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The full story (in case it matters): yesterday Windows Update installed 6 new updates on my PC running Windows XP. On restart, it failed to boot properly. I used System Restore to roll back, but without success. Eventually I traced it to some conflict with an ESET security product - if I disabled the ESET service, the PC booted. In the meantime, our IT department had taken my PC off our company domain, put me back on it, and insisted the computer was a write-off and I should just wait a few days to get a new one. Hmmmm...

Today I uninstalled the ESET security product (forget the details...) and installed the 32-bit version of MS Security Essentials on the advice of our IT dept. I then went home sick, and the IT dept guy assured me I would still be able to use FortiClient to access our VPN normally. If only.

So now I'm at home able to connect to our VPN via FortiClient, and ping my PC... but unable to get a Remote Desktop connection to it. I suspect that something in the MS Security Essentials is blocking it, but who knows. I'm too sick to travel, but have a (not very computer literate) colleague who I could instruct if I know what to look for. The IT guy seems to have disappeared. Help!

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this is where BYOD saves lives. –  Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Mar 15 '13 at 2:54

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I have no idea specifically what occurred, but it is now working. What I do know is that my colleague came across the errant IT guy, and he "did something with the Microsoft Firewall". Murphy's Law. I guess it makes sense that when you install a new security product, it shuts down potential security threats until you explicitly open them up. The only other thing I know is that "he clicked on some check box".

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