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Windows Remote Assistance : Troubleshoot From Afar

4/9/2012 11:35:47 AM

Troubleshoot From Afar

Productivity doesn't have to come to a screeching halt when a remote employee can't fix a PC-related problem himself or when the on-staff tech support wizard is on the road. Windows Remote Assistance, Microsoft's built-in Web-based troubleshooting tool, lets one user connect to and view the Desktop of another user's computer, as well as take control of the system's mouse and keyboard to change settings, view system parameters, uninstall and install applications,andattemptrepairs.ThankstoWindowsRemoteAssistance,amajor roadblock can quickly become a minor detour, no matter where the users are physically located.

Thanks to Windows Remote Assistance, a major roadblock can quickly become a minor detour, no matter where the users are physically located.

Step1

A Windows Remote Assistance session begins when the user who needs help initiates contact with a person he or she trusts.(For the purposes of this article, the target computer refers to the one in need of troubleshooting and the helper refers to the remote user who will take controlofthePC.) In order for the target computer's user to get remote assistance, he or she needs to send the helper an invitation. To do this, open the Start menu, type assistance, and then press the ENTER key. This launches the Windows Remote Assistance wizard.

Description: Step1

Both the target and helper computer users will see this when they first launch Windows Remote Assistance.

Description: Step1

The helper needs to input the password to proceed.

Description: Step1

If you experience lag, make sure the Bandwidth Usage slider is set to Low

Step 2

Next, click Invite Someone You Trust to Help You. Your options are to Save This Invitation As A File(so you can send it as an attachment using your preferred Web mail provider), Use E-mail To Send An Invitation(which launches a compatible email application that you currently use, such as Outlook),or Use Easy Connect. We'll explore Easy Connect later.

The first two options let the target computer user connect to the remote user in the same way; once you send the email or save the file, Windows Remote Assistance will display a 12-digitpasswordthatthetargetcomputer user will need to relay to the remote user.

Step 3

If you are acting as the helper, and you have received a Remote Assistance invite, then click Help Someone Who Has Invited You. You can also proceed by simply launching the Remote Assistance invite, which opens the connection password input dialog box. Next, the helper needs to input the code and click OK. The user at the target computer will then need to confirm the connection by clicking Yes when the Would You Like To Allow X To Connect To Your Computer (where X is the name of the remote user's computer.)

Step 4 (Optional)

Now the helper will see an image of the target computer's Desktop. Either the helper or the user at the target computer can initiate a chat session by clicking the Chat button at the top of the Windows Remote Assistance window. You can also click the Settings button and adjust the Bandwidth Usage slider to display 32-bit color, enable font smoothing, turn on the background, and allow full window dragging. But these adjustments are purely aesthetic.

“If you are acting as the helper, and you have received a RemoteAssistance invite, then click Help Someone Who Has Invited You. Youcan also proceed by simply launching the Remote Assistance invite,which opens the connection password input dialog box.”

Steps 5

At this point, the user at the target computer still has control of the PC, so use this opportunity to demonstrate the problem for the helper, by re-creating the error or demonstrating the problem.

To gain remote access of the target computer, the helper needs to click the Request Control button from the top left of the Windows Remote Assistance window. The target computer user then needs to click Yes and check the box to enable the remote user to handle User Account Control prompts. Although both users can input commands, launch applications, move the cursor, and input keyboard commands, it's best that the user at the target computer leave the mouse and keyboard alone to let the remote user perform the troubleshooting tasks.

To interrupt the session at any time, click the Pause button, out the helper's view and halts his ability to control the target system. This is ideal for enabling the target computer user to input passwords or private data. To resume, the target computer's user must click Continue. To quit the session entirely, either user can click the Stop Sharing button at the top of the screen.

“To gain remote access of the target computer, the helper needs to click the Request Control button from the top left of the Windows Remote Assistance window”

Windows Remote Assistance Easy Connect

This aptly named feature lets users of two Windows 7 systems initiate a Windows Remote Assistance session without first exchanging an invitation file. Note that a fast network connection may also be necessary.

 

Step1

Start by launching Windows Remote Assistance and then clicking the Invite

Someone You Trust To Help You button. Click Use Easy Connect, if available.

Step 2

The helper needs to launch Windows Remote Assistance, click the Help Someone Who Has Invited You button, click Use Easy Connect, input the code from the target system, and then click OK. Once the connection has been established, the Windows Remote Assistance session works the same as if it had been set up using the email method.

 

Description: The Easy Connect features lets you skip the email step entirely.

The Easy Connect features lets you skip the email step entirely.

If you don’t meet the minimum requirements for Easy Connect (both PCs need to be running Win7), you will need to use the Invitation File method.

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