Thursday, 29 March 2012

Join hands in line...

Having spent most of the morning in a horrendous spiral of impending doom, I thought it was about time to share a simple yet effective solution to remote desktop sharing.

One of the biggest difficulties any IT department will face is having a competent enough user on the other end of the phone who can navigate around a PC efficiently enough and follow instructions correctly so as to do as instructed. For the most part, most issues can be resolved over the phone, but if the call is destined to go on for longer than 5-10 minutes, the user will only get frustrated and want to hand off the controls to somebody who knows what they are doing.

Having faced this issue this morning we tried to establish a remote session using Microsoft's built in "Remote Assistance".  Sadly because of intervening unchangeable firewalls, the session wouldn't start or connect and so that option was abandoned.

Next option was to try the free session called "LogMeIn" which uses the Hamachi networking system.  The Free pro client looked very impressive, but it required some intricate installation procedures to install the software on the client machine, and we test this locally before subjecting our disheartened subject with the ordeal.. and between us in the IT Dept we felt it was too complicated to talk through over the phone and thus disbanded that option too.

We tried MSN Messenger, in the hope that the remote desktop session could piggy back on the Messenger ports, and were faced with countless "updates" required by Windows Live and a confusing collection of (pointless) add on's to the chat system before it would connect.. so again this was abandoned.

Finally we discovered a simple and, more importantly, FREE system from a web site called "See My PC" and it gave us the following link for downloading a small file for running.

Upon downloading the EXE, it sat quietly until needed, didn't require installing and ran as a stand alone program.  The client simply clicked on "Show My PC Now" and ensured that the "Give full control to users" was ticked, and it gave them a secure password to give to us to allow us to connect remotely.  It ran and connected in under 30 seconds and we were able to resolve the system quickly.

If you have had experience where you needed help remotely, and an IT Guru was able to assist you, what program did they use?  Let us know how that experience went...

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