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Remote Access PC Outside of OS (Windows)

Remote Access PC Outside of OS (Windows)

Remote Access PC Outside of OS (Windows)

(OP)
I'm just curious as to whether there are any free solutions out there that allow you to set up a PC so that you can access it remotely without the need of the Host OS running correctly.

So, for instance, say the host system's Windows installation is hosed, and therefore you cannot access it via a Windows OS based remote application.

Is there a way to access the system at the BIOS level, or in a sub-main-OS level?  For instance, on one machine I'm trying to get as remote-ready as possible while still maintaining security, I've got BootIt NG installed.  I don't see any way to use that remotely, though.

I'm open to anything at this time, at least for research.  Hopefully we won't need to remote in outside of Windows, but I thought I'd find out what I could in this regard.

Thanks for any information/references.

RE: Remote Access PC Outside of OS (Windows)

(OP)
Sorry, I should have specified about Bootit NG:  What I'd like to be able to do is remotely access this application/OS if Windows is unable to start, but this portion IS able to start.  That would make it easier to restore an image file remotely.  Bootit NG is specifically an image/partition/boot handling program by TyerabyteUnlimited

I have read on their site as to how to use their Image for Windows application remotely, and I'll do some further reading there, but I'd like to be able to use the other remotely as well...

Or another thought is this - A bootable CD/DVD based OS or USB based OS that could be set up to control a PC remotely - that would be an ultimate recovery tool, I think.  Any thoughts/ ideas on what's available there?  I suppose that many Linux distros could work there.

Thanks again for any advice/info/references at all.  

RE: Remote Access PC Outside of OS (Windows)

I don't know of any free solutions.  

I use LogMeIn Rescue.  It allows access at the BIOS level.  It isn't free, it isn't even cheap, but when I spread the cost over the number of clients that I have it is well worth the cost.  It also saves the client money in the long run because there is no travel time or unnecessary downtime for them.

Hope this helps.

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RE: Remote Access PC Outside of OS (Windows)

(OP)
Yeah, that is a lot, but I can see where if you had several customers per month, how that it would easily pay for itself.  I mean, if it gives you full control of unlimited clients for just under $100 per month, I suppose it isn't so bad.  I don't have that many folks right now where I NEED to remote in, b/c most are within 5 to 15 minutes driving time, anyway.  However, a few are a good 30 to 60 minutes drive, so I'd just about sell my little toes to be able to fix them up from home!  wink

Thanks for that reference.  I had looked at LogMeIn, but didn't see the LogMeInRescue.  I'll have to at least give it a try sometime, but I doubt I'd actually purchase the thing for now... then again, I've got at least one customer that has the means to cover the cost of that, and quite possibly the desire... maybe.

So, with that, you're able to change BIOS settings on the remote PC, and install/repair Windows, etc even outside of Windows?!  Man if that's the case, boy howdy does it sound tempting!  

But paying @$100/month vs $0 is definitely a deal breaker (I think) for now... I do think I'll mention it to the one person, and see what they think.  If they like the idea, I may be set for covering it... we'll see.  smile

RE: Remote Access PC Outside of OS (Windows)

(OP)
Hmm, don't know why I didn't think of this option before... How does using say LogMeIn Rescue compare to using an IP KVM Switch?  The KVM over IP switch would be expensive up front, but it's a one time purchase, correct?  But I suppose you've got to have a client unit at each location that you need to control..  And I suppose you're limited to however many ports you've got on the switch..

Any thoughts/experience on that?  That was the first thing I came across when Googling for BIOS level remote.

RE: Remote Access PC Outside of OS (Windows)

(OP)
Well, NOW I'm thinking I know why that wouldn't be an ideal solution here (just guessing anyway).  In order to use a KVM over IP, it'd then be difficult for the local user at the remote location to use his/her PC "normally", right?  B/c surely on their end I'd have to connect via Monitor/USB in the least?

RE: Remote Access PC Outside of OS (Windows)

I haven't used an IP KVM switch but yeah, whichever pc/server had the KVM switch would have to operate through the KVM.  I really can't see how an IP KVM switch would work.  You'd have access to the network via the KVM switch but then how would you access the client?  Wouldn't an IP KVM switch just be a different way of accessing the network?

LogMeIn Rescue allows you access the the "problem child" even if it isn't at it's usual location (IE: laptop out of the office that is having problems accessing the office network).

Hope this helps.

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RE: Remote Access PC Outside of OS (Windows)

(OP)
Well, the KVM IP switch would work perfect if the computer were going to stay in the same location all the time, and if the computer didn't need to be accessed locally, it seems... well, I imagine there may be some that allow both local and remote control, but I'm not sure.  The reason I looked into that is because it gives full access to the machine - such as BIOS-level access.  It's supposed to work the same as a local KVM between multiple computers.  With the one specific instance I'm thinking of, the computer is a desktop, and would likely stay in the same place... BUT we are also planning on setting up a laptop, so that's a good point as well.

Anyway, the LogMeIn approach sounds like a real winner, and from a glance earlier, it looked like there were no real limits on how many "client" PCs you could connect to - not saying no limit on connect at same time, but rather no limit as to total... so you could connect to ClientA today, ClientB tomorrow, all the way through ClientZZ without spending any extra, right?  In that case, the cost per computer/instance goes down with each usage.

RE: Remote Access PC Outside of OS (Windows)

That's correct, there is no limit as to connections.  I've actually been connected to a server and a laptop at ClientA and had a user from ClientB call me with an issue, so I've connected to him (at his remote site, not his office) while still connected to ClientA.  LogMeIn is entirely web based so your only limitation should be bandwidth.

Hope this helps.

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RE: Remote Access PC Outside of OS (Windows)

(OP)
Yeah, that does sound dreamy from a PC support end.  I think I will definitely try it some time, and make sure I slip in a comment to anyone I start doing much for remotely, stating, "you know there's this tool that could help me help you..." wink

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