Remote Assistance – VNC

The setup of a PC for Remote Assistance becomes alsmost as important as a good backup policy. Although granting access to your system may create security threats, temporary connections can be made without too many compromises.

VNC is a good Freeware software that helps you around on different OS platforms. In most cases only Component One will suffice to get the job done:

Component One: Install TightVNC or http://www.uvnc.com/index.html

Check here if your VNC Server is running and can be accessed from the Internet.

If you have any questions, check VNC FAQ-o-Matic

Check also my post on port forwarding with VNC.

Component Two: Install No-IP (optional)

For easy retrieval over the Internet, assign a DNS name to your PC. No-IP offers a free dynamic DNS support.

Component Three: Install Putty (optional)

If you are concerned about the security, you may get TightVNC and Putty to work

Remote Assistance – VNC

The setup of a PC for Remote Assistance becomes alsmost as important as a good backup policy. Although granting access to your system may create security threats, temporary connections can be made without too many compromises.

VNC is a good Freeware software that helps you around on different OS platforms. In most cases only Component One will suffice to get the job done:

Component One: Install TightVNC or http://www.uvnc.com/index.html

Check here if your VNC Server is running and can be accessed from the Internet.

If you have any questions, check VNC FAQ-o-Matic

Check also my post on port forwarding with VNC.

Component Two: Install No-IP (optional)

For easy retrieval over the Internet, assign a DNS name to your PC. No-IP offers a free dynamic DNS support.

Component Three: Install Putty (optional)

If you are concerned about the security, you may get TightVNC and Putty to work

Remote Assistance – the easy way with Microsoft (XP and Vista)

To offer remote support you may use the Remote Assistance built in with XP and Vista. In this example an XP PC requested the assistance from a Vista PC.

First, make sure remote assistance is enabled: check the configuration settings and system properties.

Start the ‘Remote Assistance’ programme (Hulp op Afstand). Select ‘Invite someone to help’ (Iemand uitnodigen om te helpen).

 MS_RA01

This action will send a file (by email) to the person and the pc that will access your pc remotely.

You will need to give the email address of the person that will logon to your pc and define a temporary password (only for one session).

Once the person has received the file with the credentials, he/she can open the file and will be prompted for the password.

Note that the credential file will only be valid for a short while.

If the remote person wants to get control of the pc (Demander le contrôle), then this needs to be granted.

MS_RA02

Read more about using Remote Assistance on the Microsoft website

Remote Assistance – the easy way with Microsoft (XP and Vista)

To offer remote support you may use the Remote Assistance built in with XP and Vista. In this example an XP PC requested the assistance from a Vista PC.

First, make sure remote assistance is enabled: check the configuration settings and system properties.

Start the ‘Remote Assistance’ programme (Hulp op Afstand). Select ‘Invite someone to help’ (Iemand uitnodigen om te helpen).

 MS_RA01

This action will send a file (by email) to the person and the pc that will access your pc remotely.

You will need to give the email address of the person that will logon to your pc and define a temporary password (only for one session).

Once the person has received the file with the credentials, he/she can open the file and will be prompted for the password.

Note that the credential file will only be valid for a short while.

If the remote person wants to get control of the pc (Demander le contrôle), then this needs to be granted.

MS_RA02

Read more about using Remote Assistance on the Microsoft website

Remote Assistance – TeamViewer

Remote Assistance the easiest way with TeamViewer (XP, Vista and MacOS)

To offer remote support over the Internet for users at home behind firewalls and/or NAT routers, you may use the Remote Assistance software.

Follow the steps below to download the client software and start the remote assistance client software on your computer:

1. Download the TeamViewer QuickSupport client

This ‘thin client’ software is available for Windows and MacOS in different languages on the TeamViewer download pages.

