Mr. Script

Speaking the Same Language

This month, Chris takes you through a handy script that discovers and enumerates what networking protocols are installed on a host.

Let’s go back to the days when you couldn’t imagine needing more than 30GB of hard drive space. Back to the “Golden Age” of Information Technology when Networking Essentials was the most feared exam and Internetworking with TCP/IP was an elective. Visualize that moment in time. Do you remember NetBEUI? That must have been, what, 50 or 60 years ago?

Actually, the year was 2001. That was when Microsoft released Windows XP without NetBEUI (NetBIOS Extended User Interface), making it clear that a perfectly good networking protocol no longer had a place in the Windows operating system. Oh, you can install it manually, but not from the Networking applet. You have to go to the XP installation CD and copy over the .sys and .inf files from the \Valueadd folder. (Value add? This thing used to be the default protocol!) It’s also officially “not supported.”

Protocol Discovery
My intention isn’t to rant about how Big Bill and the Redmond Rockets always seem to assume that the whole world upgrades (or should upgrade) the moment they release a new product. Instead, I’ll follow the advice of my daughter when she says, “Don’t be hatin’, daddy.” What I will do is realize that there are many organizations out there that likely still use antique systems like NT 4.0 and outdated protocols like NetBEUI, regardless of whether Microsoft “supports” them or not.

strComputer = "."
Set objWMIService = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer &   "\root\cimv2")
Set colItems = objWMIService.ExecQuery("Select * from   Win32_NetworkProtocol",,48)
For Each objItem in colItems
Wscript.Echo "Caption: " & objItem.Caption
Wscript.Echo "Connectionless Service: " & objItem.   ConnectionlessService
Wscript.Echo "Name: " & objItem.Name & vbCRLF

In the current IT climate, reorganization is a fact of life. Chances are good that in the last 12 months, your computer inventory has changed. For instance, you might have inherited a sales division that used to be in its own building but moved to yours in an effort to cut overhead. Each salesperson in this division has her own laptop computer, and it now falls upon you to make sure that those boxes are up to snuff. You’ve got to ensure that their virus-scanning software is current, that they have the latest and greatest version of your in-house software, and that they can communicate with all the appropriate servers (some of which may actually have the nerve to not have TCP/IP installed!).

The Rundown
This month’s script handles that last task by enumerating all networking protocols installed on a machine. Because it uses WMI, it can perform this task remotely, giving you a complete picture of the internetworking capabilities of every computer in your organization. Well…every Windows computer, at least. The script is based largely on the code created using the WMI Scriptomatic tool to list the Win32_ NetworkProtocol namespace. (We looked at Scriptomatic in the January issue.) It creates a listing of each installed protocol. How it presents that list varies depending upon the protocol itself. I’ve programmed the script to only display the information we need to determine what protocols are installed—the complete listing generated by the original Scriptomatic script contained a great deal of information that’s overkill for our current task.

Figure 1 shows some sample output from this script. I’ve highlighted the NetBEUI section to show how it differs from the NetBIOS over TCP/IP entries (shown immediately after the highlighted area). NetBEUI, while non-routable, is a fast and efficient networking protocol excellent for enabling computers on a LAN to communicate with each other. It’s probably installed on most of those sales laptops you just acquired. Use it. It still has value, no matter what Microsoft thinks.

Alt text here
An example of the script, comparing NetBEUI and NetBIOS. (Click image to view larger version.)

Grading Your Homework
Last month I asked you to improve on our “MyCompChange Name.wsf” script to validate the OS. Here’s how I solved the problem:

Step 1: Removed the “OS” named argument from the XML section.
Step 2: Deleted this line: strOSArg=WScript.Arguments. Named.Item(“OS”) Step 3: Added the following code in its place:

strComputer = "."
Set ob-+jWMI = GetObject("winmgmts:\\" & strComputer &   "\root\cimv2")
Set colItems = objWMI.ExecQuery("Select * from Win32_   OperatingSystem",,48)
For Each objItem in colItems
  If Left(objItem.Name, 22)="Microsoft Windows 2000" Then    strOSArg="2K"
  If Left(objItem.Name, 20)="Microsoft Windows XP" Then    strOSArg="XP"
  Is left(objItem.Name, 20)="Microsoft Windows NT" Then    strOSArg="NT"

By using WMI to query the Win32_OperatingSystem object, the possibility of human error is reduced when running the script. The above section automatically assigns the correct value to strOSArg. The only command-line argument that needs to be specified is whether to change “My Computer” to the Username, the Computername or both. Make sure you have WMI installed if you run this on an NT box.

Next month, we’ll be creating a new script in response to a “Scripting Question” e-mail. Stay tuned! This one’s gonna be good!

About the Author

Chris Brooke, MCSE, is a contributing editor for Redmond magazine and director of enterprise technology for ComponentSource. He specializes in development, integration services and network/Internet administration. Send questions or your favorite scripts to


  • Windows 10 Creators Update 'Fully Available' Again

  • Microsoft Previews Forms for Office 365

  • Microsoft Releases Advanced Threat Analytics Version 1.8

comments powered by Disqus

Office 365 Watch

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.