Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Vista - Offer Remote Assistance Shortcut

Since XP, windows has been able to offer and request remote assistance.

Remote assistance allows you to share a desktop, similar to gotomypc, or VNC, to help solve issues, or just see the same thing.

If you are supporting a workstation that on the same network as you, it is an easy free option for remote desktop assistance.

I've setup our domain policy so that all machines are pre-set with remote assistance enabled from any IP in our subnet. This is still secure, because the user must accept any remote assistance connection requests. Without this domain setting, you would have to right click on "my computer" select properties, and then enable remote assistance from the "remote" tab.

The thing about offering or requesting remote assistance that is a pain is that to do so you need to go under the start menu, help, then find offer or request remote assistance. Which sucks if you need to help folks (offer assistance) all the time.

The good news is that under vista, you can create a shortcut direct to the offer assistance tool.

just create a shortcut and put the target as:

%windir%\explorer.exe “hcp://CN=Microsoft%20Corporation,L=Redmond,S=Washington,C=US/Remote%20Assistance/Escalation/Unsolicited/Unsolicitedrcui.htm

Then then next time you need to remote a machine, you can then just launch that shortcut, drop in your target's machine name in the client, and away you go.


Anonymous said...

Another easy way to start up Remote Assistance in Vista is to just hit Start and type "msra" (without the quotes).

James D. Bausch said...

msra, good to know. Sort of like mstsc for remote desktop.

Too bad remote assistance fails to connect so frequently. I end up using gotomeeting, even in the office most of the time due to its superior reliability.

Anonymous said...

There are several FREE utilities and Windows Sidebar gadgets at: that will automatically start offer remote assistance for you on Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7. Some of them also query Active Directory for machine names to facilitate an easy one-click connection to the machine with offer remote assistance and remote desktop connection. Others allow you to pass the machine name as a parameter to start offer remote assistance. Very handy!