Select For the instant customer: TeamViewer QuickSupport (see picture below)

you may click these links for direct download of this client in English or Nederlands or Español

TV01


2. Run the application (Exécuter – Uitvoeren)

once the download has been finished, execute the file and grant the operating system and firewall the rights to execute

the firewall and Vista defender module will show a security warning and ask your confirmation to run this application

TV02

when you execute the client software in Windows Vista, you will need to validate to authorise the execution of the application

TV03

the first time that the application runs, the firewall will request the authorisation to open the necessary ports

TV04


3. communicate the >ID< and >Password< to your helping partner

the client software will retrieve an ID and associated Password, which is required by your Helpdesk or helping partner

TV05

communicate the ID and Password to the ‘calling’ partner and wait for the connection to be established


4. (Install and) Run the TeamViewer client on the ‘support’ site

To establish a connection you will need the full version which connects to TeamViewer QuickSupport (for instant support).

The ‘calling’ partner needs to run the TeamViewer (full version) client and enter the ID and Password to connect.

This software is available for Windows and MacOS in different languages on the TeamViewer download pages.

Select For the supporter: TeamViewer (full version) (see picture below)

you may click these links for direct download of this client in English

TV06

Remote Assistance – TeamViewer

Remote Assistance the easiest way with TeamViewer (XP, Vista and MacOS)

To offer remote support over the Internet for users at home behind firewalls and/or NAT routers, you may use the Remote Assistance software.

Follow the steps below to download the client software and start the remote assistance client software on your computer:

1. Download the TeamViewer QuickSupport client

This ‘thin client’ software is available for Windows and MacOS in different languages on the TeamViewer download pages.

Select For the instant customer: TeamViewer QuickSupport (see picture below)

you may click these links for direct download of this client in English or Nederlands or Español

TV01


2. Run the application (Exécuter – Uitvoeren)

once the download has been finished, execute the file and grant the operating system and firewall the rights to execute

the firewall and Vista defender module will show a security warning and ask your confirmation to run this application

TV02

when you execute the client software in Windows Vista, you will need to validate to authorise the execution of the application

TV03

the first time that the application runs, the firewall will request the authorisation to open the necessary ports

TV04


3. communicate the >ID< and >Password< to your helping partner

the client software will retrieve an ID and associated Password, which is required by your Helpdesk or helping partner

TV05

communicate the ID and Password to the ‘calling’ partner and wait for the connection to be established


4. (Install and) Run the TeamViewer client on the ‘support’ site

To establish a connection you will need the full version which connects to TeamViewer QuickSupport (for instant support).

The ‘calling’ partner needs to run the TeamViewer (full version) client and enter the ID and Password to connect.

This software is available for Windows and MacOS in different languages on the TeamViewer download pages.

Select For the supporter: TeamViewer (full version) (see picture below)

you may click these links for direct download of this client in English

TV06

Tuning the Windows environment – Windows Genuine Advantage

Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA and/or OGA notification)

Even though you may have a legitimate copy of Windows installed or you did buy a license, it could occur that the Automatic Windows Update installs the WGA notification tool.

To remove this tool, check the following pages:

To remove Office Genuine Advantage notifications in XP and Vista, you may proceed as follows:

1) open the System32 directory of your %SystemRoot% folder

2) make system and hiden files visible in the folder options

2) locate all files that start with OGA (find files with the extension. Dll and. Exe) and rename the files (e.g. with extension .old)

3) locate the files ‘WgaTray.exe’ and ‘OGAAddin.dll’ and rename them (e.g. with extension .old)

4) reboot your PC

Tuning the Windows environment – Windows Folder Sharing

Windows Folders Sharing (Windows XP)

To get full control of your Folder sharing options, you may need to modify the Folder Options settings.

In the Windows explorer menu, select ‘Tools’. In the ‘Tools’ pull-down menu, choose the ‘Folder Options’. The Folder Options window has a ‘View’ Tab which lists the Advanced Settings. In the Advanced Settings, untag the ‘Use simple file sharing’ (see Dutch example below):

WinFolderSharing

You may apply these settings only to one folder or all folders. Once this setting is applied, you will be able to control the access by user and by access type (read/write/etc.).

