Administration via Remote Control (NetMeeting)

by Johannes Helmig [Published on 2 Dec. 2000 / Last Updated on 2 Dec. 2000]

The Windows NT-Server CD-ROM includes under \CLIENTS\SRVTOOLS the
"Windows NT Server Tools" for both Windows NT workstation and Windows95
(which work on Windows98), allowing to perform some common administration tasks
from a Windows95/98 system (avoiding to have to walk to the server console).

However when a higher level of management is required (like: administration of an Exchange Server),
a remote Control program like "pcAnyWhere" (to be purchased from Symantec) or

NetMeeting 3.x.x included free with Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.x
( previous versions of NetMeeting do NOT include this functionality).

is very helpful.
However: compared to pcAnyWhere, it has limited File-Transfer capabilities,
and I did have some stability problems with it on my NT4/SP6a server (but it is free.....)

Usually NetMeeting is used in "Conference" mode, where it can be used to give support,
requiring an operator to be present at the remote system to accept an incoming call, but it is
also possible to configure NetMeeting for "Remote Desktop":


When installing Internet Explorer 5.x, make sure that "NetMeeting" is selected as one of the
installation options. You will then find it under: "Programs" / "Accessories" / "Communications":



When you use NetMeeting the
first time, it will go through a
serious of screen for registration
and calibration.
You can change all these settings
later under "Tools" / "Options".
( if you have done this already,
continue to "
Enabling Sharing" )
You are forced to enter your name
(first and last) and an e-mail address.
You can enter your real address or
a fake one (like I did)
Microsoft offers the use of a
"Directory Server" via the Internet.
For simple use on a LAN, that is not
required, so deactivate it.
You need to define the connection
speed.
If you will make "Remote Desktop
Control" only via the LAN, select
LAN, but if you connect via a
modem to the Server and then run
"Remote Desktop Control" via this
dial-up connection, then please
select the modem-speed (usually
28.800)
(and if you modem is not already at least
28.800, then BUY one now ! You need it
to be able to work at an acceptable
speed )
I like a shortcut on my desktop.
Since NetMeeting is originally a
conferencing software, it assumes
that you have a sound-card and a
microphone, which it will now
attempt to calibrate.
If you do NOT have a Sound-card
in your NT4-server (which you
do NOT need for Remote Desktop),
then just skip these calibrations
with "Next"

To enable
"Remote Desktop Sharing",
you must select in the menu:
"Tools" to "Enable Sharing"
It will install additional software
modules (it did not ask me for the
IE 5.x CD-ROM)
, select "YES".
After that, you will be asked to
reboot.

Configuration of NetMeeting as RemoteAccess Host:

Once you "Enabled Sharing",then you can select
the option for "Remote Desktop Sharing" to start
up the Remote Desktop Sharing Wizard.
It is a very simple setup,
mostly just information
for you to read.
An important note:
To connect to a desktop of
an NT-system, you will need
to be Administrator.
I strongly suggest to activate
a password protected
Screen-saver.
Done.







As stated on this screen:
just exit NetMeeting, then
use the icon in the taskbar
to switch on/off the
"NetMeeting Remote Desktop
Sharing
"

Once you have activated "NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing", you can log off from the
NT-system.


Using NetMeeting to access a Remote Desktop


NetMeeting is then connecting to the
remote system:
To connect to a remote system,
start up NetMeeting, and make a
"Call" (in my example via the IP-address).
For access to an NT Remote Desktop,
you need to place the checkmark on
"Require security for this call".





Once connected, you will be prompted for the
Administrator password, required to gain access
to the NT-system (this is independent from a
User Login)




With a proper password, you will then see
the desktop of the remote system.



You can select to display the remote desktop as "Full Screen"
windows, which is very handy when both systems have the same
screen resolution. Use the "Restore" displayed in the
top-right corner of the full-screen display to switch back.


Once you are connected, there may be a need to send from the menu "Control" a
"Control-Alt-Delete", as required for example to get to the Logon-window :


Once you are finished with your work on the
Remote computer, terminate the connection by
"hanging up on your call"

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