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Troubleshooting FAQ

The following questions and issues are the most common requests the Venti Support Team receives. Please review to see if the quick fix you are looking for is listed here.

Click on the one question best fitting your problem. Most likely you will find the answer here!

 

1. VISTA - We get these alot!

Does Venti work with Vista? If so, do I need to do anything special?

Any other Vista issues I should know about?

2. Installation of Venti Support Console (New and Existing Customers)

I need to install the Venti console software on a new machine or reinstall on my existing computer.

I am converting my trial account and just want to start using my new account (I already have the Venti console software on my computer).

3. Support Session Questions

Why does the connection and support session seem slow?

My customer is getting a PROXY error asking for proxy information to connect.

I am seeing a delay between launching the console and seeing my PIN and/or after entering my PIN and seeing the list box. How can I fix this?

The customer reports a remote connection (gray box says waiting for support agent and the clock icon in the system tray), but I cannot see them in the software console queue.

I was able to connect perfectly with my customer previously, but now it is not working from their side. What is going on?

My sessions keep timing out. How can I fix this?

I have a customer where the session keeps dropping for no apparent reason. It does not appear to be a "time out."

I only see a Blank Screen on my Venti console. What do I need to do to see the customer's desktop?

I can’t use CNT-ALT-DEL in the “Special Key Sequence”. It is grayed out.

I can’t remotely control a DOS application on the customer’s machine.

Why can't I use the "Push Client" button to get the client software to my customer's PC?

4. Client Access Options

Can I put a link on my website that lets the software immediate install without the customer doing anything?

Does the client machine require Administrative privileges to allow a remote support session?

5. Feature Questions

When I reboot the remote machine, sometimes it does not automatically reconnect and I have to have someone on the other end login again to Venti. Why is that not working?

I am trying to Transfer Files between my computer and my customer’s PC, but the Windows Explorer file hierarchy does not open.

6. Venti Security

Tell me about your Security!

 

 

1. VISTA Questions

Does Venti work with Vista?  If so, do I need to do anything special?

Our service does run on Vista (for both support persons and clients) without any special instructions or processes.  Be sure you use the Windows installer for installing your console software (our standard install). 

Any other Vista issues I should know about?

Yes, Microsoft has added a new security control that limits some remote control capabilities (add/remove programs and some other sensitive actions). This can be adjusted to enable full Venti control by connecting and then opening Control Panel -> User Accounts. Once there, you may need to have the end user turn off "User Access Control" (you are not given the ability to do this remotely). Once this is reset, the client will be asked whether or not to restart their computer. Have them do so and initiate a new session. You will now have full control capabilties (for this session and in the future). Microsoft has put in the building blocks for better system management and reporting. Unfortunately, only the person with physical contact with the computer can authorize some actions.....many of which were fully enabled remotely in the past, but now require resetting UAC for remote access. All remote support tools have this limitation now....except for Microsoft's (of course)....! Ask Venti about a specific Agent software solution that will assist with the UAC problem.

When installing a resident client on a Vista machine (v-Manage only), please be sure to create a user name and password before installation (if none exists prior). This is critically important since the resident software creates a user group called HDAllowed and all users with Admin rights are added to that group upon installation. Only users of that group can remotely log into the computer via the Venti Agent.

Vista's defaults on color resolution is very high (256). We suggest dropping the colors to 32 to speed up the connection if this is a problem. All remote support companies are fixing this and it is resolved in Venti's latest version of the agent software.

Vista is also very sensitive to having a screensaver running in the background. This can slow down the refresh on the console side, especially over resident client connections. Turning this off will speed up the connection significantly.

Finally, all remote support services struggle when agents from other services are running at the same time. For example, if you are running RDP or similar service, the remote connection and refresh speed may be slower (for both services). Having one running at a time will resolve this issue.

 

2. Installation of Venti Support Console

I need to reinstall the Venti console software on a new machine or reinstall on my existing computer.

Here are our install instructions which use a normal Windows installer. Please give these instructions to all of your technicians.

1) Delete any old Console software completely through "Add/Remove Programs" and delete all shortcuts.

2)Go to http://www.ventisolutions.com/pgSupportDownload.htm

3) Save the “Console Program” to your desktop from this web page

4) Run the program “hdconsole” in the zip file

5) "Enter broker name"….type brokerXYZ.venti-assist.com, where XYZ is the unique 3 digit number that appears in your On-Demand URL provided with your account (the link your customers go to connect for support).  It will appear as http://r7.help20./com/XYZ in your Venti instructions/credentials email.

6) The Console Software is now in C: Program Files.

