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URGENT: Need to access a program from my local computer through my laptop which is setup on a network.

Posted on 2006-10-21
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Last Modified: 2010-03-18
Is there a way that I can access my accounting program that is installed on my HP computer in my home office, through my laptop when I am out on job sites?

I have an accounting program that I need to use when I am working on jobs outside of my home office.  I have setup a network and VPN and have configured the firewall and router, however I need to be able to open up the accounting program from my laptop via the network.

Is this possible?  If so how do I do it?  I am running XP Professional on my HP and XP Home on the laptop.  I don't want to use Remote Desktop.  I just want to be able to be able to enter my home network from my laptop and then open the program from my laptop and do my working within the accounting program.

This is an urgent question and would love to give 2000 points to the IT expert who can guide me step by step in accomplishing this task.  Unfortunately I can only give a maximum of 500.
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Question by:Worldsplayground
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19 Comments
 
LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:redseatechnologies
ID: 17779550
Hi Worldsplayground,

I know you said you do not want to use Remote Desktop - is there a reason for that?

The only reason I ask is because I do a very similar thing with RealVNC when out onsite with my laptop to connect to my home PC and run an application

-red
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:inbarasan
ID: 17779593
Dear Worldsplayground,
You may check these tools like www.gotomypc.com or www.logmein.com

If you want to know more about gotomypc then check the below link to know about how it works
https://www.gotomypc.com/howItWorks.tmpl?SessionInfo=144610034:10E1E656E09033B


Cheers!
Inba
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Author Comment

by:Worldsplayground
ID: 17779610
I find with Remote Desktop, it locks the HP at home, so then my wife, can't access her files or documents and then when I finish with Remote Desktop, all my display settings on the HP computer are altered.

I was also told that by using Remote Desktop, it chews up my wireless download usage with my internet provider on the wireless Optus Card.  This is why I don't want to use Remote Desktop.
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:redseatechnologies
ID: 17779646
Fair enough, I was just checking to see if it was a problem with the method or the delivery.

RealVNC does not have those problems, although it will be as if you are directly infront of your machine - so your wife will not be able to use it at the same time.  However, it will not mess with the display settings (and she will still be able to see the screen, which is more than gotomypc will do)

Any of the VNC flavours will work for you - I use RealVNC, but that is a habit.  There is a free version too - http://www.realvnc.com

-red
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:inbarasan
ID: 17779700
You may check gotomypc. It is very secure . But it is not free
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 17779724
Well...  Remote Desktop should not affect the profile, but if this is the case, you can create a separate profile just to use when terminaling into your home system...  This would certainly not affect the current profile you use when at home..

As far as bandwidth is concerned, these are just screen shots of the remote desktop...  it does not matter what type of client / server you use, it is all the same more or less...  some require more, some less..  Citrix probably does the best job of this, but is expensive and not something you could use here...  But I think that the differences are minimal unless you plan to stay on indefinitely..

JMHO...
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Author Comment

by:Worldsplayground
ID: 17779737
Is there no other way apart from using REALVNC or GOTOMYPC.

Couldn't I just set it up as a network - or am I pushing my luck.

With GoTOMYPC - if I am using it does it lock out my wife from accessing the files on the HP?
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:redseatechnologies
ID: 17779759
What other way would you like?

What would be your idea scenario?

You could, theoretically, install the accounting software on your machine - VPN to your home machine - and then run the software from your laptop, accessing the files from your desktop at home via the VPN.

This will obviously take longer to set up, but is entirely possible

-red
0
 
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:inbarasan
ID: 17779768
I am not sure whether it locks to remote end when someone connects to it. Probably yoy may check it as it is free for 30 days.
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Author Comment

by:Worldsplayground
ID: 17779795
Red, that is the way I want to go!

I am not interested and paying the dollars to access my PC.  I would rather set it up so that I can simply access the files from my desktop at HOME.  What are the steps that I have to take.

Thank you to inbarasan - if all else fails with VPN i might take the 30 day trial.
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:redseatechnologies
ID: 17779806
You say you have a VPN configured already.

