There is no built-in Remote Desktop feature in Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Basic, Windows Vista Home Basic N, and Windows Vista Home Premium editions of Windows Vista operating system. So in order to be able to remote control and access or take control of a Windows Vista PC from another computer, a desktop sharing system or remote control server has to be installed and running on Windows Vista machine. One of the popular desktop sharing system is VNC (Virtual Network Computing) in the flavors or variants of RealVNC, UltraVNC, TightVNC and etc. However, when you try to install and run the VNC Server as a service mode in Windows Vista, there will be problem trying to connect and remote control to the Windows Vista computer from another computer by using VNC client.

In the Event Viewer after failed while attempting to gain access control to remote Windows Vista computer, user can see the following error:

Unable to connect session to Console. Access Denied. or Connection closed unexpectedly. or No connection or connection reset by peer (10054).

Beside, on the Windows Vista machine which users try to install VNC Server (from RealVNC, UltraVNC or any other VNC based server), Windows Vista will display a few symptoms or error messages as below:

Access Denied if you’re not running or installing or configuring VNC server as an Administrator.

VNC Server (Service) icon in the Notification Area displays the message ‘Not Accepting Incoming Connections’ error message.

VNC Server (Service) icon in the Notification Area (system tray) does not display the server’s assigned IP address.

When trying to execute and run VNC server in user mode, same error message of ‘Not Accepting Incoming Connections’ appeared.

The problems are caused by Windows Vista new security feature called Session 0 Isolation. Previous versions of Windows ran system services in the same login session as the locally logged-in user (Session 0). In Windows Vista, Session 0 is now reserved for these services, and all interactive logins are done in other sessions, causing VNC server unable to accept incoming remote control connection request.

So in order to make VNC server on Windows Vista works properly, the workaround resolution (at least until the VNC developers to come out with proper fix or update to address the new security constraint in Windows Vista) is to run VNC server in user mode.

  • Ensure that you have the Firewall exceptions to allow incoming connections to winvnc4.exe or to port 5900 (or any other port number that you want to allocate to VNC server listening port), or simply turn off firewall.
  • VNC server is detected as potentially unwanted behavior in integrated Windows Defender. Create a rule to ignore this warning.
  • If you want to newly or fresh install VNC server, do not install the VNC Service by not checking or selecting the “Register VNC Server Service” option, or else you will have “Not Accepting Connections” error even when trying to run the VNC Server in User Mode.
  • If you have already install VNC Service (register VNC Server as a service to start automatically when Windows Vista starts), unregister the VNC Service.
  • If you want to configure settings of VNC Server, right click on “Configure VNC Server” menu item and select “Run as Administrator” for administrative privileges so that the VNC configuration tool can access to the relevant parts of the registry.

Then start VNC Server in User Mode (may need to Run as Administrator too), and you will be able to connect, remote control and access to Windows Vista computer desktop from another computer properly.

Some users reported that RealVNC Personal Edition and Enterprise Edition (both need payment) supports Windows Vista, while RealVNC Free Edition still waiting for workarounds. And UltraVNC has released Vista supported and compatible VNC server/client.

On the other hand, check out solution for those who facing black screen on remote VNC connection to Vista.