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I was working today to get unsolicited remote assistance working from my laptop to one of my kids laptops (both Windows 7 pro). Here are the steps I took:

  • On remote computer (the one you want to offer assistance to):
    • Computer -> Properties -> Remote Settings -> check Allow Remote assistance connections to this computer
    • use gpedit.msc to configure: Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, System, Remote Assistance, Offer Remote Assistance
      • edit -> enabled
      • Helpers: Show... -> add the appropriate user names to the list
    • Make sure TCP port 135 inbound is permitted access. I had to create a rule to allow.
  • Create shortcut on computer to offer.
    • Shortcut command should be: "%windir%\system32\msra.exe /offerra"
    • Click shortcut and enter name or IP of computer to control, Next
  • On remote machine: When first connecting, I got a windows firewall warning and prompt to allow the connection, I had to approve that.
  • I have the same user (username & password) on both machines, but they are not part of a corporate domain.

I tried using a Windows 7 Home Premium machine, but haven't been able to get it working yet. Since gpedit.msc isn't available, I had to edit the registry directly:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\Terminal Services\RAUnsolicit]

Other than that, I took all the same steps, but when I connect I immediately get an error dialog that says: "Your offer to help could not be sent."

I'm pretty sure I am hitting the target machine because if I type in the wrong machine name deliberately, it takes longer for the connection to time out before I get that same error message.

Any ideas?

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