Does that work?  Can you connect to it?  Once connected, can you ping your home computer?  If you can ping your home computer, can you access \\computername\c$ ?

-red
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Author Comment

by:Worldsplayground
ID: 17779878
I can ping outside, I can't seem to ping my home computer.  This is where my troubles all began.
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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 17780053
Can you ping it from within the network?  Once you enable a VPN it is like you are sitting there internally, and you should be able to access anything that is properly shared...  so, make sure that everything is working internally first..

the basics for setting up P2P networking...

1)  If you are running XP Pro, then turn off Simple File Sharing
2)  Setup all machines with IDENTICAL user credentials, including username AND passwords
3)  Make sure you have File and Printer Sharing enabled in the TCP Properties
4)  Share your folders and make sure you give appropriate SHARE permissions
5)  On the Security Tab (available when Simple File Sharing is off with XP Pro, or on an XP Home system accessed by the Admin Account in Safe Mode), give the appropriate NTFS permissions.
6)  Access the remote computer using the Run Line or a batch file:  Start > Run > \\computername (or IPAddress)\sharename
7)  Oh, and don't forget the Firewall!  Make exceptions, or turn it off!

Instead of running through a long cklist...  read my page on P2P troubleshooting, which will tell you where and how to look for such things as Netbios over TCP (NBT)

http://65.24.134.81/KipSolutions/P2PNetworks/TroubleshootingP2P.htm
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LVL 77

Accepted Solution

by:
Rob Williams earned 1500 total points
ID: 17780128
You can access file over the VPN as a share without "locking up" the remote computer, however accounting applications use data base files. Running your laptop and accessing these files over the VPN is not possible. The performance would be incredibly slow and ultimately it will almost guarantee you wind up with data corruption.
Therefore, as I see it you have 6 solutions:
-copy the files down to the laptop and use it locally, not really practical as you end up with multiple copies of the data
-use  remote desktop or a 3rd party tool like VNC or gotomypc, however all of these tie up the machine, so that the home user cannot use the machine at the same time
-add another PC at home
-replace the home PC with a server that allows multiple simultaneous users
-use the XP "hack" that allows a second user. If you want to do some tinkering, different articles claim to have it working. Below is a link to one such article explaining the process and includes a link to the required Terminal Server file for download. good luck:
http://sig9.com/articles/concurrent-remote-desktop
http://winfaq.msterminalservices.org/faqs2.cfm?id=460&category=2&sortby=date
One article also had the following:
"It worked perfectly after I worked around one issue...I had to modify the .reg file. Instead of "ControlSet001" I had to change the path to "CurrentControlSet". After that, it worked like a charm! Thanks!
from: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Applications/Q_21577223.html?query=concurrent-remote-desktop&clearTAFilter=trueEE"
-there is a third party utility to allow up to 21 users:
http://www.thinsoftinc.com/

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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 17780268
Very good points, Rob....  did not consider the actual usage of the database files over the VPN..  although I should have, as we run similar apps at the office, and we have to use our Citrix Clients for this...  

Also, I did not know that hack existed...  interesting!
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 17780295
Thanks FE, I haven't tried the hack but several others have ,and say it works. I am not a big fan of these tweaks as they often seem to cause problems elsewhere, later. As I understand, it was meant to be a feature of XP, but didn't work properly and was dropped before release. The rumor mill said it would be included with Vista ( 1 of the 25 versions :-)  ) but I haven't checked to see if it is there.
Cheers !
--Rob
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LVL 39

Expert Comment

by:redseatechnologies
ID: 17782180
Do you need to be able to run this application at home and on the laptop at the same time?

You could VPN in, robocopy the file down, disconnect, work on it, vpn back in when you are done and robocopy it back up again.

-red
0
 

Author Comment

by:Worldsplayground
ID: 17785532
No I don't need to run the application at home and on the laptop at the same time.

I did though want my home computer to be accessible when I was using the application on my laptop.
By the sounds of it, the only way to gain what I want to gain is to actually use a third party application.

Thanks guys.  I wish I could give all 500 points.
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LVL 77

Expert Comment

by:Rob Williams
ID: 17796630
Thanks  Worldsplayground,
--Rob
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