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Scenario:

  1. Support is at work location.
  2. User is at home, connecting to work via VPN.

The support person then get's user's IP via logged in users on VPN. He uses Remote Desktop Connection to connect to the IP. He signs in as Administrator. The support gets prompted that a user is active. Continues. User is asked if he wants to allow remote connection and will be logged off. He accepts.

This is where things go wrong. Connection is set up through the VPN, but when the user signs off and lets the Administrator sign on, the user's VPN connection drops. The support's RDP session just times out because there is no longer a connection.

I have found one workaround which is letting the user connect through the VPN and where it confirms credentials there is an option to "Save credentials for 'Everyone using this computer'". However this requires admin privileges and the setting isn't even saved, so it would require me to pass them the Administrator credentials every support session. Which is something I'd rather not do.

Question:

How do I keep the VPN connection alive, preferably without admin privileges or how do I save the "Save credentials" setting?

How do I connect via Remote Desktop Connection without signing off current user? (I believe this would keep VPN connection alive anyway?)

Any help is much appreciated.

  • Is it Cisco VPN? – Konrad Gajewski Aug 12 '15 at 11:37
  • @KonradGajewski Windows PPTP – Oh boy do I try Aug 12 '15 at 11:39
  • So basically you want a VPN connection to be active regardless of who is logged in, correct? – Konrad Gajewski Aug 12 '15 at 11:42
  • @KonradGajewski I think that would be a solution. Or just keep the VPN of the user active, even though I'm signing in with Administrator. – Oh boy do I try Aug 12 '15 at 11:45
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    What is support doing that they need to log on as Administrator? Would Remote Assistance be a better solution in this scenario? – joeqwerty Aug 12 '15 at 13:21
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One option that worked for me in this situation is to go to Network Connections and go to the properties of the VPN client. Once in there click on the sharing tab and check the box "Allow other network users to connect through this computer's internet connection." Also, does support really need to connect via RDP? If not, I would recommend connecting to the User's computer through TeamViewer. This will allow support to share the same desktop as the user and allow them to access VPN on the same session as the user.

  • This only works when connecting from another network and then tunneling though to the VPN. You can share VPN with users on LAN, you can't share VPN with users on VPN... – Oh boy do I try Aug 12 '15 at 14:20
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If support is able to ping/connect to VPN addresses why don't you try install VNC software (UltraVNC, RealVNC, TightVNC) on clients? You will have access to the user's session (as @R Scheckler pointed with Team Viewer but all the network traffic would be 'internal') and could perform privileged actions with or without having to logout the user.

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You can use the builtin Remote Assistance service to connect to the user without logging him out.

Remote Assistance can be configured via Group Policies. Next steps, copied from the documentation:

  1. Open the Help and Support Services Center, click Tools, and click Offer Remote Assistance.
  2. In the dialog box, enter the user's machine name [...]. Choose a user session if there is more than one.
  3. The user receives a pop-up box showing that the Helpdesk person is initiating a Remote Assistance request. The user accepts and Remote Assistance can proceed.

Details to Remote Assistance are available here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb457004.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396#EDAA

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