Remote Desktop Win XP - Can I share the screen instead?

I don't want to have to log in and override the user that is logged in...sometimes I have my laptop and desktop around the house, and hate having to log in again depending on which one i last used, but want the same screen on both...  or better example is helping gramma with her computer.. I'd like her to see what I'm doing on the screen while I fix whatever she broke!

Is this possible with remote desktop or do you have to buy another program?  Is there a freeware program out there that will do the same?

Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Remote Desktop is only available on XP Pro and when you disconnect, you leave the screen locked. You have a few options.  Two of the more likely ones are:

1.  Use Remote Assistance for helping friends and relatives - but it requires the user SEND you a request for help.  Then you connect via the Remote Desktop Client

2.  Use a third party remote control product.  Free ones include RealVNC/TightVNC/UltraVNC (,,  Commercial products include PC Anywhere.

As Leew posted you have to use a third party software for remote controling a computer without logging off current user or to lock his console.
RealVNC is the best freeware solution you can get but slow enough.
Anothernot free but cheap solution is to use RAdmin (, which costs only $35 per licence (latest version 2.2)

- Stamatis
bswiftlyAuthor Commented:
ah yes.. I should have mentioned I know about realVNC, and don't like it.. its slow and clunky.  

How does remote assistance work?   Does it have to integrate into msn messenger ?  Or even worse..  windows messenger?

And how does it look.. they can see what i'm doing but can't move their mouse  until i release the connection ?

Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
Remote Assistance uses E-mail, I believe MSN Messenger, and one other method of invitation.  Otherwise, I don't generally use it, so I'm not sure the answers to your question about it.  Try it - it's free.
Hi again,

With Remote Assistance, the user that is physically logged on the computer, send via email or MSN/WIndows messenger a Remote Assistance invitation to the user who wnat him to access his computer.
This method have some disadvandages
- It is very slow.
- There must always be a user sitting in front of the computer to allow the connection and then allow remote control of the computer.
- There is a lot of lug to the rsponse from the remote screen.

- Stamatis


Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows Networking

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.