One of the big issues with supporting end-users workstations is getting access to their machines to fix things. Since Windows doesn’t have any way to run tasks like *nix’s sudo or su, you’re usually forced to either take over the machine while the user is trying to work, or change their password and risk locking them out of software until you can inform of them of the change.
The former is the preferred tack and products like TeamViewer (TV) make doing so very easy, obviating the need to be physically at the user’s workstation for a lot of tasks. Even nicer: GFI (and probably others) install TV with the monitoring agent, making remote control of a client’s workstation as easy as clicking a button.
Like most such products, though, there is one drawback to this solution: if the client has multiple vendors (e.g. a team supporting a sector-specific application) who also want to use TV, you end up having to fight for whose TV is turned on and usable.
Of course, there’s a workaround1:
- On the client’s desktop, right click on the TV icon in the system tray and select “Options”. If there isn’t a TV icon visible, just run the Team Viewer Host application from the Start Menu (the actual shortcut will have a version number in there as well); then you can access the Options page from the system tray icon.
- Once the options window is open, click “Security” in the left-hand pane. There will already be a predefined password; that’s what let’s GFI provide you with that nice “Take Control” button in your dashboard. But right below that is a link “Manage additional Passwords…”.
- Click that, and you can add as many passwords as you like, naming them so that you know why you added them in the first place.
- For the other vendors to use your TV instance, the client just needs to double-click the system tray icon (or run the TV host command) and read off their 9 digit host ID. The vendor can login with that ID and the password you created for them.
1For any of this to work, you need at least TV version 6. This shouldn’t be an issue as the latest GFI agents all install TV 7 by default but if you’ve been using GFI for a while and are still using older agents, you may have to upgrade them before using this trick.