Read also the NetBIOS security settings.

Tuning the Windows environment – Windows Folder Sharing

Windows Folders Sharing (Windows XP)

To get full control of your Folder sharing options, you may need to modify the Folder Options settings.

In the Windows explorer menu, select ‘Tools’. In the ‘Tools’ pull-down menu, choose the ‘Folder Options’. The Folder Options window has a ‘View’ Tab which lists the Advanced Settings. In the Advanced Settings, untag the ‘Use simple file sharing’ (see Dutch example below):

WinFolderSharing

You may apply these settings only to one folder or all folders. Once this setting is applied, you will be able to control the access by user and by access type (read/write/etc.).

Read also the NetBIOS security settings.

Tuning the Windows environment – File and Print Services

Windows File and Print Services

File and Print services over TCP/IP have been disabled on all my PC’s for security reasons. All PC’s communicate over IPX/SPX for File and Print sharing. To share file & print services, only bind the IPX protocol to the card with LAN users. Enable Netbios over IPX/SPX – if not, your shared resources will not show in the network browser network domain (read more about NetBIOS security).

No NT-domain is used. To avoid conflicts with laptops configured for office use (and a company’s NT Domain), do not configure an NT domain on the File and Print server. Only define the Workgroup name. This setting can be found in the control panel in ‘System’, ‘Network Identification’ settings. Use the same workgroup name on all networked pc’s, this will speed up the network lookup of PC’s.

Windows Vista and XP Network Sharing

Microsoft has removed IPX/SPX support from Windows Vista. You will need to add these protocols manually (IPX/SPX Protocol in Vista (32bit)).

You will also need to download and install the LLTD Responder (Link-Layer Topology Discovery Responder) component on computers running Windows XP to appear on the Network Map diagram on Windows Vista computers.

Tuning the Windows environment – File and Print Services

Windows File and Print Services

File and Print services over TCP/IP have been disabled on all my PC’s for security reasons. All PC’s communicate over IPX/SPX for File and Print sharing. To share file & print services, only bind the IPX protocol to the card with LAN users. Enable Netbios over IPX/SPX – if not, your shared resources will not show in the network browser network domain (read more about NetBIOS security).

No NT-domain is used. To avoid conflicts with laptops configured for office use (and a company’s NT Domain), do not configure an NT domain on the File and Print server. Only define the Workgroup name. This setting can be found in the control panel in ‘System’, ‘Network Identification’ settings. Use the same workgroup name on all networked pc’s, this will speed up the network lookup of PC’s.

Windows Vista and XP Network Sharing

Microsoft has removed IPX/SPX support from Windows Vista. You will need to add these protocols manually (IPX/SPX Protocol in Vista (32bit)).

You will also need to download and install the LLTD Responder (Link-Layer Topology Discovery Responder) component on computers running Windows XP to appear on the Network Map diagram on Windows Vista computers.

Tuning the Windows environment – dedicated data partition

Dedicated drive partition for your data

In general, I create a drive partition to hold all system files (e.g. the C: drive) and a dedicated partition to hold all data files (e.g. the D: drive).

This allows an easier housekeeping of your data and reduces the risk of data loss when windows needs to be re-installed (and the c: drive reformatted).

Additionally, changes can be made for security and to optimize the disk space use:

Move ‘My Documents’ to a dedicated Data partition (e.g. the D: drive)

to make this change, right click on the folder, select properties

in the Target tab, select Move

Move the ‘Temp’ folders to the D: drive

to make use of these folders, you must change the Environment Variables of the System Properties

create the directories first, then go to the control panel and open System

select Advanced of the System Properties and edit the environment variables:

in User variables:

Temp -> replace %USERPROFILE% by D:

TMP -> replace %USERPROFILE% by D:

in System variables:

Temp -> replace %SystemRoot% by D:

TMP -> replace %SystemRoot% by D: