Windows 7 / Networking

Using Remote Assistance in the Corporate Help Desk Environment

The standard approach to using Remote Assistance in an enterprise environment is for Help Desk personnel to offer Remote Assistance to users who telephone to request assistance. A typical scenario might be as follows:

  1. User Joe Dow (the User) is having problems configuring an application on her computer. She phones Help Desk, explains her problem briefly, and asks for help.
  2. A Help Desk person named John Chen (the Helper) asks Joe for the FQDN or IP address of her computer. She responds with the information, which she can get from computer properties or by running ipconfig.
  3. John starts Remote Assistance on his computer and uses the Offer RA feature to offer help to Joe. This causes a dialog box to appear on Joe computer, asking her if she would like to allow John to connect to her computer.
  4. Joe accepts the offer, and at this point Joe desktop may temporarily change to conserve network bandwidth used by the Remote Assistance session. The Remote Assistance window that opens on Joe screen tells her that she is being helped by John.
  5. At this point, John can see Joe screen, but he can't control it. Joe then explains the problem she is having, either by using the Chat feature of Remote Assistance, or more likely over the telephone. John asks Joe to perform a series of steps to correct the problem and watches her screen in his own Remote Assistance window as she does this.
  6. If the instructions John provides are too complex or if time is limited, John can ask Joe if he can share control of her computer. If Joe agrees, John clicks the Request Control button at the top of his Remote Assistance window. A dialog box appears on Joe desktop asking her if she wants to allow John to share control of her desktop. Joe accepts the prompt and also selects the option to allow John to respond to UAC prompts on Joe computer.
  7. John is now connected to Joe computer using Joe credentials, and he can both view her screen and interact with it using his own mouse and keyboard. John then proceeds to perform the steps needed to resolve the problem, either correcting the issue or demonstrating to Joe how to fix the problem if it occurs again in the future. If at any time Joe wants to force John to relinquish control of her computer, she can click the Stop Sharing button or the Disconnect button, or she can press the Panic key (Esc).

Note Offer RA needs preconfiguration of the User's computer via Group Policy. See the section titled "Managing Remote Assistance Using Group Policy" later in this tutorial for more information.

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