Quick Tip: Ensure proper permissions to enable NetMeeting's Remote Desktop Sharing

Learn to set the proper permissions to enable Microsoft NetMeetings Remote Desktop Sharing

Microsoft NetMeeting can help support techs quickly diagnose and resolve problems on end user systems. An important feature that lends to its effectiveness is Remote Desktop Sharing, which allows the tech to take control of the user's desktop.

Under specific circumstances, however, this feature can be disabled, thus limiting its value as a support tool.

For example, member Fzavit01 wrote in our Technical Q&A forums that the option is unavailable on some Windows NT/2000 systems and that attempts to enable have failed. “Uninstalling and reinstalling NetMeeting,” wrote Fzavit01, “has not helped.” Fzavit01 also reported that attempting to start the NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing service resulted in an error message stating that it could not be started.

Fzavit01 has found that the only way to reactivate the option is to completely reinstall the OS, an impractical and unsatisfactory solution.

“What causes this,” wrote Fzavit01, “and is there a fix for this [because] I cannot seem to find one?”

For support organizations that use NetMeeting as a troubleshooting tool, this could be a serious issue and one that must be resolved quickly and easily.

Resolving a permission's problem
Member Saihib stated that this can occur because the NTFS file permission settings are incorrect on the file Nmcom.dll. “The system account,” wrote Saihib, “must have at least read permission on Nmcom.dll to enable Remote Desktop Sharing.”

If the Nmcom.dll file permissions are incorrect, the Remote Desktop Sharing option will be unavailable as shown in Figure A.

Figure A
NetMeeting Tools menu

To make the Remote Desktop Sharing option available, you must change the NTFS file permissions on Nmcom.dll so that all users have at least read access to it. Saihib also wrote that you must start the Plug and Play service before enabling Remote Desktop Sharing.

Figure B
Services required for NetMeeting

To ensure that NetMeeting will function properly with the sharing feature enabled and available, you should perform the following steps:
  1. Open the Services window and ensure that both NetMeeting Remote Desktop Sharing and Plug and Play are enabled as shown in Figure B. If either, or both, is disabled, set the Startup Type to Automatic. If Plug and Play is stopped, right-click it and select Start.
  2. Exit the Services window.
  3. Run Windows Explorer.
  4. Open the NetMeeting program folder, the default location of which is c:\Program Files\NetMeeting.
  5. Right-click Nmcom.dll and select Properties.
  6. Click on the Security tab as shown in Figure C.
  7. In the top pane, select Everyone and then select Allow for the Read and Read & Execute options.
  8. Click OK.

Figure C
Nmcom.dll file permissions

Completing these steps should enable the sharing feature. If you plan to use NetMeeting as a support tool and need to use Remote Desktop Sharing, follow these steps to ensure that the feature is enabled and available.


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