How to resolve video issues with pcAnywhere Solution

Article:TECH122340  |  Created: 2010-03-16  |  Updated: 2014-04-08  |  Article URL
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Technical Solution



The remote user may see a blank or black screen, or may experience choppy video performance or latency, during a pcAnywhere remote control session.


Note:  Administrative rights are required on the system making the remote connection to the host. 


  • pcAnywhere Solution 12.5 or 12.6
  • pcAnywhere Solution agent plug-in running on a Windows computer



pcAnywhere utilizes what is known as a "mirror" driver.  Note that pcAnywhere cannot use the mirror driver immediately after installation--the computer must be rebooted before the mirror driver is used.  Prior to the first reboot, pcAnywhere will run, but it will use a legacy video driver that is not optimized for the same level of performance as the mirror driver.

The mirror driver is sometimes affected by the video hardware or drivers installed on the pcAnywhere host computer.

Display issues are more likely to occur during a pcAnywhere remote control connection when the remote and host communications pass through a relatively slow network connection.


The following steps typically make a significant improvement with the issues described above.

First, if the host computer has not been rebooted since the pcAnywhere plug-in was deployed to it, reboot it, and verify whether the problem has been resolved. 

If the problem still exists, try these steps:

  1. Open a pcAnywhere remote control connection.
  2. Click the "View/Edit Online Options" link on the left.
  3. Under Bandwidth Optimizations:
    a.  click "Low-bandwidth"
    b.  select either 256- or 16-bit colors
    c.  click OK.

The steps shown immediately above must be performed once the pcAnywhere connection is created. There is an enhancement request to allow these features to be controlled via a pcAnywhere host configuration policy. See the Related Articles section (to the right) for a link to the corresponding Knowledge Base article.

Following are some additional steps which have proven to be helpful in resolving display issues:

  • Install the latest video drivers from the manufacturer on the host computer
  • Install the latest BIOS from the manufacturer on the host computer
  • Ensure that you have applied all updates to pcAnywhere Solution in Symantec Installation Manager
  • Disable the mirror driver.  This is described in the Knowledge Base article entitled "What is the pcAnywhere "Mirror Driver?", TECH110005, which is referenced below.
  • Disable "Hardware acceleration".  This is accomplished on Windows XP and 2003 with these steps: click Start > Control Panel, double-click Display, click Settings > Advanced > Troubleshoot, then move the "Hardware acceleration" slide control to the far left setting which corresponds with "None".
  • If this is a Windows Vista or Windows 7, try to disable the "Desktop Window Manager Session Manager" service.
    See TECH162229.


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