When family and friends have computer issues, who do they call?  Many times its their personal IT support person.  They call him or her up, then try to describe the issue(s) they’re having.  Depending on the circumstances, this can either be a short conversation or a long drawn out one.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Finally, after the attempt to describe the issue.  The IT person tries to make a best guess at what the problem is, then tries to walk the person on the other end of the phone through the steps to resolve the issue.  If only the IT person could see what’s going on, they’d make an observation and make an informed decision on what was really happening with your computer.  What could have taken the IT person 2 minutes to do in person ends up costing them 30 minutes or more trying to explain what to do over the phone.  Not that we don’t love talking to you for that long.  It’s more like we’d rather spend that time socializing with you instead of trying to describe how to fix an issue without seeing what’s happening.

I have a suggestion to avoid the frustration of your tech support person.  Use Remote Assistance to give your IT person remote control of your computer.  They can usually solve your problem quickly and help both of you avoid a lot of grief.

Remote Assistance to the rescue

Remote Assistance is basically a way to allow a remote user to see what’s going on with your computer.  When you first connect, they are in monitor only mode.  Your IT person can ask for control of your computer to make the necessary changes to your computer’s configuration.  Once you permit access they will see your computer in a window.  All mouse actions and keyboard strokes are sent as if your tech support person were right there.

How to setup a Remote Assistance session

One note before we begin.  This usually works better if you have high speed internet like Cable Modem or ISDN.  If you have dial-up you might NOT want to try this.

  1. Press the Computer Start button
  2. Select the Help and Support Menu
  3. Select Invite a frind to connect with Remote Assistance
  4. Click invite someone to help you
  5. Type email address
  6. Invite this person
  7. Enter your name in the from text area
  8. Enter your problem detail in Message text area
  9. Click Continue > button
  10. Set Invitation Expire time.  Default is 1 hour.  Set it to an appropriate time that will allow you to notify your IT person that you need the tech support.  Don’t forget, you will need to permit control of your computer.
  11. Enter password and password confirmation.
  12. Click Send Invitation
  13. When the IT person receives the email, they will open the attachment and type the password to connect with your computer.
  14. They will press the Take Control button on their Remote Assistance screen
  15. Click the Yes button when you see a dialog asking if you want to allow Control of your computer.
  16. When they have finished, you can press the Disconnect button on the Remote Assistance page.

Note: Your invitation will still be good until it expires.  So if you set the expiration for two hours, it will be good for two hours.  Make sure you delete the invitation once you are done.

  1. Press the Computer Start button
  2. Select the Help and Support Menu
  3. Select Invite a frind to connect with Remote Assistance
  4. Select View invitation status
  5. Select Invitation
  6. Press Delete button

I realize there have been many articles written on Remote Assistance.  I had to do a tech support call tonight and decided to include the direction here.  Then I could reference this blog for future tech support calls.

The directions in this article provides one way of many to connect with another computer via Remote Assistance.