Remote Assistance: Fixing Offer Remote Assistance

I’m researching Offer Remote Assistance currently and dang, we had about 54 things to fix before we got the process going. First, we had to take all sorts of steps to enable “Offer Remote Assistance” in Group Policy. Then, we had several SID related issues which created the following events in Event Viewer:

EventID: 2: A XML parsing error for … occurred when attempting to process a remote assistance ticket.

We fixed that by changing the SID of the machine but soon ran into another issue:

EventID: 5251: The HelpAssistant account is disabled or missing, or the password could not be verified. Remote Assistance will be disabled. Restart the computer in safe mode and type the following text at the command prompt: sessmgr.exe -service.

This was addressed by running that as a startup script in Group Policy instead of running it in Safe Mode. Start -> Run -> gpedit.msc -> Local -> Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Scripts -> Startup

That totally fixed the 5251 error after a reboot BUT then we ran into another error. When we’d attempt to Offer Remote Assistance, there would be a partial login then the following pop-up would appear: Logon Message: You do not have access to logon to this session. In addition, the following error would be generated in the event log:

EventID: 5270: A remote assistance ticket has been created with duration: 0.08hrs for user

This was extremely time consuming to fix as there was no solution to this anywhere on the Internet. There were incredible attempts on usenet as seen here, but none of the solutions worked. So I loaded up the registry for a machine that successfully accepted Remote Assistance offers and a machine that didn’t. I noticed a peculiar entry on the machine that didn’t seem right:
HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControl Set\Control\Terminal Server\fInHelpMode was set to 1 even though the machine was not “in help mode” because it was broken. I deleted the key, restarted the machine and after months of trying, successfully offered remote assistance. This fix worked on all machines which encountered the “You do not have access to logon to this session” error. If you’re searching for a fix on Google, I hope this works for you too!

Chrissy is a Cloud and Datacenter Management & Data Platform MVP who has worked in IT for over 20 years. She is the creator of the popular SQL PowerShell module dbatools, holds a master's degree in Systems Engineering and is coauthor of Learn dbatools in a Month of Lunches. Chrissy is certified in SQL Server, Linux, SharePoint and network security. You can follow her on Twitter at @cl.

Posted in Windows
20 comments on “Remote Assistance: Fixing Offer Remote Assistance
  1. Geoffrey says:

    Based on your stuff above:

    @Echo Off

    Echo Stopping The Remote Assistance Service…

    net stop rdsessmgr

    REM Sleep for a bit
    @ping -n 2 -w 1000 > nul
    @ping -n %1% -w 1000> nul

    REM Issue the Command to reset the Remote Assistance Password
    Echo Running Fix for Remote Assistance…
    %systemroot%\system32\sessmgr.exe -service

    REM Sleep for a bit
    @ping -n 2 -w 1000 > nul
    @ping -n %1% -w 1000> nul

    Echo Starting Remote Assistance Service…
    net start rdsessmgr

    Echo Fixing Problem Registry Key

    REM Set the File Name [user temp directory]\EnableRA.reg and delete if already present
    SET tempreg=%Temp%\EnableRA.reg
    IF EXIST %tempreg% DEL %tempreg%

    Echo Creating Temporary Registry File

    REM Write the Reg File
    Echo Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00>>%tempreg%
    Echo [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server]>>%tempreg%
    Echo “fInHelpMode”=dword:00000000>>%tempreg%

    REM Run the Reg File in Silent Mode
    Regedit /S %tempreg%

    REM Sleep for a bit
    @ping -n 2 -w 1000 > nul
    @ping -n %1% -w 1000> nul

    Echo Cleaning Up
    REM Sleep for a bit
    @ping -n 2 -w 1000 > nul
    @ping -n %1% -w 1000> nul

    REM Delete the file
    IF EXIST %tempreg% DEL %tempreg%

    Echo Closing – Done!
    REM Sleep for a bit
    @ping -n 2 -w 1000 > nul
    @ping -n %1% -w 1000> nul

  2. Chrissy says:

    That’s de bomb, Geoffrey! Thanks for sharing :-D

  3. Gerry says:

    Wow! I have been looking for a fix for Remote Assistance for the last 6 months. I found this page yesterday and it fixed my problem.

