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Remote Assistance\windows\system32\rcimlby.exe -LaunchRA

Allow others to connect to your computer using Remote Desktop Connection.

To Open

Start Programs Remote Assistance

Command Prompt rcimlby -LaunchRA


Remote Assistance is a page in the Help and Support Center (discussed earlier in this chapter) that works with several other Windows components to allow another user to connect to your computer. The idea is that you would invite a technical support representative, a friend, or co-worker, to help you with a computer problem by allowing them to connect to your computer as though they were sitting in front of it (see Figure 4-75).

Figure 4-75. Use Remote Assistance to invite another person to connect to your computer with Remote Desktop Sharing

The first step involves inviting another user to connect. While it may seem like an unnecessary formality, it takes care of the very important step of transmitting your IP address to the other user. You can either use Windows Messenger (discussed later in this chapter) to send an instant message or Outlook Express (discussed earlier in this chapter) to send an email. Once the invitation has been received, that user will have enough information to connect to your computer via Remote Desktop Connection (discussed later in this chapter).


  • Both users must be running Windows XP to use Remote Assistance.

  • Remote Assistance is a very interesting use of integration, where several seemingly disparate components can work together to accomplish a single task.

  • Either Outlook Express or Windows Messenger are required to send an invitation, which means that at least one of these programs must be set up with your account information prior to using Remote Assistance. Note that you can skip this step if you wish to 1) transmit your IP address to the other user, and 2) set up your computer to accept connections via Remote Desktop Connection.

  • Remote Assistance opens several back doors to your computer, potentially allowing unwanted access to your computer and data. Be sure to take advantage of the features in Remote Assistance to help protect your computer, such as requiring a password and allowing only remote connection within the next hour.

  • When you send an invitation via email, the recipient receives a link to http://windows.microsoft.com/RemoteAssistance/RA.asp, as well as a file attachment (rcBuddy.MsRcIncident) with your connection information. The information stored in the file attachment is not easily readable; the recipient simply opens the attachment to initiate a connection.

  • If you get the error "Your current system settings prevent you from sending an invitation," it means that the Remote Assistance feature has been disabled for security reasons. You can re-enable it by going to Control Panel [Performance and Maintenance] System Remote tab and turning on both options on this page.

See Also

Remote Desktop Connection

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