7) Create a new desktop shortcut from:  Start>All Programs>LANDesk Instant Support Suite>Instant Support Suite Console – right click and “Send to”>Desktop (Create Shortcut)

8) Open the Console via the newly created shortcut and click on “Console Logins” then click the “new” at the bottom of the Support Agent Console login dialog box to launch the Wizard and enter your account information (the credentials sent in your Venti email). If you are reinstalling the Console, your certificate may already be installed and there is no request for credentials. Click "Finish" to complete the install. You should receive a "Congratulations" meesage at the end of the Wizard. Select the new certificate, enter your PIN number (anything you choose for security) and your are ready to service customers.

I am converting my trial account and just want to start using my new account (I already have the Venti console software on my computer).

1) Start the LANDesk Instant Support Suite Console software.

Start->All Programs->LANDesk->Instant Support Suite->Instant Support Suite Console”

2) Before you enter your PIN, click on “Console Logins”.

3) Highlight and delete your old account.

4) Start the Account Wizard by clicking the “New” button and enter your account information (below) when requested.

5) You should receive a “Congratulations” message at the end of the Wizard (takes 10-20 sec).

6) Select the newly activated account certificate, enter your PIN number and you are ready to service customers.

 

3. Support Sessions Questions

Why does the connection and support session seem slow?

Please note that customers all over the world are using Venti with great satisfaction using this setting.  Performance should be very good.  Please make sure that the customer has a solid Internet connection.  This can also slow the connection speed.  If the customer's connection is slow, you can try “Modem” as the speed setting on the Venti console software.  This will reduce the resolution, but works well in situations where the remote connection is poor.  When finished with the session, be sure to reset to “Broadband”.

Venti will never operate as fast as some products like Terminal Server (for example) since Microsoft has programmed the screen control into the operating system.  This is not always the best however.  Venti works at a higher layer called “Ring 3”.  The benefit of this is that Venti does not affect the operating system – IT CANNOT CRASH THE REMOTE COMPUTER!  This also allows our service to function with ALL versions of Windows, a common complaint from remote PC support service users of competitive products.

My customer is getting a PROXY error asking for proxy information to connect.

The Proxy message is the default error users can get when they cannot connect to the Venti broker (which is the server that connects the Venti Console to the Client software during a remote control session).   Basically the software tries to connect to the broker, if it cannot, the client software looks for a proxy server, if it cannot find a proxy server … it gives the proxy server error message… which may, but most likely IS NOT A PROXY problem. This can be caused by the following problems:

1. Obviously, the software loaded fine as it is now trying to connect back from the customer’s PC to the Venti broker (i.e., the Internet connection is probably OK).  Norton Internet Security can sometimes block the Venti software from connecting to the Venti broker server.  We’ve seen this occur under two conditions:

a. Some Dell computers have a default Norton Internet Security settings that automatically blocks the Venti software.

b. The customer sees the “block/permit” button the 1st time the Venti tries to connect to the Venti broker server and the select “BLOCK”. This causes Venti to fail every time after that.

Work-around: Temporarily disable Norton Internet Security which will allow the Venti client software to connect to the Venti broker server.  Once connected, you can change the firewall enable Venti’s agent to connect in the future (program name is “gsbuser.exe”).

2. The auto-detect settings is set in their internet explorer (example in the following URL).

http://www.ventisolutions.com/support/speedTuning.aspx

3. They have some network or DNS issue where our broker server is blocked. Have them ping: brokerXYZ.venti-assist.com , where XYZ is the broker number in your On-Demand URL (r7.help20.com/XYZ/a – this is the link where your customers  go for support).

4. They have a VERY locked down corporate network where you have to have their network administrator  allow your customers or remote machines to connect to the Venti URLs provided with your account information.  They may also have to enable the” gsbuser.exe” program through the corporate firewall.

I am seeing a delay between launching the console and seeing my PIN and/or after entering my PIN and seeing the list box. How can I fix this?

When you see this, the service still works, but it is slow getting the console connected to the broker server and your client. The fix for this is easy. Your Internet Explorer LAN settings have somehow been changed. Launch IE, select Tools, select Internet Options, select Connections, and then select LAN settings... the Automatically Detect Settings box must be UNCHECKED. This will fix the problem. When this box is checked, the console waits to detect LAN settings and must time out before it connects to the broker.

The customer reports a remote connection (gray box says waiting for support agent and the clock icon in the system tray), but I cannot see them in the software console queue.

This may be due to four scenarios:

1) poor connectivity on the client end, 

2) firewall or spyware program blocking outbound SSL or the Venti client program (“gsbuser.exe”)…this program must be allowed through the firewall, or

3) check the IE browser on client machine:  Tools>Internet Options>Connections>LAN Settings…….Auto Detect Settings must be UNCHECKED (or else the client PC looks for a proxy server  for 1-2 minutes before connecting to the Venti broker server).  The latter will eventually connect successfully, but most users do not wait the full 1-2 min.  Once connected, the support person can change the remote PC IE settings to ensure this problem does not recur.

