Remote control

Use LANDesk Management Suite's remote control feature to easily resolve device problems from one location. You can only remote control devices that have the remote control agent installed. During a remote control session, the remote device actually has two users—you and the end user. You can do anything at the remote device that the user sitting at it can do. All of your actions are in real-time on that device.

Management Suite enables you to remote control these device types:

The remote control viewer application runs on both Windows and Mac OS 10 devices.

Read this chapter to learn about:

Using the remote control viewer

Use the remote control viewer to remotely access a device. You can only remote control devices that have the remote control agent installed. During a remote control session, the remote device actually has two users—you and the end user. You can do anything at the remote device that the user sitting at it can do.

You can do a lot more than just remote control a device from the viewer window. Once the viewer connects to a device, you can choose from these tasks:

You can do multiple viewer tasks on a device at the same time. When you activate a viewer task, the interface for that task appears in the viewer window.

Once you've taken control of a remote device, its screen appears in the viewer window. Because the viewer window often isn't as big as the remote device's screen, you'll either need to use the autoscroll feature to scroll up, down, and side to side, or use the Move Remote Screen icon to maneuver more easily around the different areas of the remote screen. Also, autoscroll automatically scrolls the window as the mouse pointer approaches the viewer window's edge.

You can also increase the viewer window displayable area by disabling items in the View menu, such as connection messages, the toolbar, or the status bar. Use the View menu's Full screen option to completely remove the viewer window's controls. If the remote screen's resolution exceeds yours, autoscroll will still be necessary.

If you want to speed up the viewing rate or change the viewer window settings, use the items under the Options menu. To remotely chat, transfer files, or reboot the device, use the items under the Tools menu or the toolbar.

Connecting to devices

Before you can do any remote control tasks, you must connect to the target device. Only one viewer can communicate with a device at a time, though you can open multiple viewer windows and control different devices at the same time. When you connect to a device, you can see connection messages and status in the Connection messages pane, if that is visible. If it isn't, you can toggle it by clicking View > Connection messages.

To connect to a device
  1. In the network view, right-click the device you want to remote control, and click Remote control, Chat, File transfer, or remote execute.
  2. Once the viewer window appears and connects to the remote device, you can use any of the remote control tools available from the viewer's Tools menu, such as chat, file transfer, reboot, inventory, or remote control.
  3. To end a remote control session, click File > Stop connection.

Remote controlling devices

Once you've connected to a device, often you'll want to view it remotely.

To view a remote device
To view different areas of a remote device screen
  1. Move the mouse pointer to the edge of the viewer window. The window scrolls automatically.


  1. Click the View another part of the remote screen icon.
  2. Your cursor becomes a hand that you can click, drag, and release to view various areas of the remote screen.

Using the drawing tools on remote devices

Once you're remotely viewing a device, you can use the drawing tools on it. The drawing tools can help you explain to users what you're doing or highlight information on the remote screen for users to look at. When you use a tool to draw on the screen, both you and the remote user can see what you've drawn. The drawn images stay on both your screens until you click the eraser in the drawing tool palette.

You have three drawing tools to choose from:

You can also use the line thickness and line color drop-down lists to change how your drawings will look. Changes to these items only affect new things that you draw. When you're done drawing, click the eraser button on the drawing palette or close the palette.

Adjusting remote control settings

Use the Options dialog's Change settings tab (Tools > Options) to adjust the remote control settings.

Using alternate names 

Depending on how you've configured the remote control agent on managed devices, users on a device that's being remote controlled can double-click the remote control status icon in the Windows system tray and see the computer name and user name of the administrator that is remotely controlling them. If you don't want your real computer or user names to be visible from remote devices for security reasons, you can specify an alternate user name and/or computer name that appears in the remote control status dialog on remote devices.

To use alternate names
  1. Click Tools > Options.
  2. On the Change settings tab, select Use alternate names.
  3. Specify the names you want users at remote devices to see.
  4. Click OK.

Optimizing remote control performance

Use the Options dialog's Optimize performance tab (Tools > Options) to optimize remote control performance for these connection types:

Changing the optimization setting dynamically adjusts color reduction, wallpaper visibility, and remote windows appearance effects (the ones you can adjust in Display Properties > Appearance > Effects), such as transition effects for menus and tooltips.

Remote control always uses a highly efficient compression algorithm for remote control data. However, even with compression, it requires a lot of data to send high color depth information. You can substantially reduce the amount of remote control data required by reducing the color depth displayed in the remote control viewer. When the viewer reduces the color depth, the viewer has to map the full color palette from the remote desktop to a reduced color palette in the viewer. As a result, you may notice colors in the remote control window that don't accurately reflect the remote desktop. If that's a problem, select a higher-quality compression setting.

Another way you can optimize performance is to suppress the remote wallpaper. When you do this, remote control doesn't have to send wallpaper updates as parts of the remote desktop are uncovered. Wallpaper often includes bandwidth-intensive images, such as photographs. These don't compress well and take time to transfer over slower connections.

