Offer Remote Assistance - "Permission denied" - Windows XP SP2

From: Research Services (
Date: 01/14/05

Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2005 09:07:06 -0700

We are having problems getting "Offer Remote Assistance" to work in our
Child Domain (part of an Active Directory Forest). In Offer Remote
Assistance, when we Click the Connect Button from a Windows XP SP2 computer
with Windows Firewall Enabled, an error box "Permission denied" is displayed
immediately, as if it never even gets far enough to try to communicate to
the destination XP SP2 computer (no hard drive activity, no event log
activity, no dropped traffic by the firewall). Interestingly, when we put
in a W2K3 box as the destination, we received a different error "Access to
the requested resource has been disabled by your administrator" and it
actually does "talk" to the W2K3 box over the network as you can hear the
disk grind at the moment it attempts to connect. We have not used GPOs to
Enable Remote Assistance on our W2K3 boxes.

So, the list of what we have done with related Microsoft KB Articles:

- Through Group Policy, have Enabled both 'Solicited Remote Assistance' and
'Offer Remote Assistance' at
Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / System / Remote
- Added a couple of Domain Admin Groups who are also in the Local
Administrators group on all computers with the <domain>\<group> format to
the Group Policy above
- Added/Changed the DCOM Registry Key as such on ALL involved computers:
- Opened all of the items below in the Windows Firewall through Group
%WINDIR%\SYSTEM32\Sessmgr.exe:*:Enabled:Remote Assistance
%WINDIR%\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\Helpsvc.exe:*:Enabled:Offer Remote
%WINDIR%\PCHealth\HelpCtr\Binaries\Helpctr.exe:*:Enabled:Remote Assistance -
Windows Messenger and Voice
135:TCP:*:Enabled:Remote Assistance Port
- We have even Enabled to "*" 'Allow remote administration exception',
'Allow file and printer sharing exception' and 'Allow Remote Desktop
exception' in the Firewall as well
- Even though all of our computers are Windows XP SP2, since we have left
this group Policy as 'Not Configured' we don't believe it applies to us.
(And attempting to modify this as KB stated caused all sorts of other DCOM
related problems)
Simple File Sharing is disabled since all computers are within our Domain
(Domain Computers), so this article doesn't apply to us. We have verified
that this checkbox is NOT selected on all of the computers involved.

Right-Click, Properties on 'My Computer', Remote Tab on all involved
computers has the 'Allow Remote Assistance invitations to be sent from this
computer' checked.

Resultant Set of Policies (RSoP) verifies that all appropriate Group
Policies are being applied correctly.

All involved computers are on the same subnet and no other firewalls exist
other than the Group Policy-enforced Windows Firewall configured as
mentioned above. In fact removing the Windows Firewall on both the 'Expert'
and 'Novice' computers generates the same error message 'Permission denied'.

The 'Remote Desktop Help Session Manager' service is set to Automatic and in
the Running state on the computer that the 'Offer Remote Assistance' is
being made from and under the security context of a Local AND Domain
Administrator account - this user is part of one of the groups added to the
Group Policy above.

'Offer Remote Assistance' is being initiated from a Shortcut to:

Remote Desktop works correctly for all involved computers.

Generating a Remote Assistance request and sending via email works
perfectly. Only Unsolicited (Offer) Remote Assistance does not work.

We use Group Policy to "lock down" most of the Security Settings under 'User
Rights Assignments' and 'Security Options'. See list of settings below:
Policy Security Setting
Access this computer from the network MYDOMAIN\Domain Admins,MYDOMAIN\Domain
Act as part of the operating system
Add workstations to domain
Adjust memory quotas for a process LOCAL SERVICE,NETWORK
Allow logon through Terminal Services Administrators,Remote Desktop Users
Back up files and directories Administrators
Bypass traverse checking Users
Change the system time MYDOMAIN\Domain Admins,MYDOMAIN\Domain
Create a pagefile Administrators
Create a token object
Create global objects Administrators,INTERACTIVE,SERVICE
Create permanent shared objects
Debug programs Administrators
Deny access to this computer from the network
Deny logon as a batch job
Deny logon as a service
Deny logon locally
Deny logon through Terminal Services ASPNET
Enable computer and user accounts to be trusted for delegation
Force shutdown from a remote system MYDOMAIN\Domain Admins,Administrators
Generate security audits LOCAL SERVICE,NETWORK SERVICE
Impersonate a client after authentication ASPNET,Administrators,SERVICE
Increase scheduling priority Administrators
Load and unload device drivers Administrators
Lock pages in memory
Log on as a batch job
Log on as a service NETWORK SERVICE
Log on locally MYDOMAIN\Domain Admins,MYDOMAIN\Domain Users,Administrators
Manage auditing and security log Administrators
Modify firmware environment values Administrators
Perform volume maintenance tasks Administrators
Profile single process Administrators
Profile system performance Administrators
Remove computer from docking station Administrators,Users
Replace a process level token LOCAL SERVICE,NETWORK SERVICE
Restore files and directories Administrators
Shut down the system Administrators,Users
Synchronize directory service data
Take ownership of files or other objects Administrators

