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Troubleshooting the S:101 Error


3 min read
Troubleshooting the S:101 Error

Update: 3/26/2020 - I have added a new possible fix/workaround for this error as S:101 is becoming a bit more frequent, especially since the pandemic lockdowns.

Recently, it looks like many Shadow users have been plagued with the S:101 Error. This error is both annoying, yet fairly simple to "fix".

Let us take a look at what this error is, as well as some quick and easy troubleshooting steps!

What is it?

The S:101 error states that it is an error when the Shadow Streaming service has issues. This can be caused by a few processes running on your Shadow, but 9 times out of ten, it is probably a Graphics Card related issue.

What causes it?

Graphics Card failed to initiate

When your Shadow boots up, it selects a Graphics Card from the pool of unused cards. Attaches it, and then initiates the drivers.

Sometimes, however, this process can fail. This will cause you to be stuck at 800x600 resolution, and seeing this nasty little error at the bottom of your Shadow window.

Graphics Drivers failed to load/broken

Your Shadow may successfully attach and initiate the Graphics Card, however, the Graphics Driver for your GPU may be corrupted or broken.

If this happens, you will see the good old S:101 error at the bottom of your Shadow.

How to Fix?

There are two fixes to get your Shadow up and running with this scenario.

Graphics Card failed to initiate

  1. Shut down your Shadow for 10 minutes, and re-launch it.
    • I know this is annoying to hear a lot of the times, but this fixes 90% of the issues you may face with your Shadow. Always give this a try when you run into issues :).
  2. Enable your Graphics Card through the Device Manager.
    1. Type "Device Manager" in your Windows 10 Search Bar and open it
      Device-Manager-Step-1
    2. Navigate to "Display Adapters" and right-click on your Graphics Card (in this case, NVidia Quadro P5000) and select Enable.
      Device-Manager-Step-2
    3. Wait a few minutes and see if the S:101 error has disappeared, and you can select your normal resolution.

Graphics Drivers failed to load/broken

  1. Shut down your Shadow for 10 minutes, and re-launch it.
    • Yes, this is a repeat, yet again. But, as I mentioned above, this can fix 90% of the issues you may face on your Shadow!
  2. Install the latest or reinstall your Graphics Drivers on your Shadow.

Start Shadow from a different device

If the previous fixes did not work, try starting Shadow from a different device. This may allow for Shadow to start up correctly using the different client. From there, you can then connect to Shadow on your main device.

What if all those fixes do not work?

At this point, Shadow Support will be your best bet. Sometimes, you may even need to reset your Shadow VM, although I hope you do not need too. Remember, Shadow is a Virtual Machine, so always be prepared for the worse!

Preventative Measures

Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to prevent this error from happening, as it is highly dependent on the components on your Shadow that initiate on startup.

However, it is always a good idea to install a third-party remote desktop application just in case you are unable to connect to your Shadow when you run into issues like this. You can check out my post, Tips & Tricks #10 - Install Third-Party Remote Desktop Apps, for an explanation of why this is beneficial, and what programs to download/install.

Final Thoughts

I have encountered this issue a few times. Reinstalling the Graphics Driver has fixed it 100% of the time. Hopefully, this post will help you get past this issue until Shadow can officially fix this issue that plagues so many Shadow users!

Thank you so much for reading! Until next time :).


Did I miss anything, or do you have other Troubleshooting steps to add to this post? Feel free to comment below!

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