4) clear the browser cache on the support computer - if a trial account was running previously on that machine, it can cause this problem.

I was able to connect perfectly with my customer previously, but now it is not working from their side.  What is going on?

This can occur after an abnormal termination of a support session or the customer disturbs the browser during install or uninstall.  In this case, the browser can hold onto (not delete) a client DLL which would cause a subsequent install to fail. If the browser is left open after the connection failure … it can also hold onto those DLLs.  To fix, make sure all instances of the browser are closed and have the customer delete the c:\program files\LANDesk directory (which is where the client software would have been installed). The next support session should work as expected.

Note that if you have the Console (support) software loaded on that machine (not very likely), do not kill that whole directory, just have the customer navigate down to the client directory and remove it. In most cases, a simple delete of the LANDesk directory under Program Files and closing all browser will fix the problem immediately.  When the customer goes to the webpage to load the client software, the support session will work normally.

My sessions keep timing out.  How can I fix this?

This can be a problem if you are working on a remote machine using v-Assist and the connection drops with no one available to reconnect (e.g., customer leaves the office).  Venti sets this value to optimize server performance, but it can be shortened by routers and switches in your network.  Also, “keep alive” traffic generated by the Venti software client can be misinterpreted by some networks as unimportant messages and the session may be terminated if idle for long periods.  Venti can reset the time-out value for you to a higher value if the default is a problem for you,  but you are still subject to network devices in your network that monitor activity (for security reasons). 

Venti’s v-Manage service may offer a solution as it allows you to install resident agents that will maintain a persistent connection to the broker server.  Because no user intervention is required on the remote end of the connection, any interruption will be fixed by the remote machine reconnecting to the broker where the support person can simply re-enter Windows credentials if necessary.

I have a customer where the session keeps dropping for no apparent reason. It does not appear to be a "time out."

Be sure to immediately close the browser and click "Hide this Dialog" on the gray connection box on the remote desktop (once you have established a connection). If you or the customer click the "X" in the upper right of that box, the session will drop. You must click "Hide this Dialog" to close the connection box! Closing the browser (especially the instance of the customer coming to your webpage to download the client software) immediately is also a good idea as noted below.

There is really only one other reason for clients to disconnect during an active session. If there is a significant break in connectivity between you and your customer, the Venti broker server has no choice but to assume the session is terminated. If it is just with one customer, more than likely there is a timing issue with that customer's ISP. Sometimes these hiccups in ISP services can be temporary. If the browser is left open after the connection failure … it might also hold onto the Venti client DLLs making a subsequent support session not start properly (the client will not install).  To fix, make sure all instances of the browser are closed and have the customer delete the c:\program files\LANDesk directory (which is where the client software would have been installed). The next support session should work as expected. You should also check to ensure the "issproxy.exe" process is not still running when you reinitiate a session (kill through Task Manager).

Note that if you have the Console (support) software loaded on that machine (not very likely), do not kill that whole directory, just have the customer navigate down to the client directory and remove it. In most cases, a simple delete of the LANDesk directory under Program Files and closing all browser will fix the problem immediately.  When the customer goes to the webpage to load the client software, the support session will work normally.

Unfortunately for all of us, we’re only as good as our Internet connections. Further, the network gear at the customer site can impact connection quality and stability. In particularly, VoIP gear can cause problems if connected between the Internet connection and the client's PC. Hiccups on the voice connection can terminate the Venti session.

If you are working with the same customers that consistently have poor connection quality, v-Manage may provide a good way to ensure access back into the client's machine after a session termination without the customer's involvement.

I only see a Blank Screen on my Venti console. What do I need to do to see the customer's desktop?

This situation can usually be quickly resolved by toggling the magnifying glass on the Venti console software toolbar (left, top).  This should give you immediate access to the remote screen.  If this does not solve the problem, there are three other possible situations.

You may be using RDP (terminal server) to access the machine with Venti’s console software and then launching Venti on that machine.  This can be a problem in either case (RDP controlling the Venti console or vice versa).  This is a limitation of RDP in being able to work with the Venti software remote feature set.  Installing Venti directly on the machine that needs to provide support and initiating a session from there will solve the problem.

Another remote control client (like PCAnywhere or a similar product) is running on the machine.  This can cause a conflict in trying to access the remote machine.  Uninstall the other client and Venti will work fine.

The remote machine has the program "gsbuser.exe" blocked on the firewall.  Allowing this program to access the Internet will fix the problem.

I can’t use CNT-ALT-DEL in the “Special Key Sequence”.  It is grayed out.

