How to Shadow from the vWorkspace Management Console on 2012R2 Server (Remote Assistance)

How to Shadow from the vWorkspace Management Console on 2012R2 Server (Remote Assistance)

How to Shadow from the vWorkspace Management Console on 2012R2 Server (Remote Assistance)

Hello vWorkspacers!

 

As some of you will know,  Session shadowing is back in 2012R2!

This will show you how to make it work again through our Console.

 

VWShadow.exe is what our console uses and this does not work on a 2012R2 box.

 

The old Shadow.exe doesn't exist in 2012R2. It has been replaced with the command mstsc.exe /shadow:sessionid /v:servername

 

When you try to do Remote Assistance, our console simply runs

"c:\windows\syswow64\vwshadow.exe servername sessionid"

 

What I've done for now is created a miniscript in "Autoit" that I've converted to .exe

It needs to be an exe so that it can replace vwshadow.exe.

The script is really simple. All it does is launch mstsc with the arguments in the correct order for shadowing.

The attached Zip file contains 3 variations.

 

1. vwshadow -control.exe

This launches:

mstsc.exe /shadow:sessionid /v:servername /control

This means you'll have control of the Users session but it does require consent.

2. vwshadow -controlnoconsent.exe

This launches:

mstsc.exe /shadow:sessionid /v:servername /control /noConsentPrompt

This means you'll have control of the Users session. It tries to connect without consent.

*WARNING*This method may fail out with an error if you have no set the GPO which allows admins to do this.

3. vwshadow -viewonly

This launches:

mstsc.exe /shadow:sessionid /v:servername

This is view only.

So, if you want to shadow using our Console on a 2012R2 server - you can! Just rename one of the exes in my zip file to vwshadow.exe and replace the existing c:\windows\syswow64\vwshadow.exe

Natively 2012r2 cannot shadow Windows7 boxes Be aware that certain combos of OS /RDP versions still won't work.

If MS update Remote Assistance for 2012r2 so that it can shadow Windows7 boxes, this will start working from our Console too.

Enjoy, Andrew.

Attachment: vwshadow -control.zip
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  • Hi Andrew,

    I'm not getting this to work.

    I have the console installed on my machine (a Windows 8.1 Ent VDI) running on the same vWorkspace Farm. I have replaced the files which you have created with the original one under the C:\Windows\SysWOW64 but still that doesn't work.

    Any help to get please?

    Regards,

    Hussain

  • Hi Hussain, it worked fine for 8.0.1 but Dev changed how we do the call again in 8.5 or 8.6 onwards.

    Because of this, You can now do a shadow session just in the console without any custom code but we still have an enhancement request pending to get the control option back in.

    I heard a rumour that this will finally make it into a 8.6.1 Hotfix. The feature request id is 453743 if you want to keep an eye out for it in the release notes of our hotfixes (It's likely to be in a broker hotfix as that's the closest match to the console)

    Thanks, Andrew.

  • Hi Andrew,

    Thank you very much, will keep  an eye on it as our helpdesk guys wants to start shadowing VDI machines on end users.

    Regards,

    Hussain

  • Hello,

    Just in case you don't know already. For now, you can enable remote view by right clicking on "Locations" in the management console and select properties.

    Then click RDP Connections | Enable RDP remote administration control

    Now you can find the users machine in the management console, right click and select Remote Control | Remote assistance.

    At this point they should be able to view the session (but not control it until we fix it in a future release)

    Thanks, Andrew.