If you find yourself supporting/fixing computers for friends and family members, then LogMeIn is an indispensable tool for you. I use LogMeIn Free to remote control the computers that I support and the reason that I love this tool is because it does an excellent job of punching through firewalls AND it requires absolutely no interaction from the person being helped in order for you to establish a remote connection. You need to install a small program that runs on each computer that you support – ideally this can be setup by you the next time you get called for support.

System Tray Icon

What I don’t like about the client side software is that it puts an icon in the System Tray. However, I have found that you can kill this icon using the registry without impacting any functionality. This way LogMeIn is completely transparent to the end user and you have the ability to remote control their computer whenever they are experiencing an issue. In order to remove the icon from the system tray, remove the following entry from the registry-

The next time you restart your computer, the system tray GUI will not run but the core LogMeIn processes will run, giving you complete access to their system.

Vista Update (10/10/2007): It seems that the system tray icon may give you some trouble on Vista machines. The simplest workaround right now is to simply rename the executable located here: C:\Program Files\LogMeIn\x86\LogMeInSystray.exe to something else. Change the executable in the x64 folder on 64-bit machines. If you find a better workaround, please post it in the comments.

Authentication

The other part that might be tricky is the fact that you need a local user account on the machine that you are going to support. Now I haven’t completely figured why this happens, but apparently depending upon the mood of the installer, you may be prompted by the installer to create a “Computer Access Code”. What this really means is that the installer has created a user account for you on that local box called “LogMeInRemoteUser” and has hidden this user account from showing up on the XP Welcome Screen or on the User Accounts management tool in the Control Panel.

I wasn’t too comfortable using “LogMeInRemoteUser” on some machines and a personal local account on other machines. Therefore, I chose to create personal accounts on ALL machines that I support and deleted the LogMeInRemoteUser account in an effort to maintain consistency. I will not be covering the steps to create a local user account.

First thing I wanted to do was to hide my personal account from the XP Welcome Screen and from the User Accounts management tool in Control Panel. To do this, add the following DWORD to the registry-

My Personal Account’s username is “Pranav” so I just create a DWORD for “Pranav” and set it to 0 ni the location mentioned above.

If you were prompted to create a Computer Access Code during installation, then the installer created a local account called LogMeInRemoteUser and you’ll notice that there is a DWORD entry in the same location for that account. Simply delete this DWORD and you’ll now see this account in the User Accounts management tool in Control Panel. You can then go ahead and delete this account if you wish to do so.

Conclusion

I am loving the product so far – especially since it is FREE and EASY. I have also been able to make this experience completely transparent for the people that I support and that is a great plus point for me. Please share your suggestions/experiences in the comments below.

 

6 Responses to Log Me In

  1. BJ says:

    I agree. This is a terrific free product/service. I’ve used pcAnywhere for years to support my customers but LogMeIn adds some functionality that I haven’t had w/ pcA. One in particular is the ability to perform a hard reboot. When pcA gets hung up I’m at the mercy of the user to reboot the system for me. Since most of my remote support is performed after hours this is very inconvenient. LMI affords me the ability to reboot the system w/o the need of user intervention. That feature alone has been a godsend.

    Your registry edit for disabling the system tray icon works great on XP machines. However, I haven’t been able to remove it on a Vista machine I’m working w/. Removing the HKLM run entry doesn’t disable the System Tray icon as it does on XP systems. I checked the registry and there are many entries alluding to LogMeIn SysTray. Have you run across this issue and if so, found a fix? (a way to remove the LogMeIn system tray icon on Vista systems?)

    Thank you in advance
    BJ

  2. Pranav says:

    I’ve tried the same registry edit on a Vista machine and it removed the icon successfully for me. Please double-check to make sure that the registry entry hasn’t re-appeared.

    If that still doesn’t do the trick for you, then you can try Start>Type “msconfig”>Startup Tab and disable any LogMeIn GUI related entry by unchecking it.

  3. BJ says:

    Thank you for your reply, Pranav. True, I could disable it in msconfig but that’s an interim measure for me. I normally use msconfig as an temporary measure when trouble-shooting, etc but I don’t, as a rule, leave anything disabled in msconfig. Rather I take care of the change at its source. In this case, the registry.

    I’ll take another look. When I tried it initially, it sure seemed to be the case that removing it from the HKLM Run key doesn’t make the system tray icon go away. Maybe I overlooked something.

    I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Again, thank you for taking the time to post your review of LMI and to respond to my post.

    BJ

  4. Pranav says:

    Keep me posted please and let me know if you find a solution. To my understanding, once you remove the registry key and restart, the systray icon comes up again – is that right?

  5. BJ says:

    Thanx Pranav. You’d think so. (Removing the HKLM_Run entry would do the trick.) I spent over an hour on it yesterday trying many different things. Still, couldn’t get the bloody thing to go away. Finally I renamed the LogMeInSystray.exe executable and that did the trick. I expected the system to fuss at me when I rebooted and that would lead me to the culprit that keeps running the tray icon. Nope. It booted in w/o a peep. Really frustrating. This works but it’s a band aid. I don’t like renaming executables, etc. I want to know the source of the problem – what keeps putting the thing there.

    I’ve tried:
    Disabling System Restore
    Clearing out all temp files.
    Exiting LMI b4 removing the HKLM_Run entry.
    Checking LMI preferences and restoring “Disable LogMeIn” option
    (I’d disabled it previously.)
    I checked for services running but no LMI tray icon services are running – just the LMI service and the LMI Maintenance service.
    I’ve disabled “Hide Icons that are Inactive”
    (I’d set the LMI icon as hidden all the time)

    If you can think of anything else I can try I’m “all ears”. This isn’t important in this case. In fact, I won’t want to keep the LMI icon disabled on this particular system but I will on future Vista systems so I want to have this worked out.

    Thanx again!
    BJ

  6. Pranav says:

    Renaming the .exe is a smart idea.

    I have 2 questions-
    1) Does the HKLM_Run entry REAPPEAR or is it gone for good?
    2) Is there an entry in msconfig? If yes, then msconfig can point you towards the entity that is invoking this executable.
    3) Have you tried searching the registry for references to the LMI GUI executable – I would imagine that there will be a lot of references to the main executable but not so many to the GUI.

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