Have you used remote assistance ?

I wanted to demonstrate something on my machine to somebody in another location.


Using remote assistance is easy. It allows another person to view and/or control your computer from another location. Try it with yourself (the term hermaphrodite comes to mind) if you have 2 computers on a network.


Start Help And Support, Remote Assistance. Invite yourself by typing in your email address. Change the contact information if desired, set a password and invitation expiration time. An email with an attachment (RcBuddy.MsRcIncident) will be sent to your inbox. (You may get some virus warnings like a program is trying to send email or is accessing your address book.) Open the attachment and you’re on your way! The remote machine won’t be able to do anything on the host machine until “Take Control” is chosen and the host machine confirms with a messagebox.


The escape key is annoying. If you hit it while you have remote control, a messagebox comes up saying that you’ve lost control. (See Solving a customer problem (by Calvinh))


Play around with the “Scale to Window” and “Actual Size” options on the remote machine. If the remote machine’s screen resolution is not big enough to show the entire window, it can be scaled down to fit.


You may have firewall issues if there are firewalls in between.


Comments (7)
  1. sandman says:

    Tryed it. couldn’t get it to work.

    Seriously. THe fact that it requires a MAPI compliant

    mailer and there is now simple way of extracting the connect information so it can be passed to hand to your

    Remote desktop client is key.

    My clients use many diffene t operating systems and mailers, and I only have space for one computer on my desktop. This makes it difficult ot use remote assistance, even though I can use Remote desktop.

    However I;ve just decided to use vnc for everybody instead. It is much simpler to make work.,,

  2. Daren says:

    It’s been a long time since I’ve tried Remote Assistance so I can’t tell you exactly why it wasn’t easy but it wasn’t easy. It seems like it wanted me to have MSN Messenger installed or Outlook Express or something like that. It was very annoying.

  3. MobyDikc says:

    I think it does require MSN Messenger, which is why we’ve never adopted it.

    We have used PcAnywhere for the longest time, but the new versions (v.11 I think) are significantly worse than the older ones. VNC doesn’t do file transfers right.

    What are the other options? We need

    1. Easy to get connected over high-speed internet (dial-up option would be nice, but we could still use PcAnywhere for that)

    2. Easy file transfers

    Any packages I don’t know of?

  4. Carl Warner says:

    It works fine for me. But, it did require I login to MS Messenger and then sent my Invite via MS Outlook. Fortunately, I have those and use them regularly.

    When I used the Invite from another PC, it didn’t require MS Messenger or Outlook, so it wasn’t any problem at all to make it work. You can be in View Only mode or actually Take Control of the other PC, if the operator of the other PC allows you to do so. It works pretty darn well.

    Compared to PCAnywhere usage, it’s a bit clunky. But, the price is a lot cheaper then PCAnywhere.

    I use PCAnywhere 11.0 regularly and have no issues with it whatsoever. I also use Remote Desktop Connection to attach to other PCs on the ‘net, but that doesn’t give me the interactive session access that PCAnywhere or Remote Assistance can give me. Remote Desktop Connection is a Terminal Services session where I login to the PC and have my own Desktop.

    Nonetheless, this is cool technology and all of these tools have their place.

  5. Carl Warner says:

    Ater looking beyond the obvious, I see that you don’t in fact need MS Messenger or Outlook to setup Remote Assistance. I didn’t look any further because Ihave both typically.

    However, if you look more closely at what is offered to you, you don’t need both MS Messenger and Outlook. You could use one or the other. The "Or" pgrase is clearly posted there.

    But, better than all that is the fact that right below the Outlook choice is the ability to save the invitation to a file. You don’t need MS Messenger and/or Outlook to do that. Just select it, fill it out, and Save the darn thing. Then it’s up to you how you get that file to the user you want to Invite to invade your PC space. Try it. It works.

  6. Nic says:

    Is it possible to connect to a other computer if i have XP PRo and my freind has XP home or 2000?     Also hwat if they dont have windows xp whitch has remote assis button can they go to a site to and punch in a I.P. or something. If anybody knows answers to my question my e-mail is stripes7@hotmail.com

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