Remote Administration Solution (VNC, RAdmin, etc)

My organization is looking for a remote administration tool.  Our help desk wants to be able to easily and quickly connect to a remote user to troubleshoot and solve problems.

Is it possible to do this while a user is logged on, but has locked their computer?  We are operating in a Windows Server 2003 active directory domain environment.  For example, if we need to install something or change a setting on a user's computer, but that user had locked their computer (out to lunch), is it possible to do this remotely without logging the user off or switching user?
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We use System Center Configuration Manger for this. It has many different ways of connecting to desktops. When a user is logged in, when they are not, you can prompt them or not. However you can't sieze control of a session if it is locked. However, with Window Vista and newer clients, you remote desktop in as a different user without logging off the locked session.

System Center Essentials is cheaper but has many of the same features.
its not free, but you only pay for the license you connect from, not to.   so if you have 2 helpdesk users, you buy 2 licenses and can connect to as many pc's as you want.

it is very useful, i can make changes, install software, etc with the user there or not.  you can install dameware remotely, shadow other users, etc.  It has a 30 day trial and we were sold on it

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Lukasz ChmielewskiCommented:
I use remote assistance withous sending invitations in a 2003 domain.
I just "offer help" and then the user accepts ongoing admin help dialog box.

I think you should consider using a software which cannot be directly connected to the user without notifying him about that. This may cause problems (for you) - any major system failure can be "your fault", because you can do whatever you want even when the user does not know that.
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chomponeAuthor Commented:

Do you use the Mini Remote Control or NT utilities?

Also, how does it work as far as installing software and changing settings remotely?  As mentioned, we'd like to be able to install software while the user is logged on, but has their computer locked.
Mini remote has the basic features and is cheaper than NT utilites which have more tools to install software and so forth.

Another free option is vnc or upgrade to more advanced options with a fee, but no software installs remotely.

If you have Windows XP clients and their pcs are locked, it doesnt matter what remote software you have, you still have to either unlock them, log on as admin and log them off or get their passwords. You can push software with many different systems that cost a lot of money or come with Windows (GPO) but it all depends on the software and how it interacts with the user. If its got a silent option, if its prompting the user for input, so forth. I prefer just logging off the user if they are not around and dont want to give me the password.
NT utilities, mini remote control is built into nt utilities (its basically an rdp piece).

when you install it you can allow it to scan your domain to setup your computer list or you can just tell it the name or ip you want to connect to.  when you connect, you are not connecting to the desktop, but the actual pc.  you can change registry settings, modify rights, etc.  its like you are on that pc without actually on any type of desktop.  To install something remotely you can open up a seperate session on their pc.  play around with it, its not hard to pick up.
We use the intelliadmin product.  It installs when you connect and you can have it uninstall it when you disconnect.  Very simple!

if you dont' have admin credentials for the remote machine it prompts you for them.  this only works over a domain environment not the internet.

Guillermo FeijóoSystems administratorCommented:

   I use dame ware, and i think it´s a good tool, but if the computer is locked, there is no way to do things without killing the current locked session, at least, not if you dont have the user password in order to unlock it. The only way is killing this locked session and starting a new one.
RaneeshIT SupportCommented:
why dont try to use team viewer?
Guillermo FeijóoSystems administratorCommented:

    Doesn´t teamviewer require a human being to be on the remote host?
Lukasz ChmielewskiCommented:
No. But it's free only for personal use. You can even unlock computer with it.
chomponeAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the replies.  I've tested radmin (briefly) and I've been using DameWare for the last 10 days and it works GREAT.  However, I'm going to try TeamViewer before buying Dameware.
RaneeshIT SupportCommented:
thanks for the points
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