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harryhelp  
#1 Posted : Sunday, March 24, 2013 3:21:46 PM(UTC)
harryhelp


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Hi All,

I have been dealing with quite a few clients recently who have had computers that aren't booting. I have had to talk them through booting into a LiveCD to do specific repairs - and get them to send me photos of exactly what is appearing on the screen at times (so pretty painful!)

I was wondering how possible/plausible it would be to have a remote session that automatically connects up on a boot disk. Perhaps giving clients a boot disk/flash drive which boots their computer into a recovery mode and opens a remote session.

I have been looking into Active@ Boot Disk which will boot the machine into Windows PE (Windows 7 SP1 version) and then can initialise the network interface. It can also launch programs with arguments on startup.

So ideally I'd like a program to run which will connect to my ScreenConnect server and opens a remote session (perhaps it gives an ID number to connect to like with TeamViewer, or connects to an open remote session such as BootDisk1 or BootDisk2).

Would this be possible using ScreenConnect? It would need to be reusable ideally (otherwise seems pretty tedious to rebuild a flash drive and resend to client!)


I haven't heard of any company doing this before and I think it would be really good for IT companies who help remotely as they can gain full remote access of the boot disk with little user interaction!

I suggested this as a feature to the ScreenConnect guys - they have suggested posting it here.


Look forward to hearing from you,

Harry

AustinKnight  
#2 Posted : Monday, March 25, 2013 5:05:32 PM(UTC)
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I have also request this, all my research has shown that you will either need a portable .net or java. I is very complicated to get setup. but would be very useful.
JASON T. AUSTIN
Lead Network Engineer
Falcon Development, Inc.
www.falcondevelopment.com

Jake  
#3 Posted : Monday, March 25, 2013 5:44:32 PM(UTC)
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I read that the net Windows PE 3 has .NET built-in. Is this not the case?

I read a bit about the process of building one of these. It seems fairly basic, though a bit unwieldy to include in SC because of the size of the disk images.

Also I'm not sure how user-mode processes run in the background. I don't think there is a concept of windows services or user sessions.

If you do get started, here is a guess on how you would configure ScreenConnect:

Copy these files to a directory on the image:

Code:

03/25/2013  04:56 PM            89,600 Elsinore.ScreenConnect.Client.dll
03/25/2013  04:56 PM           169,472 Elsinore.ScreenConnect.Core.dll
03/25/2013  04:56 PM           378,368 Elsinore.ScreenConnect.Windows.dll
03/25/2013  04:57 PM           270,368 Elsinore.ScreenConnect.WindowsClient.exe
03/25/2013  04:57 PM                   Elsinore.ScreenConnect.WindowsClient.exe.config


Grab a command line on an existing unattended from regedit at this key:

Code:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\ScreenConnect Client ([yourspecialcode])


Get the value from the ImagePath. Modifying it by fixing up the directory, but also changing the exe from Elsinore.ScreenConnect.ClientService.exe to Elsinore.ScreenConnect.WindowsClient.exe

Add the command line to the file here in Win PE to start screenconnect:

Code:

%SYSTEMROOT%\system32\startnet.cmd


I have no idea how this will work. Good luck!

Edited by user Thursday, March 28, 2013 4:55:06 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

ScreenConnect Team
harryhelp  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, March 27, 2013 2:50:17 PM(UTC)
harryhelp


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Hi Jake,

Thanks for this. Will try this out this afternoon and let you know how it goes.
Where do the files come from and how do they point to the server out of interest?

Think everything runs as SYSTEM if that helps...

Harry
harryhelp  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, March 27, 2013 3:25:40 PM(UTC)
harryhelp


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Aah, see what you mean now.
Got the files out of a fresh install.
How would I set the name to change though? This is for a server name so don't want this ID to follow it around...


Thanks
Jake  
#6 Posted : Thursday, March 28, 2013 3:56:32 PM(UTC)
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Change the name? The session name? If so that won't really be possible. And this will always connect as the same session since the computername/machineguid will always be the same. Let's try to get the rest working though. Have you had any luck with that?
ScreenConnect Team
harryhelp  
#7 Posted : Thursday, March 28, 2013 3:59:34 PM(UTC)
harryhelp


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Will try later this evening, thanks
harryhelp  
#8 Posted : Thursday, March 28, 2013 4:50:11 PM(UTC)
harryhelp


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Hi Jake,

Tried now and doesn't work for two reasons:

1) Put in wrong path (d'oh!). Changed it to the correct new path but just forgot to change the exe file!

2) When I then launched, 'The application failed to initialise properly (0xc0000135)'.

