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INFO: Setting up a "Remote Desktop Support Session"

Posted: November 13, 2003
Modified: July 18, 2004


This page contains information on how to set up a "Remote Desktop Support Session" with our staff, so that we can help you with troubleshooting. It will allow us to see your desktop, and interact with your computer while you watch.

Before requesting a remote desktop session, please be sure that you can recreate and demonstrate the problem you are having.

This document assumes you will be using a software package called UltraVNC to provide the session. It works on all versions of Windows, and is quick and easy to set up. We will be using the software in a "dial-out" mode, meaning that you will initiate the support session. In addition to avoiding firewall issues, this mode will prevent people from "dialing-in" and interacting with your computer.

Note the software is based on a project started by AT&T, but is now open-source. You can download and install it for free.


  1. Download and run the UltraVNC setup program: UltraVNC-100-RC18-Setup.exe.

  2. We recommend you use the settings pictured below during the relevant installation step, although it is not required that you do.

  3. Once setup is complete, start the program by clicking Start | Programs | UltraVNC | Run Ultr@VNC SERVER.

  4. Right-click the VNC icon, and choose Properties.

  5. In the "WinVNC: Current User Properties" window (partially seen below), type in something in the password field and then uncheck Accept Socket Connections. This step ensures that you must initiate a web session, and other people are prevented from "dialing in" to your computer. Press Ok.


  1. If you cannot already see the VNC icon in the system tray, start the program by clicking Start | Programs | UltraVNC | Run Ultr@VNC SERVER.

  2. Right-click the VNC icon that shows up in your system tray, and select Add New Client.

  3. You will see a window like the one below. Type in the "host name" given to you by your support representative.

  4. Ensure the representative is ready for your "call", and then press OK.