Policy Security Setting
Accounts: Administrator account status Not Applicable
Accounts: Guest account status Not Applicable
Accounts: Limit local account use of blank passwords to console logon only
Accounts: Rename administrator account Not defined
Accounts: Rename guest account Not defined
Audit: Audit the access of global system objects Disabled
Audit: Audit the use of Backup and Restore privilege Disabled
Audit: Shut down system immediately if unable to log security audits
DCOM: Machine Access Restrictions in Security Descriptor Definition Language
(SDDL) syntax Not defined
DCOM: Machine Launch Restrictions in Security Descriptor Definition Language
(SDDL) syntax Not defined
Devices: Allow undock without having to log on Disabled
Devices: Allowed to format and eject removable media Administrators
Devices: Prevent users from installing printer drivers Disabled
Devices: Restrict CD-ROM access to locally logged-on user only Disabled
Devices: Restrict floppy access to locally logged-on user only Disabled
Devices: Unsigned driver installation behavior Warn but allow installation
Domain controller: Allow server operators to schedule tasks Not defined
Domain controller: LDAP server signing requirements Not defined
Domain controller: Refuse machine account password changes Not defined
Domain member: Digitally encrypt or sign secure channel data (always)
Domain member: Digitally encrypt secure channel data (when possible) Enabled
Domain member: Digitally sign secure channel data (when possible) Enabled
Domain member: Disable machine account password changes Disabled
Domain member: Maximum machine account password age 7 days
Domain member: Require strong (Windows 2000 or later) session key Enabled
Interactive logon: Do not display last user name Enabled
Interactive logon: Do not require CTRL+ALT+DEL Disabled
Interactive logon: Message text for users attempting to log on
Interactive logon: Message title for users attempting to log on Not defined
Interactive logon: Number of previous logons to cache (in case domain
controller is not available) 0 logons
Interactive logon: Prompt user to change password before expiration 14 days
Interactive logon: Require Domain Controller authentication to unlock
workstation Enabled
Interactive logon: Require smart card Not defined
Interactive logon: Smart card removal behavior Lock Workstation
Microsoft network client: Digitally sign communications (always) Disabled
Microsoft network client: Digitally sign communications (if server agrees)
Microsoft network client: Send unencrypted password to third-party SMB
servers Disabled
Microsoft network server: Amount of idle time required before suspending
session 720 minutes
Microsoft network server: Digitally sign communications (always) Disabled
Microsoft network server: Digitally sign communications (if client agrees)
Microsoft network server: Disconnect clients when logon hours expire Enabled
Network access: Allow anonymous SID/Name translation Not Applicable
Network access: Do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts Enabled
Network access: Do not allow anonymous enumeration of SAM accounts and
shares Enabled
Network access: Do not allow storage of credentials or .NET Passports for
network authentication Enabled
Network access: Let Everyone permissions apply to anonymous users Disabled
Network access: Named Pipes that can be accessed anonymously
Network access: Remotely accessible registry paths
Network access: Shares that can be accessed anonymously
Network access: Sharing and security model for local accounts Classic -
local users authenticate as themselves
Network security: Do not store LAN Manager hash value on next password
change Enabled
Network security: Force logoff when logon hours expire Enabled
Network security: LAN Manager authentication level Send NTLMv2 response
only\refuse LM & NTLM
Network security: LDAP client signing requirements Require signing
Network security: Minimum session security for NTLM SSP based (including
secure RPC) clients Require message integrity,Require message
confidentiality,Require NTLMv2 session security,Require 128-bit encryption
Network security: Minimum session security for NTLM SSP based (including
secure RPC) servers Require message integrity,Require message
confidentiality,Require NTLMv2 session security,Require 128-bit encryption
Recovery console: Allow automatic administrative logon Disabled
Recovery console: Allow floppy copy and access to all drives and all folders
Shutdown: Allow system to be shut down without having to log on Disabled
Shutdown: Clear virtual memory pagefile Disabled
System cryptography: Use FIPS compliant algorithms for encryption, hashing,
and signing Disabled
System objects: Default owner for objects created by members of the
Administrators group Object creator
System objects: Require case insensitivity for non-Windows subsystems
System objects: Strengthen default permissions of internal system objects
(e.g. Symbolic Links) Enabled

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated - thank for help in advance.

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