too. Again, presenting valid credentials doesn’t work. I see a “not accessible” error message instead:

Here’s the list of what I’ve tried so far:

  1. Double-checked Remote Access is enabled.
  2. Relaxed all relevant settings in Advanced Network Sharing for Private, Guest/Public, and All Networks categories.
  3. Enabled all Remote Access checkboxes in Defender Firewall settings.
  4. Ran the Network Troubleshooter
  5. Ran the Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant

It’s the Account, Stupid!

After noodling about with this for a couple of hours I realized that I had defined a local acount as admin. Worse yet, I had not promoted my Microsoft Account on the Optiplex 7080 Micro from ordinary user to administrator.

Because I was using my MS account credentials to attempt network login and access, I didn’t have permission to do the password lookups in LSASS needed to make the process work. Once I promoted that account to admin level, everything started working.

Sheesh! Talk about an obvious mistake. As with many problems with Windows 10, this one turns out to be entirely self-inflicted. At least, I know who to blame!

 

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