Back in the day, help desk meant trips around the office visiting problems. While this was a great way to stay in shape, it was hardly efficient. Fortunately we now have a number of tools and technologies that make this a thing of the past. Now the only the most critical operating system and hardware failures require a personal visit. Just about everything else can be accomplished remotely from the comfort of your own desk.
Windows ships with a number of graphical and console based tools. Working remotely can be interpreted two ways. First, you can remotely connect to a computer and do something to it from your desk. A great example is using the Services management console. You can connect to a remote computer and restart or configure a service, but the change happens on the remote end. The other approach is where you are on the remote machine so that all commands happen there and not at your desk. The granddaddy of remote help desk tools, Remote Assistance, is a prime example.
In this article I'll explain how to use a number of GUI and console based remote tools. Windows 7 offers a few new features, like Easy Connect, that I want to make sure you know about. I also want to offer a few tips that aren't so obvious. In this video, I show you how to use remote management in Windows 7. The more you can take advantage of these remote techniques the faster you'll be able to resolve help desk issues and get your end users back to work, hopefully with minimal impact on them. These tools and techniques aren't a panacea and may require additional network or system configuration. But at the very least you'll know what feature sets to look for in a third part remote help desk solution.
What about you? Do you use any Remote Support technologies? Or do you have to run all over the office?