    Thank you very much!!

  4. Etienne says:

    Hi, this does not at all fix my problem. The information below is logged in the event log. But i still get a “Cannot connect to the other computer” message. Please help.

    A remote assistance ticket has been created with duration: 0.08hrs for user.

  5. Chrissy says:

    Hey Etinenne,
    Can you ping the machine you are looking to remote? It seems like more of a network issue than an RA issue.

    Using notepad, open up that invitation and see which IP is listed in there (it precedes :3389). See if you can ping it.

    Also, check out:'s_remote_assistance.htm It may have some helpful info for you.

  6. Zilvinas says:

    I managed to fix this “A remote assistance ticket has been created with duration: 0.08hrs for user” error by simply opening the RA invitation file with notepad and removing external (public) IP from configuration.
    This works if you can’t do RA on LAN.

  7. JohndBe says:

    Almost there but not yet.

    When you do the sessmgr.exe -service, and look with Computer Management at the HelpAssistant account you can see it getting disabled.

    When you do a remote assistance this HelpAssistant account gets enabled.

    Al very nice, but it doesn’t make it work for me.

  8. JohndBe says:

    But when I added the HelpAssistant to the local administrators group = bingo !!!!

    This isn’t a good idea, but now I have a contingency plan …..

    any further remarks/thoughts on this are welcome

  9. JohndBe says:

    Ok, with HelpAssistant member of “power users” it continues to work
    So what do Power users have rights to that the HelpAssistant does not.

    Lets have a look at the local policy gpedit.msc.

  10. JohndBe says:

    Well, well I have it running.

    Seam in my case the file access rights where changed.
    Using Filemon I could see an Access Denied on a file c:\windows\registration\R000000000010.clb

    Compating with a working situation revealed that everyone has to have read rights on this file.

    I changed the rights and ….. RA to the finish.
    My goodness IT can be pleasant…. ;-))

  11. Josh says:

    Figured I’d throw this out there….

    The fixes described here haven’t seemed to help us out any. We are having the same issues and have narrowed it down to the installation of RDP v6.0. If we remove KB925876 on the clients and the offering machine (taking them back to 5.x), it all works perfectly again. Once 6 is introduced, it fails with the 0.08hrs error.

    I’ve requested one of MS’s unofficial patches to see if it helps ( as I believe this is the situation we are running into. This only occurs with our remote users who come in through our MS PPTP vpn. I’m able to connect to all local network pc’s without any problems.

  12. Jen says:

    You rock, girl. Great post, ended two hours of struggling for me. Thanks! :-D

  13. Roland says:

    Adding the “sessmgr.exe -service” to the computers startup script with GPO this solved the Remote Assistance problems.

  14. Trevor says:

    This work for me on my first try. Thanks!

  15. David says:

    Bless your heart. I wish more people would start posting their problems AND solutions online. Life would be easier for us all.

  16. Rob Dunn says:

    Hey…thanks for this! The sessmgr -service fixed my errors with RA. I have a script at my site (unsolicited remote assistance) that worked great until “something” happened. In any case, your solution was the fix.

    Link for unsolicited remote assistance via LAN:

  17. LML says:

    There is a FREE Microsoft Windows Vista Sidebar Gadget called “Remote Connection Facilitator” that will assist you in automatically displaying and connecting to remote computers. This utility queries for computers in Active Directory, displays the results, and allows you to connect to the machines using Offer Remote Assistance or Remote Desktop with a simple mouse click. Get the gadget here:

    You can also configure Windows XP machines to auto accept Offer Remote Assistance by using the information found here:

  18. Очень признателен, действительно полезная информация.

  19. Garan Keeler says:

    Deleting the registry key (fInHelpMode=1) fixed my problem. THANK YOU!

    Did you ever figure out what causes this registry entry to appear? I noticed, as did you, that it shows up on about 50% of my machines.

  20. Alfie says:

    Does anyone knows how to RA on another win7 pc with out having the other user to agree on the conecction, since the other pc is just wired to a tv displaying information slides.

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