Create your own VNC support package in 640Kb

Like a lot of people, a lot of my friends are computer-savvy - either they are in the field or have grown up with them and like using them. With that comes the expected responsibility, usually family or sometimes friends will say "My computers broken, come and fix it for me"

Assuming you are going to help them (one friend came up with the solution of telling people they need a new PC every single time or taking their PC home with them and never bothering to return it) carting yourself to your parents/family/friends every time they have an issue or question is not always convenient, so remote assistance (of course!) is the answer.

Now, there is a remote assistance built into XP. However, unless both sides are set up with uPnP routers, Windows XP, MSN messenger (and some luck) it can be troublesome.
With this in mind, we created a package at runPCrun using the popular and open source TightVNC. We've used it successfully for many years at runPCrun using reverse connections to get around the problem of NAT traversal and it's always worked very well.

I'm releasing a cut down version of the Inno Setup source we use to package it, along with simple instructions for you to follow to create your own support package.
It's a simple piece of scripting but it can be deployed quite effectively. Now I am aware there are things like UltraVNC Single Click (here is a good Lifehacker article on the subject), and it definitely has it's place and we use it ourselves. However two main limitations apply

  • It can't be run as service, so no logoff/logon can be performed and Ctrl-Alt-Del is not supported.
  • Other useful utilities aren't packaged with it

TightVNC and NOD32

After the virus signature database update on 25th April NOD32 started to detect TightVNC (usually at c:\Program Files\TightVNC\WinVNC.exe) and an associated .dll as a threat.

By way of a solution disable 'Potentially Dangerous Applications' in the NOD32 Control Center under AMON > Setup > Options

There is a Flash demonstration for it here - Show Me