RDP (RDC) Smartcard Connection Errors

stay puft 221 Reputation points
2022-10-05T21:36:08.1+00:00

Unable to login to RDP (RDC) with smart card.

• Connect to RDP session. The Smartcard account does not matter, but for completeness I use the correct card and PIN
• RDP (RDC) opens the desktop login screen, but with an error message
• I get the error “The requested key container does not exist on the smart card.” And again the same error a second time.
o The core issue is here, is that it is not ‘seeing’ the card, I SUSPECT because it is not seeing the card reader.
• Select sign-in options and only see a key and 1 card reader (wrong one).
• I reinsert the card in the reader and there is no change in the options
• I enter a random entry in the PIN box, and it rejects with the same error “The requested key container does not exist on the smart card.”
• BUT NOW I see 2 more Smart card readers, including the right one. I select the correct reader, and the smart card now works.

Notes
• IMPORTANT: This was working, and is now broken. There has been no change to the card, but the card reader was probably moved during our troubleshooting for earlier troubleshooting steps on an unrelated issue.
• The expected behavior is open RDC, enter PIN, and it connects to the desktop (no additional windows login)
• If after it connects, but I do not enter any info but reseat the card, I can then select the sign-in options, and the correct smart card reader will be there, but still needs to be selected.
• The lights are blinking on the card reader correctly
• The card works correctly on hardware, and a separate program I use.
• I have used multiple card readers, with no change
• This occurs with multiple cards
• I have removed my docking station, USB hubs, and switched around the cards and readers (diff models) to no effect
• I have rebooted with no card readers, and then connected them one at a time, still no effect

Please, I am pulling my hair out

Remote Desktop
Remote Desktop
A Microsoft app that connects remotely to computers and to virtual apps and desktops.
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Windows 10 Security
Windows 10 Security
Windows 10: A Microsoft operating system that runs on personal computers and tablets.Security: The precautions taken to guard against crime, attack, sabotage, espionage, or another threat.
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  1. stay puft 221 Reputation points
    2022-10-06T17:30:37.857+00:00

    OK, for the next guy,

    This was not a driver issue, or even a card issue. it appears to be an issue with a 3rd party application called ActiveClient. I found a link that said there was an option to clear remembered Cards, but i could not find it. but once I removed the application altogether, everything started working normally again.

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  2. Limitless Technology 39,426 Reputation points
    2022-10-07T14:42:53.607+00:00

    Hello there,

    Have you made any recent updates on the device as you are facing these issues on multiple card readers and has been broken recently?

    If so you can try to revert back these changes and see if that helps. You can also look into your Event Viewer or process monitor to track the reason for this behavior. The requested key container does not exist on the smart card. This is typically a driver error seen when the reader is detached and then re-attached after start-up. You will generally need to reboot to get them back in sync. As a best practice, have the reader inserted before starting up or unlocking your system.

    Process Monitor is an advanced monitoring tool for Windows that shows real-time file system, Registry, and process/thread activity. You can get the tool from here https://learn.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/downloads/procmon

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