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A certain octogenarian in my family lives in a far-away state and uses an ancient (circa 2001) computer for doing email. It works "just fine" (so she says) and she doesn't want to replace it. Whatever. I swear, next time I'm there, I'm going to sneak in a newer computer and she'll never notice the difference.

Any way, she's now having some computer problems and wants me to help fix it. Aparantly, six years ago, I logged into her computer remotely and did just that.

How the heck did I login to a WIndows 98 box remotely (over dial-up no less), and how on earth could I do it today (all the modern remote support tools I found require WinXP and above)?

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I was about to suggest - but it requires win2k or newer – warren Sep 17 '09 at 3:01
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Symantec's pcAnywhere (compatible with Windows 98 up to version 12) supports dial-up networking. it was very popular 'back in the days' and it is still around.

at you'll get the trial version 12

if 25 MB is too big to download, you may try an older version. here's a download link for version 8 (8MB, 30 days trial). note: this version is not compatible with XP, you'll need 11.5 or better on your side.

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I happen to know from experience this is true. Before I retired my company headquarters used to communicate with my remote computer using "pcAnywhere" via dial-up connection and Windows 98. It was a long time ago :) – Patriot Sep 17 '09 at 4:47

VNC maybe? It's certainly available for Windows 98. If it was indeed VNC, the original executable might be conveniently lying somewhere on the hard drive. Have her do file search for *vnc*.exe and see what appears.

Or: I don't mean to offend, but it could be a construct of her imagination. While working at a helpdesk during college, I fielded a question from a retired professor's spouse of similar age. She was insistent that one of our techs had actually come over to her house and fixed the issue "just a few weeks ago". I queried her call history. The housecall occured in 1995. She called me in 2007.

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probably used Windows NetMeeting

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Anyway, you will need to setup her computer to run remote desktop, but SKYPE and MSN messenger include both this feature, and I guess she's using one.

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