The final way you can optimize performance is to use a mirror driver on the remote device. For more information, see the next section.

Using the mirror driver

The mirror driver provides many benefits. The main benefit is that it provides a Microsoft-supported way of capturing screen output without requiring modifications to the existing video driver. This allows the remote control mirror driver to behave in a standard way that can cause fewer problems on devices.

The other benefit is that the mirror driver doesn't use as much processing power from the target device. If you're remote controlling devices that have a 1.5 GHz or slower processor, the mirror driver can provide noticeable performance improvements over faster network connections. On slower network connections, remote control performance is limited more by bandwidth than processor utilization.

The standard remote control agent is always installed on devices. When the mirror driver is installed with it, the standard agent and the mirror driver coexist. You can't uninstall the standard remote control driver and use only the mirror driver.

Changing viewer hot key settings 

The remote control viewer supports the following hot keys:

You can change a hot key by clicking in the box next to it and pressing the new key combination. The print screen or pause/break keys can't be part of a key combination.

Sending Ctrl+Alt+Del to Windows Vista and Windows 7 devices 

The default local security policy on Windows Vista and Windows 7 won't allow Ctrl+Alt+Del from a remote control viewer. To change this, do the following.

To allow Ctrl+Alt+Del on Windows Vista and Windows 7 devices
  1. In the Start menu's search box, type gpedit.msc and press Enter.
  2. Navigate to Local Computer Policy > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Logon Options > Software Secure Attention Sequence.
  3. Double-click Disable or Enable Software Secure Attention Sequence.
  4. Click Enabled, and in the drop-down list click either Services or Services and Ease of Access applications.
  5. Click OK.

Chatting with remote devices

You can use the remote control viewer to remotely chat with a user at a remote device. This feature is useful if you need to give instructions to a remote user whose dial-up connection is using the only available phone line. Users can respond back using the chat window that appears on their screen. You can only use chat on devices that have the remote control agent installed. This feature works even if you're not viewing a remote device's screen.

If you want to save the messages from a chat session, you can. Any text appearing in the gray area of the chat session will be saved to a text file.

To chat with a user at a remote device
  1. Click Tools > Chat. A section of the viewer window turns into a chat area.
  2. In the lower left section of the chat area, type in a short message. Click Send.

Your message will appear on the remote device's screen. A user can respond by typing a message and clicking Send. The user also can click Close to exit out of a chat session.

To save messages from a chat session
  1. In the chat area of the viewer window, click Save messages.
  2. In the Save as dialog, type in a filename and click Save.

Transferring files to remote devices

You can use the remote control viewer to transfer files to and from your computer to the remote device. In essence, this works as though you've mapped a drive to the remote device. You can only transfer files to or from devices that have the remote control agent installed. This feature works even if you're not viewing a remote device's screen.

To transfer files to a device
  1. Click Tools > File Transfer. Windows Explorer appears.
  2. Select a file to transfer by clicking the filename. From the file's shortcut menu, click Copy.
  3. Scroll down the Windows Explorer tree to LANDesk Remote Control. You should see the name of the remote device you're currently controlling.
  4. On the remote device, select a folder to paste the file to, then right-click and click Paste.

Similarly, you can also transfer files from a remote device to your computer.

Running programs on remote devices

You can launch programs on remote devices. Use the Run box on the viewer toolbar to enter the remote program's path and filename. Since the program will be launched on the remote device, the path and filename you enter must be present on the remote device.

To run a program on a remote device
  1. In the viewer's Run box, enter the program path and filename. If you don't know either, you can drop down the list and click Browse. This opens a dialog that allows you to browse the remote device's folders.
  2. Click the Remote execute button to the right of the Run box.

Rebooting remote devices

You can use the remote control viewer to remotely reboot a device. You can only remotely reboot devices that have the remote control agent installed. This feature works even if you're not viewing a remote device's screen.

To remotely reboot a device
  1. Click Tools > Reboot.
  2. In the Timeout (seconds) edit box, enter the time that a user will have before the device is rebooted. The maximum delay is 300 seconds.
  3. In the Remote user prompt box, type in a brief warning message that a user will see on the device before it's remotely rebooted.
  4. You can save your settings by clicking Save these settings.
  5. Click OK.

The warning message will appear on the device, with a countdown showing how much time remains before the reboot. The user has the option of clicking OK to immediately reboot, or Cancel to not accept the request. A message box will appear on your computer telling you if the user cancelled the request. If the reboot has taken place, you'll see a message in the session messages area of the viewer window.

Changing device remote control security

Management Suite has a high level of control over devices when granted access rights. The device controls remote access security. It stores its remote access security settings in the registry.

You can change remote control settings and security model on clients by updating the agent configuration settings ( Tools > Agent configuration), and from the updated configuration's shortcut menu, clicking Schedule update. Once you deploy the update to devices, their agents will use the settings you specified.

