Remote Desktop Connection’s “no audio driver available” problem

While using Windows XP’s remote desktop connection, using the option to “Leave sound at the remote computer”, you will encounter the following error on playing any music :

“Cannot play back the audio stream: no audio hardware is available, or the hardware is not responding.”

This could be particularly annoying when trying to use what I like to call a “headless station” – one without a monitor. This is apparantly because of a bug in remote desktop due to which the host wrongly initializes Microsoft RDP Audio Driver (which is used to stream sound to the client) instead of the default drivers when logged on remotely even when the preference is set to “leave the sound at the remote computer”.

While this may or may not be fixed by Microsoft in the near future, here is the workaround:

1) Log on to the Host normally for the first time. Yes, you would need a keyboard attached to the Host to do this :). This step would initialize the sound drivers.

If you dont have the monitor, this is the keyboard sequence to log on from the main screen.
– Down Arrow (Return key)
– Enter your password (Return Key)

2)Now try using the remote desktop to connect to the computer remotely. It should work fine !