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I'm trying to help my mom remotely with some PC problems.

She's not too computer savvy, so to keep the firewall stuff on my side of things, I tried to use a reverse VNC connection:

  • On my machine, I set up TightVNC client in listening mode. I also opened TCP port 5500 on my router and firewall, and checked it using
  • On her machine, I (instructed her to) set up TightVNC server, and connect to my machine's IP ('Add New Client...').

Both machines run Windows XP & TightVNC 1.3.10.

The problem: When she tries to connect, a TightVNC window with grey background pops up on my machine, but I never get to see the remote desktop. It just remains grey.
However, it seems that I control the mouse on the remote side (she says it's moving).

I tried to reverse-connect from another machine on my LAN and it works without a problem.

Any idea what the problem could be?

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I know it's not a direct answer, but I like TeamViewer as a known mom-compatible remote support solution. No firewall troubles here. – Joachim Sauer Jan 10 '11 at 10:42
@JoachimSauer: (saw your comment just now) That's what I ended up using, works great. Thanks. – george Jan 10 '12 at 21:12

Try an alternative VNC viewer. Also, reverse ssh tunneling would enable you to do a normal forward vnc connection, and the problem may dissapear.

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