Help with Remote Assistance


Blue Max

We seriously need help making a Remote Assistance connection. We have some
senior family members who really need our constant assistance, but we cannot
connect. Here is a little background:

FIRST, the connection is being made over the internet, with an invitation
and password, not within a local network.

SECOND, we can successfully make a Remote Desktop connection to each of the
computers involved. If we can successfully configure Remote Desktop, then
why not Remote Assistance, which uses some of the same communications

THIRD, we can succesfully communicate with Windows Live Messenger. However,
if we choose the remote assistance option with the same contact, we cannot
connect. Ironically, the connection appears solid in that one contact
successfully sends a request and the other accepts the request, but the
connection always times out or fails. The dialog suggests that the other
user may have closed the Remote Assistance session, but they have not.

FOURTH, could this be a subtle firewall issue since we can connect in so
many other similar ways, but not with Remote Assistance? Does MSRA.exe have
to be allowed through the third-party firewalls? It seems we have even
tried this before without much success. I imagine, if we have allowed
remote assistance in the 'Remote Settings' dialog, that the Windows firewall
is properly configured to run MSRA.exe, correct?

We would really appreciate some advanced help in resolving this problem!
Remote Assistance is promoted as the friendly lifeline for even the most
novice users. Yet, as an advanced user, we have only made one or two
successful connections over the last 4 years - not a real confidence
builder. If you have any advanced knowledge on configuring Remote
Assistance, we would welcome your help!

Bobby Johnson

Are all the computers running Windows 7 64-bit, Vista 64-bit, Windows XP
x64, or what?

Jack [MVP-Networking]

It is impossible to give you credible answer without you posting the OS
involved, how these computers connect to the Internet, and whether it single
computer or Networked computer.
If a Cable/DSL Router is involved ports need to be dealt with in the Router.
If some of the computers are set as part of a LAN, depending on how the
system is used there might be a need to changed ports on some computers .
In general.
Jack (MS, MVP-Networking).


I no longer mess with Remote Assistant. I now use TeamViewer. It's free
and much better. I don't install it nor have the other person install it.
During Setup we just click on run and not install. Have the other person
give the IP address it shows on their end and the password for you put in
your end and BINGO.

Take a look at

Jack [MVP-Networking]

TeamViewer is actually a subset of UltraVNC.
The difference is that UltraVNC being stand-alone needs to be set with port
opening on the Host side.
TeamViewer bypasses the issue by using their own Server as an intermediary.
I.e., like Logmein and others someone else mitigates your traffic.
Remote Desktop/Assistance, and regular UltraVNC are direct connections with
No 3rd party intervention.
My approach is. If someone can set the system on the other side, I would go
with the Direct approach (Remote Desktop/Assistance, or regular UltraVNC).
Otherwise, I default to TeamViwer or logmein. Whichever seems to be more
suitable to the issue at hand.
Control wise, straight UltraVNC provides the highest level of control.
Jack (MS, MVP-Networking).

Blue Max

Sorry, I forgot to include this essential information. Over the years we
have tried all these versions of Windows. However, more recently we are
trying to make the connection between computers running Windows 7
Professional (64-bit), Windows Vista Ultimate (64-bit), and Windows Vista




Blue Max

Thank you so much for responding, Jack. I beg your pardon, as I did forget
to include the essential operating system information you requested. Over
the years, we have tried almost every version of Windows on a variety of
computers. More recently, however, we are trying to make the connection
between computers running Windows 7 Professional (64-bit), Windows Vista
Ultimate (64-bit), and Windows Vista Home. Here are some quick

FIRST, we run Windows Remote Desktop with no problem. That includes all the
static IP assignments, port forwarding, and firewall rules.

SECOND, I have always understood that Remote Desktop and Remote Assistant
were close cousins. As such, when Remote Desktop worked so well for us, we
anticipated that Remote Assistant should work equally as well or, at least,
be very close to working - no such luck.

THIRD, our basic setup is as follows: A computer running Windows 7
Professional (64-bit), connected to a Linksys wireless router (WRT300N),
connected to the internet through a Comcast cable modem, channeled through a
dynamic update client (No-IP), connected on the other side to a dedicated
Qwest DSL line, connected to a Qwest DSL modem, connected to a simple
network hub or switch, connected to a computer running Windows Vista
Ultimate (64-bit). We also connect from the Windows 7 computer to another
computer which is linked to the internet through Comcast, with a similar
setup as the Windows 7 computer (versus Qwest).

I really appreciate your help, Jack. I can't imagine why this issue has
been so hard to resolve. We are by no means professionals, but have had a
lot of technical experience over the years, yet this one continues to elude
us. I can't understand how so many beginners are supposedly using this
simple tool when we can't even get it to act like it might run. If Remote
Desktop and Remote Assistance are such close cousins, then what small issue
have we overlooked in order to get Remote Assistance running as well for us
as Remote Desktop does? We've got to be close, don't we?




Jack [MVP-Networking]

Check if Vista Home Supports RTD/RA, it might not.
You indicated system with Hub (I.e. No Router). If there is More than one
computer at any side you need a Router.
I do not know how RDT, or RA work without a Router over the Internet since
as a principle I do not let the Networks that I involved with to be
connected directly to a Broadband connection. I always insist on a Router
even if the user have only one computer.
My suspicion is that you problem stem from IP Routing and ports issues.
Jack (MS, MVP-Networking).

Samuel A Mungujakisa

Hi Max,
Remote Desktop uses port 3389 to connect, while you have to permit Remote
Assistance, and even the one in Windows Live messenger, to get through the
Internet. In your Firewall, look under "Exceptions" and you'll see three
distinct srevices to enable, as follows:
-Remote Assistance - Windows Messenger and Voice
-Remote Desktop.
I hope this helps


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