Remote Assistance only working 1 out of 10 times?


When offering Remote Assistance to users on Windows 2003 R2 TS - it only works 1 out of 10 times. Why?

The user is not prompted for acceptance - but if I try several times - suddenly the user gets prompted. (from remote W7/W2K8 client)

In evenlog an ticket is issued every time i try to connect.

If I offer RA from the local server - it works every time.

No firewall og AV is installed

Any ideas?

Who is Participating?

[Product update] Infrastructure Analysis Tool is now available with Business Accounts.Learn More

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.

Darius GhassemCommented:
You should be getting the messages if you are at least getting them. Are you seeing the problem when messages not popping up? Or just users saying this?

Any errors in the Event Logs?
mikeydkAuthor Commented:

No messages is popping up. I can reproduce it my self.

No error in the eventlog - only an infomation about an ticket has been issued.

Darius GhassemCommented:
Well should product message. Are you update to date on Windows SP and patches?
Acronis True Image 2019 just released!

Create a reliable backup. Make sure you always have dependable copies of your data so you can restore your entire system or individual files.

mikeydkAuthor Commented:
Fully updated

The servers are in a NLB cluster.

If I use Microsoft Network Monitor...



If I run "msra /offerra TS01.DOMAIN.LOCAL"
I see these lines (in MNM)


But if MSRA use TS.DOMAIN.LOCAL during negotiation - its not sure it connects to the right server (TS01)?

Darius GhassemCommented:
The NLB will determine where to deploy the connection. You should be specifying the server.
mikeydkAuthor Commented:
Well... I DO specify the the server... "If I run "msra /offerra TS01.DOMAIN.LOCAL"
Darius GhassemCommented:
Ok sorry I thought you were saying that it works when you do this.

You have set Remote Assistance up, right?

So, both servers are Windows 2003 Server? You are remote assistance from 2008 or Windows 7 systems, right?
mikeydkAuthor Commented:
Yep to both questions :)
Darius GhassemCommented:
I remember something about that in a prior case I will have to try to find it.

Are you fully updated?

Does the user to whom you are attempting to offer assistance have multiple sessions?

Check the terminal service manager and see whether there are are multiple sessions by the same user.  This might explain why they are not seeing the prompt as it may have been sent to another session.
Why not have the user request assistance and send you the string through which you will be able to connect to the user's session?
mikeydkAuthor Commented:

Nope, the user does not have multiple sessions...

I have just found the following:

In the ticket all the IP-adresses is added... that why it does not work...

Server IP:
Server navn: TS01.DOMAIN.LOCAL

And when the client tries to connect to the first IP (NLB IP: the get a random server - that why it does not work...

Is it possible to "block"/"hide" this NLB IP? (I could modify the ticket file - but I use DCOM / (MSRA / Offerra))
Darius GhassemCommented:
No not that I know of
My question stands why not have the user ask for remote assistance?
I think that is a solution i.e. presumably a user contacts you indicating they have an issue at which point you try to offer assistance, you could guide the user through the request assistance process.

Instead of trying to offer assistance through the Terminal Server on which the user landed, try offering it to the NLB IP and see whether the arbitrator will have more success.

Are you on the terminal Server as another session or are you accessing from a remote system?  On Terminal, try use localhost but you would have to be on the same TS as the user that you wish to help..
mikeydkAuthor Commented:
Well we have a lot of TS servers and +2000 users.. and it would be a pain in the **** to logon to the local server - every time we have to support a user.
Any option for the user to initiate the request for assistance and whether that simplifies/assures the assistance can be achieved on the first attempt?

make sure the server is configured to allow users to request assistance. (properties of my computer\remote) or add a registry key to make the option active

help and support favorite:
mikeydkAuthor Commented:
Also in the ticket initiated by the user - also includes the NLB IP
That is fine, are you able to use the ticket to get to the user or is that also runs into the 1 of x attempts succeed?

What happens if you offer assistance to the NLB IP? Do you have all users who are currently connected?
mikeydkAuthor Commented:
If I offer ra to the NLB IP - I just get the users of a random server.
What happens if you try to use the ticket a user sent you?

One thing you might consider is setting up a login script for the user such that it will record the server onto which the user logged in. Yes, it would require you to then jump on that server to offer assistance.

The discussion ponders whether you use session directory?
And there is no way with the offerRA to specify the user to whom assistance is being offerred to deal with the NLB TS?Session directory which would have presumably routed the assistance offer to the correct server/user.
mikeydkAuthor Commented:
The same.. also tries the NLB IP first.

Yes, i'm using session directory

RA returns the following ClusterIP, HostIP, DNSName (and tries in this order) to the computer offering RA.

Called MS Support today - and the only workaround is to add an extra netcard.


Cluser IP:
Host IP:
Extra IP:

Now RA returns the following ExtraIP, ClusterIP, HostIP, DNSName (and tries in this order) - and now it connects to the correct server.

This workaround is fine - al long we are using Windows 2003 :)

In future releases they may include offer assistance to handle terminal server users.
either by letting you specify the NLB and the user you want to help and let the TS/Session directory do as it does by default locate the user and route the session there.
or something that I have not though of implementing i.e. offerRA will poll data from all NLB servers and provide a list of all users on NLB rather than a random user. The offerRA will be seen and handled differently from a regular RDP connection to NLB.

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
mikeydkAuthor Commented:
Se my answer
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
Microsoft Server OS

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.