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Using NetScan to Scan and Identify Network Devices and Computers

You want to identify all of the components on your network.

Solution

You need to run a network scanner. One of the easiest (and free) products is Softperfect’s Network Scanner, which you can download here.

  1. Download and run NetScan.
  2. The first time you run NetScan on your PC, it won’t know the subnet to scan. You can scan multiple subnets, but we’ll only do one for now. We’ll use the primary subnet on our network. Click Options->IP Address->Detect Local IP Range. Choose the appropriate subnet.
  3. Notice how NetScan fills in the Range after you select your subnet.
  4. Next, we need to choose our scan options. Click on Options->Program Options.
  5. The General options are usually sufficient.
  6. Click on the Additional tab. Ensure the following are enabled:
    Resolve host names
    Resolve MAC addresses
    Grab HTTP server banner
    Check for open TCP ports (80,443)
  7. Click on the Workstation tab. Ensure the following are enabled:
    Lookup Windows Version
    Lookup logged-on users
    Retrieve assigned comment
  8. Click Ok.
  9. Start the scan by clicking on the Start Scanning icon.
  10. Due to the nature of a network scan, it can take a few minutes to several. Once done, NetScan should show a list of scanned hosts. If you click on the Plus (+) sign next to a host, you’ll see any shared resources (e.g., a shared printer).
Saving the Results 
If you close NetScan now, you’ll lose all of the results. In this mode, NetScan is good for finding a new network printer, VMware server, etc. However, for a forma network scan for documenting the network, we’ll want to save the information.
  1. Click on File->Save Results.
  2. For Save as Type, choose XML.
  3. Choose to save the file to an appropriate location.
  4. Click Save.

If this work is part of a ticket, upload the resulting XML as an attachment to the ticket.

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