[Solved] Desktop Support Problems – Part One

This three-part series will show how ControlUp is used to close desktop tickets faster, have fewer desktop tickets, and save money by consolidating point solution support tools.

Part Two: Have fewer physical desktop support tickets.

Part Three: Save money by consolidating physical desktop support tools.

Rising costs and growing complexity are constant IT challenges for organizations. On top of that, IT teams are expected to ensure that employees can work efficiently from anywhere, whether in the office, at home, or remotely as hybrid workspaces have become the norm. Supporting hybrid work while meeting the expectation to support IT systems and maintain business continuity can be daunting.

While Mobile Device Management (MDM), Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM), and Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) software can provide greater security and lower total cost of ownership, they lack the capability to find and fix issues with physical devices. Many helpdesk departments have turned to point solutions that only address a portion of the problem, like remote control software. However, the helpdesk still suffers from repeated tickets for known issues and lengthy troubleshooting and remediation times. Ongoing desktop problems will lead to a negative employee perception of IT.

This three-part series will show how ControlUp is used to close desktop tickets faster, have fewer desktop tickets, and save money by consolidating point solution support tools.

Part One: Close physical desktop support tickets faster

Typically, the desktop helpdesk tells users to install a patch, reboot the machine, or remote control the desktop to find the issue. If rebooting the desktop didn’t resolve the issue, support might examine log files or error messages. So, you need to ask yourself, is the recommendation to reboot the computer based on actual troubleshooting knowledge, or is it simply a guess?


To accurately troubleshoot and remediate desktops, support needs access to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that show how desktops perform over time. In the past, we only collected this type of information on servers, but with cloud computing, we can efficiently capture performance KPIs on desktop computers anywhere in the world. ControlUp captures desktop performance KPIs in real-time and stores the data for 30 days to correlate problems with the device.

Below is a screenshot of out-of-the-box desktop KPIs used to help identify the cause of the problem. A script can add custom data to the cloud database if you need additional metrics from the desktop. For instance, some BIOS let you gather CPU temperature.

Figure 1: Screenshot of ControlUp’s device KPI dashboard.

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Finding the cause of an IT issue is hard but fixing it can sometimes be more challenging. How does your company remediate problems with desktop computers? Do they rely on remote control? Do they send a fix to the device through system management software that can take 30 minutes to an hour to reach the device? These solutions can fix problems, but there must be a better way. ControlUp has a few ways to quickly remediate issues with desktop computers, such as deploying a remediation script in seconds, transferring a file at the network’s speed, or remote control the desktop wherever the device is.

Remediation Actions

Scripts are a powerful, scalable way to fix almost any support issue. However, since some scripts need to run in a system context, getting the script to run on a device may be challenging for support organizations. It can be even more difficult getting scripts to run on a remote device as emailing a script to someone is not recommended or even supported in many organizations. Some organizations put scripts on a share, which can still be a challenge if the script requires elevated permissions. Another option is to wait for an hour for systems management software to deploy the script to the desktop. Luckily, ControlUp has an expansive script library, can run scripts immediately, supports all major scripting languages and operating systems, and can deploy a script in a user or system context.

Figure 2: Screenshot of how-to clear Microsoft Teams cache using ControlUp.

File Transfer

At some point, every support tech has struggled to pull a log file or replace a file on a desktop. ControlUp enables support to send or receive files to remote desktops with a single click. Since the ControlUp agent has access to the operating system to view the local and remote desktop file system, the support engineer can send or receive a file to resolve problems quickly and let users resume their normal activities.

Figure 3: Receive files

Remote Assistance

Many organizations use remoting technology to remediate desktops. At ControlUp, we see remoting as a last effort to remediate a desktop since scripting is faster dand more scalable. ControlUp offers three remote assist options:

  1. Remote Shell is a quick way to connect to a low bandwidth remote system command line console or fix a solution with a single command.
  2. Remote Control lets the support technician control the remote desktop, which, in some cases, is the fastest way to fix a simple problem.
  3. Remote Shadow lets support observe the end user interact with the desktop to repeat a problem or, with real-time coaching, fix the issue themselves.

All traffic between systems is fully encrypted to ensure security and privacy.

Figure 4: Screenshot of ControlUp connecting to a remote desktop.

We all want support tickets closed faster. We also know that device management software focuses on deployment, security, and asset management, not troubleshooting and remedying users’ interaction with the desktop and application. With device historical performance metrics for troubleshooting, scripts, file transfer, and remote assistance for remediation, ControlUp can drastically reduce mean time to resolution (MTTR) and deliver a better desktop experience.

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About the author

Jeff Johnson

Jeff is a product marketing manager for ControlUp. He is responsible for evangelizing the Digital Employee Experience on physical endpoints such as Windows, macOS, and Linux. Jeff has spent his career specializing in enterprise strategies for client computing, application delivery, virtualization, and systems management. Jeff was one of the key architects of the Consumerization of IT Strategy for Microsoft, which has redefined how enterprises allow unmanaged devices to access corporate intellectual property.