The first entry : Is my smart card incompatible with Windows XP SP3?

After creating the blog account and sitting on it for last few days, finally got to publish this first entry 1

I got a new laptop and decided to play around with Windows XP SP3, so hooked up to the network and installed it. Install went smooth and punched in to get the latest updates. Everything done and laptop up and running, nothing surprising. Same look and feel and same great power of Windows XP.

The very first thing I noticed when I plugged in my Bluetooth dongle. It was recognized and drivers installed and within a few of minutes my phone was hooked up! The same dongle required me to install the drivers from the disk and use the clumsy application that came along with it.

Everything went fine at office and came home. From home when I was trying to connect to my office machines over a terminal server gateway (which requires smart card authentication) I was surprised at the message I was getting in CredUI.

Incompatible Smart Card

First thought came that something gone wrong with the smart card. But it was working a couple of days back when the same machine had Vista Enterprise. Checked on another machine with Windows XP SP2 and it was working fine. So something wrong with this machine only. But what changed?

Searching on also did not revealed any useful information. There were some mentions of RDC 6.0 (KB925876) being the culprit. To test out, installed RDC 6.0 on my Win XP SP2 machine but still it was recognizing my smart card. RDC 6.0 was ruled out as the cause.

What else could be wrong?

But couple of blog entry comments on Terminal Services Team blog said that after removing RDC 6.0 and moving back to RDC 5.1 got it working for them. So could it really be RDC 6.0 or something changed with it from 5.1? In Win XP SP3 there is no option to uninstall RDC 6.0 and move back to 5.1.

I decided to investigate into the RDC 6.0 changes and found that CSP is mandatory on client also if it is installed on the server. Verified that I have CSP installed on my XP SP2 box and it was not there on XP SP3 machine. Connected XP SP2 machine to office VPN and got the CSP and installed it on XP SP3.

With fingers crossed, pressed in the smart card into the reader and click Connect on MSTC window.

Voilà ! It worked and now my smart card is recognized.

Finally got the terminal connection working after banging my head on it for 2 days and learnt the lesson to read the documentation properly 4