ServersLearn Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week: Remote Assistance

Learn Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week: Remote Assistance

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Jason Zandri’s latest article in the Learning Windows XP Professional in 15 Minutes a Week series covers the Remote Assistance feature.

Welcome to
this week’s installment of Learn Windows XP Professional in
15 minutes a week, the 16th in this series. This article
will cover the Windows XP Professional Remote Assistance

Windows XP Professional Remote Assistance Overview

Assistance is a convenient way for level two system
technicians (and in certain cases, knowledgeable friends and
associates) to connect to your Windows XP system and either walk you through
any problems you are having or allow them to take care of the problems for you.

After Enterprise users log a call to a central help desk
either via the phone or the Enterprise’s current trouble
system (or by one of the ways mentioned later in this
article), Remote Assistance allows the appropriate person to
log into your system to view what you see on your computer screen and chat online with you in real
time through the use of Windows Messenger about what you both see
on the local system. (It is possible for them to speak over the telephone with you about what is seen on
the local system as well.) If the task is “too difficult” to walk
the user through, the support person can “take over” the
session and complete the task remotely.

The minimum system
requirements needed to properly utilize Remote Assistance as
outlined by Microsoft are that both connecting systems must be using either Windows
Messenger or another MAPI-compliant e-mail account such as
Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express.
Both systems will need network connectivity, either via the
Internet or a corporate WAN/LAN.

On some corporate WANs,
firewalls might stop you from using Remote Assistance
depending on which ports are being filtered at the firewall.

Remote Assistance runs over
the top of Terminal Services technology and uses the same
TCP port used by Terminal Services: port 3389.

Remote Assistance will not work if outbound traffic from TCP
port 3389 is blocked.

If you are using Network Address Translation (NAT) in a home
environment, you can use Remote Assistance without any
special configurations. However, if you have a personal
firewall or similar lockdowns in your home environment, you
will have the same issues as in a corporate environment —
Remote Assistance will not work if outbound traffic from TCP
port 3389 is blocked.

Also, Microsoft Windows XP
Professional or Windows XP Home Edition are the only two
systems that can use this functionality. The user requesting
assistance and the user providing the assistance must both
be using systems running one of the versions of Windows XP.

Page 2: Remote Assistance Configuration

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