Tech Tip: Set file attributes with ATTRIB/Simplify Remote Assistance

Windows 2000 Professional: Set file attributes with ATTRIB

You're probably familiar with file attributes, which determine characteristics of a file, including the read-only, compressed, and hidden attributes.

Most of the time, the Windows GUI is the easiest and most direct method for viewing and changing a file's attributes. Right-click the file, and choose Properties. Windows displays the Hidden and Read-only attributes on the General tab, and you can click Advanced to view compression and encryption attributes.

However, the ATTRIB command is a more effective approach in some situations, such as when you need to change attributes for several files or change attributes within a script. Typing ATTRIB without any parameters displays all of the files in the current folder and their attributes. To view the attributes of a specific file, add the filename after the ATTRIB command, as shown below:


You can use a handful of parameters with ATTRIB to set a file's attribute. For example, use the following command to add the Read-only attribute to Myfile.doc and to remove the Hidden attribute:


To learn more about the ATTRIB command and its parameters, enter HELP ATTRIB at the command prompt.

Windows 2000 Server: Simplify Remote Assistance

If you have Windows XP users on your network, they can take advantage of Remote Assistance to allow another user or an administrator to remotely connect to their computers to fix problems or demonstrate tasks.

In a typical Remote Assistance scenario, the user goes to Start | Help And Support, and clicks Invite A Friend To Connect To Your Computer With Remote Assistance. The user can then issue a Remote Assistance invitation to the other person, who accepts the invitation and makes the connection.

Novice users may have difficulty sending Remote Assistance invitations, so you might prefer to enable administrators to offer Remote Assistance instead. In this scenario, the user and administrator must be in the same domain or in trusted domains. Instead of the user sending the invitation, the administrator initiates the Remote Assistance session.

To enable Remote Assistance, follow these steps:

  1. Add the Windows XP policy template to your Windows 2000 Server. You'll find the required template file on a computer running Windows XP in the %Windir%\INF folder.
  2. Open the Active Directory Users And Computers console on the server, and locate the OU where you want to enable Remote Assistance.
  3. Right-click the OU, choose Properties, click Group Policy, and create a new group policy object (or edit an existing one).
  4. In the Group Policy Editor, expand the Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Remote Assistance folder. Double-click the Offer Remote Assistance policy, and set it to Enable.
  5. Choose Allow Helpers To Remotely Control The Computer from the drop-down list.
  6. Click Show to open the Show Contents dialog box to add users.
  7. Click OK, and close the policy dialog box and the Group Policy Editor.

To offer Remote Assistance, you must be working from a Windows XP workstation. Go to Start | Help And Support, and choose Use Tools To View Your Computer Information And Diagnose Problems. Then, click Offer Remote Assistance to specify the IP address or host name of the computer to which you want to connect.

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