For more information, see Deploying remote control.

Using remote control logging

By default, Management Suite logs remote control actions, including the device being remote controlled and the console doing the remote controlling. You can disable remote control logging if you want or purge remote control log entries older than a date you specify. The remote control agent on each managed device stores log information in C:\Program Files\LANDesk\ldclient\issuser.log. The inventory scanner reads this file and stores the data in the core database.

If logging is enabled, you can view these remote control reports ( Tools > Reporting/Monitoring > Reports), and in the Reports tool, click Reports > Standard reports > Remote control:

To enable or disable remote control logging
  1. In the Management Suite console, click Configure > Remote control logging.
  2. Select or clear the Enable remote control history option, depending on your preference.
To purge the remote control log
  1. Click Configure > Remote control logging.
  2. Enter the date you want purged. All entries older than this date will be deleted.
  3. Click Delete history to execute the purge.

If managed devices are using the "Windows NT security" remote control model, there are some additional steps you need to take to make sure that the remote control reports show the right information. With the "Windows NT security" model, both the remote control operator and managed devices must be members of the same Windows domain. You also need to make sure the domain accounts for all remote control operators are in the Remote control operators group in the Remote control agent configuration page. If you don't do this, the remote control report will show the local user as the remote control operator, rather than the actual operator.

Changing the remote control mode on target devices 

The LANDesk remote control agent on devices accepts two types of connections:

The remote control agent only listens for one type of connection. If you want to change the connection type the agent listens for, double-click the remote control status icon in the target device's system tray and click Switch mode. This toggles the agent between direct mode and gateway mode. Text in the remote control status dialog shows which mode the remote control agent is currently in. You can either have remote users toggle this for you or you can do it through a remote control session. If you do it through a remote control session, the session will disconnect once you click the Switch mode button.

LANDesk System Manager doesn't support the Management Gateway, so this button will always be dimmed on devices managed by System Manager.

Customizing the viewer and remote control agents

The remote control viewer has command-line options you can use to customize how it works. You can also adjust the remote control agent registry keys on devices if necessary. Normally these registry keys are set by the remote control agent configuration that you deploy to devices.

Viewer command-line options

You can launch the remote control viewer using a command-line option that immediately opens a viewer window, connects to a specific device, and activates the viewer features you want, such as remote control, chat, file transfer, or device reboot. The remote control program, isscntr.exe, is in the main ManagementSuite program folder.

Remote control command-line options use the following syntax:

isscntr /a<address> /c<command> /l /s<core server>

If your core server uses certificate-based security or integrated security for remote control, you must use the /s parameter to specify the core server.

Option Description


Contact a device at a particular TCP/IP address. The TCP/IP address may include both numeric- and name-style addresses, separated by semicolons. You can also specify the hostname.


Start the remote control viewer and run a particular feature. (See command names below.) You can specify multiple /c arguments on one command line. For example:

isscntr /agamma /c"remote control" /c"file transfer"

You can choose from these features:

Remote control: Open a remote control window

Reboot: Reboot the given device

Chat: Open a chat window

File transfer: Open a file transfer session

System info: Open a window displaying information about the device, including OS, memory, and hard drive space.


Limit the viewer interface so it only displays the features you specify with /c.

/s<core server>

If you're using certificate-based security, use this option to specify the core server to authenticate with. This option is helpful if you're remote-controlling clients in a multi-core environment. If your core server uses certificate-based security or integrated security for remote control, you must use the /s parameter to specify the core server.

Example 1

Opens the viewer window. Any changes made, such as sizing the connection messages window or setting performance options are retained from the last time the viewer window was used.


Example 2

Launches a remote control session connecting to the device named "gamma." (Note that there is no space and no punctuation between "/a" and "gamma.")

isscntr /agamma /c"remote control"

Example 3

Launches a remote control and chat session connecting to the device named "gamma". Remote control first attempts to try to resolve the name "gamma". If this fails, it attempts to connect to the numeric address

isscntr /agamma; /c"remote control" /c"chat"

Example 4

Port 9535 is used to communicate between the viewer and agent computers. If devices running issuser.exe are configured to use a port other than 9535, the port must be passed as part of the address given to isscntr.exe. For example, to remote control a device with address, where issuser.exe is configured to use port 1792 as the verify port, the command line would be:

isscntr /a10.4.11.44:1792 /c"remote control"

Troubleshooting remote control sessions

This section describes problems you may encounter when remote controlling a device and possible solutions.

I can't remote control a device

Check that the device has the LANDesk agents loaded.

To check that the LANDesk agents are loaded:
To load the remote control agent

Can't transfer files between the console and a target device

Check to see if you're running Norton AntiVirus, and if its Integrity Shield is turned on. If the Integrity Shield is turned on, you must have temporary privileges that let you copy to the directory that the Integrity Shield is protecting.