The above error is because the .NET framework is not installed. Do you know what files I need to copy across in order for ScreenConnect client to run?
Jake  
#9 Posted : Thursday, March 28, 2013 4:56:33 PM(UTC)
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What version of WinPE are you running? Apparently you need WinPE4 and the 32 bit version:
http://social.technet.mi...-4470-9d38-817d958146d4/

Also, try to include the Elsinore.ScreenConnect.WindowsClient.exe.config file (I just modified my original post to include this). It tells .NET that we can use any available version, which is think should help WinPE use whatever version is included to run us.

Please take some screenshots if you get it working ... I'm curious about this WinPE stuff.

Edited by user Thursday, March 28, 2013 4:57:35 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

ScreenConnect Team
harryhelp  
#10 Posted : Thursday, March 28, 2013 4:58:17 PM(UTC)
harryhelp


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I'm using the Active Boot Disk (http://www.boot-disk.com/).

Booting now with that file added, will let you know how it goes in 2 mins

Edited by user Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:00:14 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Jake  
#11 Posted : Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:00:17 PM(UTC)
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I doubt it'll work under that. I don't see any reference on google of Active Boot Disk supporting .NET
ScreenConnect Team
harryhelp  
#12 Posted : Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:06:56 PM(UTC)
harryhelp


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You are right :(

Trying to find a way to do as Active Boot Disk is brilliant... want something where I can then run troubleshooting tools for customers!
harryhelp  
#13 Posted : Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:33:36 PM(UTC)
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Got nowhere with Active Boot Disk. Going to send them an email now.

Otherwise do you have any suggestions on Boot Disks to use?
Jake  
#14 Posted : Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:38:19 PM(UTC)
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You should use WinPE from microsoft. It's free. It's made for this:
http://www.microsoft.com...ad/details.aspx?id=30652

Edited by user Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:39:00 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

ScreenConnect Team
harryhelp  
#15 Posted : Thursday, March 28, 2013 5:39:20 PM(UTC)
harryhelp


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The problem is that it doesn't come with the tools I would need to use to troubleshoot the machine...
Think I will just have to do though, will look into tomorrow. Cheers
bigdessert  
#16 Posted : Thursday, March 28, 2013 7:36:12 PM(UTC)
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harryhelp wrote:
The problem is that it doesn't come with the tools I would need to use to troubleshoot the machine...
Think I will just have to do though, will look into tomorrow. Cheers


What tools do you need?
bigdessert  
#17 Posted : Thursday, March 28, 2013 8:07:23 PM(UTC)
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Got it working for Linux mint. Linux mint comes with Java installed on the live cd.

Download it here.

http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

Here is a screenshot of it working.

UserPostedImage
harryhelp  
#18 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 2:06:11 AM(UTC)
harryhelp


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Hmmmm - that might work..

Will look into later today.
harryhelp  
#19 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 1:26:47 PM(UTC)
harryhelp


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Hi,

Would ideally like to use Windows PE if possible.

Trying to build a PE disc now, will let you know progress.
harryhelp  
#20 Posted : Friday, March 29, 2013 6:41:40 PM(UTC)
harryhelp


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Quick update for you...

Using Make_PE3 to make the image with the .NET Framework plugin.

To allow for multiple disks running simultaneously, I have created a file in the flash drive in a folder called 'Elsinore' called Remote.txt. This file contains the 'key' arguments passed to the ScreenConnect client.

I've added the below line of code to the StartNet.cmd file in X:\Windows\System32, so it automatically executes on startup.

for %%p in (Z Y X W V U T S R Q P O N M L J I H G F E D C) do if exist "%%p:\Elsinore\Remote.txt" "X:\Program Files\Elsinore\Elsinore.ScreenConnect.WindowsClient.exe" "type "%%p:\Elsinore\Remote.txt""



It is building now so will test tomorrow and will let you know result :)
bitznpcz  
#21 Posted : Saturday, March 30, 2013 4:34:37 PM(UTC)
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bigdessert wrote:
Got it working for Linux mint. Linux mint comes with Java installed on the live cd.

Download it here.

http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php

Here is a screenshot of it working.

UserPostedImage


This looks like a great idea... I have been trying to get this to work under Win7pe se to no avail... (guide here http://theoven.org/index.php?topic=533.0)

Can you please explain how to get this working under Linux Mint as I'm not a Linux expert...

Edited by user Saturday, March 30, 2013 4:39:38 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

harryhelp  
#22 Posted : Sunday, March 31, 2013 3:27:03 AM(UTC)
harryhelp


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Just so you know the Make PE3 did work after I ran an extra program. Now can use screenconnect with no problems. Just got to finalise the image and will let you guys know what I did.

