How to Fix: Remote Desktop: Another Connection is in Progress Error

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Infopackets Reader Sal S. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

My company runs a network of computers. Some of the computers run Windows 10 with 64 GB of RAM and VMWare Workstation (which run virtual machines). I use Windows Remote Desktop (RDP) to manage these 'Windows 10 Servers' remotely. Recently I had to install Oracle VirtualBox on the main Windows 10 server, and now I cannot connect to it using RDP - I have to use TightVNC instead. When I try and connect using remote desktop (RDP), I get an error message: 'Your computer could not connect to another console session on the remote computer because you already have a console session in progress.' I have tried rebooting the server and also my machine but I still get the error. Can you please help! "

My response:

I asked Sal if he would like me to connect to his machine using my remote desktop support service, and he agreed.

How to Fix: Remote Desktop: Another Connection is in Progress Error

RDP Temporary Workaround - Using IP Addresses

I use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) extensively for my own work, and I have come across this problem a few times before. A quick way around this issue is to launch remote desktop and then enter the destination IP address. For example, instead of using the UNC name \\server, you would enter in 192.168.2.1 as the server's IP address. Voila - no more 'another connection is in progress' error!

Here's another tip: if you don't know the IP address of the remote machine, you can use NirSoft FastResolver to scan your entire network (or parts of your network) to resolve IP addresses into their UNC names (Universal Naming Convention).

RDP Full Solution - Resetting the Network Adapter

After a long series of testing, I managed to come across a full solution for Sal that would allow him to use UNC names and Remote Desktop without the 'another connection is in progress' error.

The solution was to have Sal go to the main server (a Windows 10 machine), open up Device Manager and delete the main network adapter, then rescan to add it again. This effectively reset anything related to his network, including remote desktop protcol - which also cleared the 'another connection is in progress' error.

Since Sal's main network adapter was also attached to Oracle's 'VirtualBox host only network adapter', he had to re-register the device in order to use networking with his VirtualBox virtual machine.

In detail, the steps taken were:

  1. Click Start, and type in "devmgmt.msc" (no quotes); wait for "devmgmt" or "Device Manager" to appear in the list, then click it.
     
  2. The "Device Manager" window will appear; scroll down to "Network Adapters" and expand the list.
     
  3. If you are using VirtualBox, left click the "VirtualBox Host-Only Network Adapter" to highlight it, then press DEL on the keyboard to delete it.
     
  4. Next, left click your main network adapter to highlight it, then press DEL on the keyboard to delete it.
     
  5. At the top of the "Device Manager" window, click the "Action" menu, then select "Scan for hardware changes". This will re-scan the machine and add the network adapter in. Note: if you are using a Static IP address instead of DHCP, you will need to configure it in the "Network and Sharing Center".
     
  6. If you are using VirtualBox, you will need to re-register the "VirtualBox Host-Only Network Adapter". To do so: click Start, then type in "cmd"; wait for "Command Prompt" or "CMD.EXE" to appear in the list, right click it and select "Run as Administrator". Next, highlight the text below using your mouse:

    c:\program files\oracle\virtual box\vmboxmanage hostonlyif create
    echo this is a dummy line

    Right click the highlighted text and select "Copy" from the dialogue menu. Go to the administrative command prompt and right click in the middle of the window and select "Paste". This will output what you just copied into the clipboard and the "VirtualBox Host-Only Network Adapter" will be recreated.
     
  7. Go to the remote machine and try and connect to the server using RDP and an UNC name. It should connect now.

I hope that helps!

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If all of this is over your head, or if you still can't access a remote machine using an UNC path, there may be something else wrong. If so I can assist using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me, briefly describing the issue and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question -- or even a computer problem that needs fixing -- please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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