This feature is designed for the v-Manage service which has the resident agent capability. Since v-Manage allows for 24x7 access, a support person can use that key sequence without peril, i.e. they can always get back into the computer since Venti runs as a service and will automatically reconnect to the broker on reboot without the customer being present.  The support person only needs Windows passwords to get back on the machine.  With v-Assist, however, the client machine requires human intervention to reconnect after a hard reboot through CNT-ALT-DEL.  Because of this problem, Venti provides a reboot feature that reconnects instead of using CNT-ALT-DEL.   The support person can, of course, “right click” on the task bar on the bottom of the remote PC’s screen to open the “task manager” which offers the same options as CTRL-ALT-DEL.

I can’t remotely control a DOS application on the customer’s machine.

This is very uncommon, but we have seen this problem with a few customers.  The screen sharing feature can present problems with old DOS application that directly write to “screen” memory.  Many applications in the late 80’s and early 90’s did this for fast graphics. Venti functions in what’s called “Ring 3” as it applies to talking to Windows. This has the benefit of ensuring that Venti will NEVER, EVER “blue screen” a Windows box.  This is because it does not have direct access into the Windows Kernel (core operating system).  The tradeoff is that  “Ring 3” technology protects against some of the “tricks” of older “smart” DOS application that take advantage of interacting directly with Windows. Venti is more concerned with no tallowing a “blue screen” than in accessing DOS to a level that is unsafe for the end customer.

Why can't I use the "Push Client" button to get the client software to my customer's PC?

The "Push Client" button is only relevant to PCs on the same domain and the same LAN with the support person. Further, it requires that the Venti servers be located on the same domain. This is not the way that Venti has configured this application to run and it is far more limiting than Venti's deployment. Recall, Venti is offering a world class enterprise IT solution in a hosted, Internet delivery model. This allows use over the Internet, not just on the LAN. Using Venti's v-Manage service with a resident client on an administrative machine on a company's network would provide access that may enable installation of the client software directly over the LAN for specific support scenarios.

 

4. Client Access Options

Can I put a link on my website that lets the software immediate install without the customer doing anything?

Absolutely, this is the preferred method for most of Venti's customers. You are not required to do this. Venti provides a branded page that you can point your customers to at the start of a support session.

Does the client machine require Administrative privileges to allow a remote support session?

The client application that is loaded from the client download page does require the necessary permissions for a small install, the remote session, and uninstall of the application.  To fix this, the client machine must be enabled (and firewall opened) to allow installation and execution of the Venti client program itself (it is named “gsbuser.exe”).

 

5. Feature Questions

When I reboot the remote machine, sometimes it does not automatically reconnect and I have to have someone on the other end login again to Venti. Why is that not working?

Reboot works fine under normal circumstances. The connection can terminate during reboot if the Startup Menu on the remote machine has a lot of programs launching during the reboot (consuming a long period of time). This can cause the network connection to time out and the session will terminate as a result.

For machines that require long sessions of support and frequent reboots, Venti does offer its v-Manage service that will allow a resident client to be installed on the remote machine. In this case, the machine will automatically reconnect to the broker server when reboot is complete or even if the machine is turned off for some period of time. The resident client runs as a service on the remote machine.

I am trying to Transfer Files between my computer and my customer’s PC, but the Windows Explorer file hierarchy does not open.

Microsoft released a Security Patch, MS06-015 which breaks Windows Explorer add-ons.  This patch was release in mid-2006.  Subsequent fixes to this patch fix the problem.

http://www.microsoft.com/technet/security/Bulletin/MS06-015.mspx

We also learned from our customers that a virus can cause this as well.  It is a virus  dumpsu which creates random executables in your system32 directory. The only product we’ve found that can remove that Trojan virus is Webroot, but there may be others.

6. Venti Security

Tell me about your security!

Security is key to any hosted service and particularly when access to remote machines is at stake. Venti takes security very seriously. All Venti customers have dedicated IP addresses and unique instances of the remote support software. No customer connections are accessible to any other customer and no one (other than the technician performing specific work) can see any support session activities. Log files of support sessions are available, but only on the support technician's computer (and through special arrangements with Venti).

You will notice that both the client and console software have "signed certificates" for security and safety. Further, each session is encrypted end-to-end for every session and everything goes through port 443 (SSL). Because of this, Venti's services can get through firewalls (nearly all allow for SSL traffic), but each session is fully protected.

The following are descriptions of our security from a physical perspective, as well as how our services protect user interactions through an encrypted tunnel through the Internet.


Complete 7x24 physical and NOC security at:
http://www.viawest.net

Brief description of how our security works
http://www.ventisolutions.com/products/onDemand.aspx

Questions and Answers on the How Venti Works and Security
http://www.ventisolutions.com/support/technicalFAQ.aspx

 

 


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