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Posts Tagged ‘remote tech help’

Setting up remote assistance

I have a client who requests remote assistance from me through Messenger. After I accept the invitation, nothing happens. No screen opens to his desktop. I think I’ve checked everything to make sure I’m allowing this. No error messages or anything. Can you help?

Kate DubenskyTroubleshooting remote assistance

About Remote Assistance

Remote Assistance is a pretty cool utility that is part of the Windows operating systems and can also be used through Windows Messenger and some email clients. Remote Assistance lets users request help from other people and give them permission create a connection to their computer; to view the screen, to chat, and even to access the computer remotely. When using Remote Assistance the user who asks for advice is called the Novice, and the person or computer that is asked for help is the Expert.

How to Accept an Invitation

To accept an invitation to offer Remote Assistance through Messenger both computers have to be connected to the Internet at the same time so you have to make sure that the user who sent you the invitation is online when you are. After you accept the invitation the other user also has to confirm the invitation. Until they do the remote connection cannot be established. So, first of all, ensure that the person whose computer you are trying to access is sitting at their desk when you begin this process.

Enable Remote Assistance

I'm sure you have already done this, but to make sure that you have Remote Assistance enabled on your computer open the Start Menu and then choose the Control Panel. Open the Performance and Maintenance tab and then choose System. Next, hit the Remote tab and then ensure that the box is checked to Allow Remote Assistance Invitations can be sent. Next, click Advanced and set an amount of time for this permission to be in effect. Then click OK. You will want to ensure that the user who sent you the invitation has set an appropriate amount of time for the remote meeting.

Configure the Firewall

There is a good chance that either your firewall or the other user's is blocking you from accessing Remote Assistance. If you are using a Windows Firewall or any other program, check the settings and make sure that the firewall is not blocked port 3389 because it will prevent users from contacting each other. You might also be blocked by your router, or by the other user's router. To troubleshoot these issues you and the other user will need to configure your settings and contact the manufacturers or manuals if necessary.

Comments [1]

Remote Tech Support: Are forums a good alternative?

Are there Tech Support forums that work well as well?  

I have had mixed results with forums. I like being able to search and browse through past posts to see if others have had the same problem and if so how it was resolved. Over the years, I have solved many computer problems thanks to the help of tech support forums. But I've also been frustrated too. Sometimes the information is too technical for me or irrelevant. Plus, it takes a long time to wade through the posts.

I've also been hesitant to jump in and ask a question. The few times I did, involved signing up as a member and waiting for a response.

That's not to say that there aren't forums that work well. Forums are a terrific way to get computer help. In fact, one of the first things that I do when I have a computer error is Google the exact error message. More often than not, I'll find dozens of resources covering that exact error, including forum posts.

When searching for tech support forums, look for an active community. You can tell how active a community is by looking at the dates of the most recent posts and seeing the number of replies to messages. If you don't see any current posts or if you see tons of posts with zero replies, chances are good that you won't get much help.

Forums are also only as good as the users using them. Look for forums that have a balance of technical types and regular users and have categories covering your needs such as operating systems, programming help, or Internet issues.

A few you might try include,, and When you find a community that meets your needs, bookmark it and get involved. Not only will you have a valuable resource for troubleshooting your own problems, you may also help someone else with your experience.

Comments [0]