To begin a Remote Assistance session, the novice must ask for help . If both parties are using Windows 7, the simplest way to do this is by means of a feature called Easy Connect. Alternatively, the novice can send the assistance request via instant messaging or by transferring an invitation file (for example, via e-mail).
To invite someone to help you using Easy Connect, follow these steps: 1. Open Windows Remote Assistance, which can be done in any of the following ways:
• On the Start menu, click All Programs, Maintenance, Windows Remote Assistance. More simply, type remote in the Start menu search box and click Windows Remote Assistance (not Remote Desktop Connection).
In Windows Help And Support, click the Ask button and then click the Windows Remote Assistance link.
2. In the Windows Remote Assistance window, click Invite Someone You Trust To Help You.
3. If you have previously used Easy Connect, the next dialog box will show you when and with whom that previous session took place, giving you the opportunity to reconnect with a single click. (See Figure 3-5 .) If instead you want to establish a new connection, click Invite Someone To Help You.
4. If you're setting up a new connection, Windows Remote Assistance presents a 12-character alphanumeric password:
J* Windows Remote Assistance Chat .,-Settings HTroubleshoot ©Help
Tell your helper the Easy Connect password
If your helper can't use Easy Connect, you can save this invitation as a file.
Convey this password to your helper, by phone, e-mail, or instant messaging.
Accepting an Invitation to Help Using Easy Connect
After the novice has invited the expert, using Easy Connect, the expert does the following:
1. Open Windows Remote Assistance. (See step 1 in the preceding list.)
2. Click Help Someone Who Has Invited You.
3. Click Help Someone New (or, to reestablish a prior connection, select that connection from the list)
4. Click Use Easy Connect.
5. Enter the 12-character password. (The password is not case-sensitive.)
Windows Remote Assistance will use the password to match the novice with the helper (or present an error message if the password has been entered incorrectly) Then the novice will be asked to confirm the connection:
Connecting the Novice and the Expert with Windows Live Messenger
Another simple way to use Remote Assistance is through an instant messenger connection.
The novice initiates the session by following these steps:
1. Sign in to Windows Live Messenger, and open a chat window with your prospective helper if one is not already open
2. In the chat window, click Activities, and then click Request Remote Assistance . Your request appears as part of the conversation.
3. After the expert has accepted your request (by pressing Alt+C or clicking Accept in the chat window), a password appears on your screen . Convey that password to your helper. If you have any doubt at all that the person at the other end of the instant n
messaging connection is who he or she appears to be, call the expert and provide the password by phone or send it by e-mail.
4. After the expert has correctly entered the password, a confirmation prompt appears on your screen . Check the e-mail address in the prompt to be certain that you're chatting with who you think you are—after all, this person will be able to see and (with your additional consent) operate your computer—and then click Yes.
After the Remote Assistance connection has been established, you no longer need the instant messenger session; you can close that window if you want to . You can resume your online discussion in the Remote Assistance chat pane .
If the expert and novice don't use the same instant messaging system, the novice can create an invitation file. The invitation file can be transferred to the expert via e-mail, a shared folder on the network or internet, or even on physical media, such as a USB flash drive. Follow these steps:
1. Open Windows Remote Assistance .
2. In the Windows Remote Assistance window, click Invite Someone You Trust To Help You
3. Click Invite Someone To Help You.
4. Click Save This Invitation As A File, and then specify a file location .
5. Windows Remote Assistance presents a 12-character password. Convey the invitation file to your helper by whatever means you favor, and then give that person the password—preferably in person or by phone . (If you include the password along with the invitation file, anyone who intercepts the message can pose as the expert and connect to your computer.)
6. After the expert has launched the invitation file and entered the password, a confirmation prompt appears on your screen. Confirm .
Don't make your invitation lifespan longer than necessary. Although there are several protections in place to prevent its misuse, a Remote Assistance file is an invitation to connect to your computer. It's best to keep the window of opportunity as small as possible. Note that when you close the Windows Remote Assistance window on the novice's computer, you effectively cancel the invitation, regardless of the time.
By default, a Remote Assistance invitation expires six hours after it's created. For the best security, reduce the expiration time if the expert can respond quickly to your request. Conversely, you might need to create a longer lasting invitation if you don't expect your chosen expert to be available during that time. To modify the duration of invitation files you create, follow these steps:
1. Open Control Panel, Click System And Security, and then click System .
2. In the Tasks list, click Remote Settings (requires administrator privileges) .
3. On the Remote tab, click Advanced to display the dialog box shown in Figure 3-6 . Specify the amount of time that you want invitation files to remain valid.
Remote Assistance Settings
You can set limits for the use of Remote Assistance on this computer.
Allow this computer to be controlled remotely
Set the maximum amount of time invitations can remain open
6 ▼ [Hours ▼]
1—| Create invitations that can only be used from computers running Windows '—1 Vista or later
Figure 3-6 You can specify the time in minutes, hours, or days, up to a maximum of 99 .
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