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How can I remotely troubleshoot other PCs from my Win2k Pro machine?

I administer multiple computers with multiple OSes (generally, Windows 2000 but not always). I waste a lot of my time either moving to the site or, once there, realizing that I was misinformed about the problem and must return later with the appropriate tools, software, etc. I would like to be able to open a connection to user desktops and be able to coach them in the process. I know it can be done; I've been on the receiving end. But how can I, running Win2k Pro, do the same? Is it organic to the OS, or do I need a third-party program?

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With Windows 2000, you'll need a third-party program (Windows XP has Remote Assistance built in to it). There are a handful of remote control applications on the market. Many help desk tools also have similar features available. NetOp Remote Assistance is an example.

This was first published in June 2003

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