Thanks
harryhelp  
#23 Posted : Sunday, March 31, 2013 7:42:21 AM(UTC)
harryhelp


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Posts: 16

Hi All,

Done and it works :)

Want to post some info up just in case it helps anyone...
Ideally, you need to know how to use ImageX as there is quite a bit of image mounting/unmounting to be done!


To create this, I used Make-PE3 (http://www.msfn.org/board/topic/143529-make-pe3-program-to-create-portable-windows-7-pe/).
This is a big batch file which creates a Windows PE image. The only problem with this is that it doesn't come with .NET Framework, however I found a plugin for this. Can't remember where I found it but you can download from http://www.mediafire.com/?o6a6ii26u16wz66.

Once you've created this, ScreenConnect will still not run until the SxS fix is installed (the fix is called SxS_7PE_SFX and is within the Make_PE3 directory)


Jake posted some steps up earlier on in the thread to get ScreenConnect unattended sessions working (which I followed and have included below):

Copy these files to a directory on the image:

Code:
03/25/2013  04:56 PM            89,600 Elsinore.ScreenConnect.Client.dll
03/25/2013  04:56 PM           169,472 Elsinore.ScreenConnect.Core.dll
03/25/2013  04:56 PM           378,368 Elsinore.ScreenConnect.Windows.dll
03/25/2013  04:57 PM           270,368 Elsinore.ScreenConnect.WindowsClient.exe
03/25/2013  04:57 PM                   Elsinore.ScreenConnect.WindowsClient.exe.config


I copied these to a Program Files\ScreenConnect folder on the image.


Grab a command line on an existing unattended from regedit at this key:

Code:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\ScreenConnect Client ([yourspecialcode])


Copy the value of ImagePath (this will be needed later).


I have copied the end value of ImagePath (everything inside the second speech marks - after .exe) into a text file called Remote.txt in a folder called 'ScreenConnect' (referenced in the code below)


Finally, I needed to update the startnet.cmd file to launch ScreenConnect. The file is located at Windows\System32\startnet.cmd and can be edited using notepad.
Add the below lines under wpeinit. You can change the paths if required.
I know the extra for is redundant but that seems to be the only way to get it working...


Code:
:: need to install .NET SxS fix (as previously mentioned)
"X:\Program Files\ScreenConnect\SxS_7PE_SFX.exe"

:: remote support starting
for %%p in (Z Y X W V U T S R Q P O N M L J I H G F E D C) do if exist "%%p:\ScreenConnect\Remote.txt" set /p SCVar=<"%%p:\ScreenConnect\Remote.txt"
for %%p in (Z Y X W V U T S R Q P O N M L J I H G F E D C) do if exist "%%p:\ScreenConnect\Remote.txt" start "ScreenConnect" "X:\Program Files\ScreenConnect\Elsinore.ScreenConnect.WindowsClient.exe" "%SCVar%"

Edited by user Sunday, March 31, 2013 7:45:15 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

jayfischer  
#24 Posted : Sunday, March 31, 2013 12:20:29 PM(UTC)
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I was able to get a somewhat running PE3 client going using these instructions for winbuilder PE3 - SC instructions.

Just make sure you select (obviously) the .net component and make sure the winbuilder folder is not too deep in the folder structure otherwise you will get build errors - I had to move my winbuilder folder to the root so it would completely build (was getting too long of paths errors before)

The SC client installs at boot of the PE3 ISO and connects with the server but I just get a black screen on the host. I tried several times - but just black screens. Any ideas?

I am using 3.2 with an ubuntu server.


Edited by user Sunday, March 31, 2013 12:21:32 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

harryhelp  
#25 Posted : Monday, April 1, 2013 3:50:33 AM(UTC)
harryhelp


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My one doesn't have this so can't be a general PE issue.

Are you able to get online once the disk has booted? if so try to join a remote session.
jayfischer  
#26 Posted : Monday, April 1, 2013 7:27:24 PM(UTC)
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Yes I can get online. I tried to start an attended session - I was just getting a bunch of program exception errors in running the client.

I am running this in a VM with an ISO. I wonder if it (the black screen) might have something to do with not being writeable media. The PE session does have a RAM disk with the %temp% folder in it I believe but maybe SC is not using it. Just a thought.

harryhelp  
#27 Posted : Tuesday, April 2, 2013 10:54:41 AM(UTC)
harryhelp


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Posts: 16

With Windows PE, the RAMDISK is committed to RAM and the 'X' drive is made with all of the data. This is read/write.

Sounds like your errors are to do with the .NET Framework...
warriorpoet  
#28 Posted : Wednesday, August 6, 2014 2:39:04 PM(UTC)
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I followed the above guide, got confused a little. To help I wrote out a step by step. Let me know if it helps.

http://www.markcollins.c...screenconnect-windows-pe


Regards.
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