Remote support for hardware problems

happy laptopRemote support tools can be an excellent tool in resolving problems, but they need to be used in combination with the described experience provided by the end user. This recently was discovered in two different problems reported by users but we couldn’t confirm via remote tools.

The first was strange monitor colors – which typically we would associate with a video setting within Windows, however a remote session confirmed that the setting were correct. Additionally, the user was saying that the colors were wrong, like the pallet was all mixed up – yet we couldn’t see this remotely. The problem, when escalated to on-site work: a bad video cable. This caused a problem in how the output of the video card ended up at the monitor – so it was (effectively) a monitor problem. Since the video card and settings were working properly, remotely we were not able to confirm this.

The second was with a mouse problem – according to the user the mouse was moving too fast, erratic. Remotely, it appeared to be working fine, and the settings appeared correct. Our mouse interacted properly. Even adjusting the Windows settings to the slowest, still resulted in too erratic control for the user. While sometimes it is a user error, an onsite review uncovered that this user was on a Wyse Thin Client which also has it’s own control panel and an interface to control mouse speed, and it was set at the highest level. Adjusting this back to the middle corrected the problem.

Next time you’re working with end users remotely, understand the limitations of remote control to diagnose all problems. Be sure to rely upon user feedback.