As a small team in a large organisation one thing that users would love to be true is for you to be able to be everywhere all the time. Having always been a network technician i can’t fully appreciate the inconvenience of not being able to do your job due to system failure or broken computer… To at least help, one of my main tools to assist users is to respond as quick as possible, and the best way is to offer remote assistance. The Windows Remote Assistance console built into Windows it allows for SCCM administrators to request a remote assistance session with a currently logged in user on a SCCM managed computer.
If your using SCCM and not enabled and setup remote assistance, i can highly recommend to any network admin to do so, now. And although you may need to put it past your manager/director for approval, the fact you can set it up to prompt the end user to allow the remote control gives HR and the boss confidence someone won’t be randomly watching another users computer use.
Setting up SCCM 2012 Client for Remote Assistance
Before you can begin using the Remote Control tool with your managed computers you must first enable and configure it in the SCCM client settings. To configure the Remote Control settings for your clients, do the following:
- Edit or create a new client settings policy for Remote Control client settings.
- In the Client Settings window click the General category and place a check next to Remote Tools.
- Remote Tools will now appear as a category in the left column. Select it to view the configurable settings for Remote Tools.
- Look over the settings for Remote tools and configure them to best meet the needs of your company.
- An important thing to configure is the firewall. Select whether Configuration Manager remote control is enabled for all client computers that receive these client settings.
- Click Configure to enable remote control and optionally configure firewall settings to allow remote control to work on client computers.
Settings that i would recommended for all Domains that plan on using the Remote Control tools:
Prompt user for Remote Control permission: True (This will bring up a dialog box prompting the end user who is trying to connect and a Permit/Deny box)
Show session notification icon on taskbar: True (This will put a green tab at the top of the users screen notifying them who is connected and viewing, this box will disappear once remote assistance is terminated)
Play a sound on client: Begging and end of session (Does what it means, a notification sound will ping at the beggining and end of the remote assistance session)
- Once finished click OK to close the Client Settings window.
Depending on how the workstation firewalls are managed on your network, you may need to explicitly open the following ports for the Remote Control tool to work:
- TCP – 135
- TCP – 2701
- TCP – 2702
- UDP – 2701
- UDP – 2702
Using the Remote Control tool
Now you have the SCCM client installed on your managed computers and have deployed a client setting policy that enables and configures Remote Control you can begin using it.
Launch the SCCM 2012 management console.
- In Assets and Compliance browse to the computer you would like to remotely administer.
- Right-click the computer and click Remote Control.
- The Configuration Manager Remote Control tool will open and establish a connection to the computer.
Now the observant ones may have noticed we clicked Remote Control and not Remote Assistance, and the difference between the two:
- Once connecting you have control over their mouse and keyboard with out prompt.
- No chat window
- Once connecting you only view their screen, you must ask for control.
- You get a chat window upon connecting.
Their are pros and cons to both, and that’s something you may have to discus with your manager/Director as to the policy on remote assistance in your company. In my experience though, 98% of the time i will need to take control of the users computer to apply fix… so to save an extra input by the end user taking full control of the computer just saves time.
If the option Save a log of this session is enabled, the log files of the session are saves and can be found at :-
SCCM Site server : [System Drive]\Users\[UserName]\Documents\Remote Application Logs
Remote Assistance Client : [System Drive]\Users\[UserName]\Documents\Remote Application Logs