Sunday, 6 March 2011

UltraVNC Single Click - Free Remote Access Is Just A Single Click Away!

We've all been there at some point. Helping a Friend, Family Member, or a Co-Worker with their computer problems. Trying to walk someone through even the simplest task over the phone can turn in to a never ending nightmare. Sure, there are remote access tools out on the Internet that will let you connect in. But the process of connecting in to the system is sometimes more complicated then the actual problem itself.

How many times have you been in this situation?

"Click Start... And then Run... Type C......M......D.......... no, not CMB, D!... D as in David!.. Great, now. Type in I...P....C...O..N..F...I...G... No, Not IT, I P, P like PAUL!"

I've been on support calls sometimes where it takes a user 15 minutes just to get you their IP address. Now, what if the user on the other end just had to simply click 1 button to connect to you? Think of how much time you would save and how Uber cool you would look.

UltraVNC has a really cool add-on called Single Click. A fully customizable tool for your organization that will allow anyone to Send you an invitation to connect to their system.

The basics: UltraVNC Single Click is a mini (starting at just 166kb), standalone (Yes that's correct, no install, no admin rights required) fully customizable free remote access tool.

As with any software, the Official Build on the UVNC Single Click website does have some bugs that I have worked out (Mainly with Windows Vista/7 Aero & Program Compatibility). Follow the instructions below to setup your customized remote access tool.

1) Download the updated uVNC SC Package I have created here

2) Extract the files somewhere, and go in to the SC_VNC_Files directory.

3) There are a few important files here you will need to modify and customize.

background.bmp - This image will serve as the background image for the program

helpdesk.txt - This is the main configuration file. In here you customize the title, and most importantly, the IP address or Host Name the end user will be connecting to

logo.bmp - You can replace this bmp with your own customized logo. In addition you can also replace the 2 icon files with any icon file you wish to use.

4) After you are done customizing the helpdesk.txt file and replacing customizing the BMP files, go back to the root folder, and run the "Compile.cmd" program. This will compile the application for you in to an EXE file called SC_VNC.exe. You can now rename the file and deploy it to workstations, or even copy it to a network share and just create links on your users desktops.

Your Compiled EXE should look something like this

5) Download the full UltraVNC installer on your computer, and install the viewer only. This will install an application called "UltraVNC Viewer (Listen Mode). You will need to install this application on the system that the end user will be connecting to.

6) After installed, Run the UltraViewer VNC (Listen Mode) application. And try your compiled UVNC Single Click Application on a remote computer. When the end user tries to connect to you, you should be prompted with an invitation similar to below:

A few FYI's about this tool:
- This tool works in all version of Microsoft Windows. Windows Vista and Windows 7 users will notice that their desktop will switch from Aero to Basic. Once the remote session is over, the system will automatically switch back to Aero.

- This tool is designed to work on a LAN/WAN. However, with the right setup, you could also get it to work over the Internet. I've tested over the Internet and I was able to connect successfully. The simplest way would be to setup a DYNDNS account and point the helpdesk file connection to your dyndns host name.

- uVNC works differently on different networks. You may need to adjust the settings in the uVNC viewer for optimal performance.

Thats all for now folks. Stay tuned for more Geek Tweets!

Written By: Amardeep Juneja