One of the problems of living on the cutting edge is that it tends to make you bleed. I have a post-RC1 Vista build on my main desktop. And I was impressed by the fact that I hadn't required a single reboot in over three weeks.
I worked yesterday on putting together a long post on sending MTP commands with a write data phase in Live Writer. I was almost done and thought I'd continue today. I didn't bother saving it as a draft - there wasn't any reason to. I came back today and found my keyboard and mouse unresponsive. Plugging into different USB hubs didn't help.
No big deal, I told myself. I can always remote desktop into my machine from my XP laptop. I tried that and that didn't work. Hmmm... it must have been configured to accept connections from Vista machines only. No problem there - I switched to a Vista machine and tried the remote desktop again. Still no luck.
I guess I didn't enable remote desktop after all (panic rising). That could be easily fixed - using Regedit I connected remotely to my Vista box. Yay, that worked (whew!). I checked the Remote Desktop settings (HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server for the curious). fDenyTSConnections was already set to 0.
Now operating in 'Oh sh*t!' mode, I told myself it had to be the firewall. I looked for a way to configure the firewall remotely, but didn't find one (made sense - why would we expose an attack vector for the firewall?). I figured out I could just disable the firewall and that should work. Sc.exe was my weapon of choice - sc \\mymachine stop mpssvc. I tried sc query mpssvc and I got a 'The RPC server is unavailable' error. Maybe that was a good sign.
Tried Remote Desktop again - it didn't work. I ended up cold-rebooting my machine and losing the post that was supposed to be here instead of this rant.