A wrong icon is shown on the task bar in a remote desktop connection

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When you start Outlook (or any other program), the corresponding icon is shown on the task bar. Recently I’ve experienced some weird behavior though. When I start Outlook, sometimes another icon is shown on the task bar: an icon with a red-white envelope (see the figure below), instead of the yellow-orange-brown-beige icon one typically sees. At first I thought there must have been some special feature showing a different icon to warn you about a missed appointment or something like that. But the thing is I couldn’t find anything on the Net about this special icon. Weird…



Anyway, a few hours ago I’ve experienced it again. So I decided to dig, because I had to find out what this was all about. Soon I discovered that this icon was PowerPoint’s icon! Indeed, when I right-clicked the icon with the mouse I got the following view telling me the icon was related to PowerPoint. (I’m sorry if you don’t understand a few words in the figure below, as the language configured is Dutch, but I guess you know what this is all about, right?)

Could this really be the case? I went to the Microsoft Office folder in my Start menu and I could see the icons of Outlook and PowerPoint:

Oh damn, that’s WEIRD! I started to “bing” and was guided to a Microsoft Knowledge Base( KB) article: KB2519550 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2519550), “An incorrect program icon appears on the task bar in a remote desktop session that is running in Windows 7 or in Windows Server 2008 R2”. It seems this is a known bug: applications can show a wrong icon on the task bar, including the PowerPoint icon for Outlook. It seems to happen on Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 and only in a remote desktop connection. In my case it was on a Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH), running WS08R2. After applying the hotfix related to this KB the problem should be solved; it’s difficult for me to find out if it really works, because I never could reproduce the bug and it occurred very rarely.

For completion: the KB is also mentioned in another KB, i.e. KB2601888 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2601888), “Available Updates for Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services) in Windows Server 2008 R2”. The latter one includes a list of hotfixes especially meant for RDSHs (or almost especially, because KB2519550 actually has a broader scope than RDSHs only) and which are not rolled out automatically via Microsoft Update (MU). After the hotfix is installed, the system needs to restart before it is really applied. The hotfix is available for x86, x64 and Itanium Windows, so there are 3 possible downloads. As the hotfix isn’t supposed to be rolled out automatically through MU, you should only install it when you experience the mentioned issues and you have to request permission to get the download(s) (you can do this starting from the KB article’s page). When you have a Premier support contract though, you can log in to the Microsoft Premier site and download the hotfix directly without the harassment of requesting it.

Greetings,
Pedro

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