The desktop problem

On June 24, 2006, in Security, by

One thing that came up in today’s Tech Days is the “desktop issue”…

1.  Person complains that every time they use RWW their icons get shoved over because the screen they are using doesn’t match the one they use for remote access…. this casuses the person to think that their desktop is getting messed up.

2.  The need to work ON that users desktop profile… so the person doing tech support has to use that person’s credentials to work “On” that profile.   Now we can reset the password after the use of the profile, but it still points out the problem we have in small businesses… that the person running the computer consdiers it “their” property and thus act accordingly.

So what do you do to counter both?

For the first I just make sure that the resolution of the monitor used is the same at the desktop.. for the second.. I’m still looking for a good resolution.

What are you doing to deal with the issue where you need to work “ON” that profile?


3 Responses to The desktop problem

  1. For the screen resolution/icon issue, I use a program called UltraMon ( which remembers all Icon locations and restores them.

    It’s a program which is designed to better manage multiple monitors, and since I have only two at home and four in the office there are definite shifts from one place to the other.

    But if you only have one monitor then DeskUtility works just great (

    For the other issue… this is one that causes more problems than anyone cares to hear about at Microsoft. There are certainly security concerns, or even moreso, HR concerns… because there is no way to prove who did what on a system if you supposedly allow an administrator to log in as a particular user. Even though there is no default auto-logoff… so essentially a person leaves their machine logged in and the same thing could happen.

    I have a few web servers that are running RedHat Enterprise Linux 3.0 with CPanel. CPanel allows you to log in to a user account not with THEIR password, but your own with thier username. There are a few limitations on this due to permissions (it won’t let you use the script auto-installer) but overall it is a great help. Additionally, it logs it as an administrative session, so the worries about security are taken care of.

    I have no idea why Microsoft hasn’t followed this practice. There should be no reason at all that an administrator shouldn’t be able to emulate a user’s session specifically to work on an issue that is unique to that user. I’ve recommended that for testing purposes, people copy the user’s profile to create a new user, but that’s a pain.

    Jeffrey B. Kane
    San Francisco

  2. brdavis says:

    VNC is more convenient for desktop access, and reasonably secure on the LAN when accessing end-user clients from the server.

    Typically, I RDC into the [as-secure_as_possible] server, and then run VNC from the server to the user desktops (VNC ports are _not_ open on the router).

    It’s convenient. It’s not discruptive, and doesn’t necessarily mess with the user’s desktop (even if that means I have to scroll around to see things, depending upon how mis-matched the screen resolutions are).

  3. Alexander Suhovey says:

    What about Remote Assistance?