Weekend Scripter: Use PowerShell to Identify Network Adapter Characteristics

Weekend Scripter: Use PowerShell to Identify Network Adapter Characteristics

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Summary: Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, talks about using Windows PowerShell to identify network adapter characteristics.

Microsoft Scripting Guy, Ed Wilson, is here. Today I am kicking off Network Adapter Week.

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Note  PowerShell Saturday #007 will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina on February 8, 2014. This will be an awesome chance to meet and to learn from some of the best PowerShellers around. In fact, five of the speakers are also speakers at the PowerShell Summit this year. There are a limited number of tickets still available for this event, so you’ll want to sign up now. The Scripting Wife wrote a great post that provides a quick overview of the event: Psst...Charlotte PowerShell Saturday Details Leaked.

One of the great things about Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) is the way that it can provide detailed information. The bad thing is that it requires a specialist level of knowledge and understanding to effectively use it and to understand the information. (Either that or a good search engine, such as BING, and an awesome repository of information, such as the Script Center.)

Using raw WMI to identify network adapters

One of the cool things about Windows PowerShell, since version 1.0, is that it provides easier access to WMI information. The bad thing, of course, is that it is still wrestling with WMI, which some IT pros seem to hate (or at least dislike). The great thing about using raw WMI is that it provides compatibility with older versions of the operating system. For example, using raw WMI and Windows PowerShell would make it possible to talk to Windows XP, Windows 2003 Server, Windows 2008 Server, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 R2, and Windows 7, in addition to the modern operating systems of Windows 8.1, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2012.

So how do I do it? I used to be able to find our real network card by finding the one that was bound to TCP/IP. I would query the Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration WMI class, and filter on the IPEnabled property. Using this approach, I would have done something like this:

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration  -filter "IPEnabled = $true"

The problem with this methodology these days is that some of the pseudo adapters are also IP enabled. The previous command would eliminate many, but not necessarily all, of the adapters.

A better approach is to look at the Win32_NetworkAdapter class and query the NetConnectionStatus property. By using this technique, I return only network adapter devices that are actually connected to a network. Although it is possible that a pseudo adapter could sneak in under the wire, the likelihood is more remote. In this command, I will use the Get-WmiObject Windows PowerShell cmdlet to return all instances of Win32_NetworkAdapter class on the computer. I then create a table to display the data returned by the NetConnectionStatus property.

Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_NetworkAdapter |

Format-Table -Property Name, NetConnectionStatus –AutoSize

The fruit of our labor is somewhat impressive. I have a nice table that details all of the fake and real network adapters on our laptop, and the connection status of each. Here is the list from my laptop:

Name                                             NetConnectionStatus

----                                             -------------------

WAN Miniport (L2TP)

WAN Miniport (PPTP)

WAN Miniport (PPPOE)

WAN Miniport (IPv6)

Intel(R) PRO/1000 PL Network Connection          2

Intel(R) PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection 0

WAN Miniport (IP)

Microsoft 6to4 Adapter

Bluetooth Personal Area Network

RAS Async Adapter

isatap.{51AAF9FF-857A-4460-9F17-92F7626DC420}

Virtual Machine Network Services Driver

Microsoft ISATAP Adapter

Bluetooth Device (Personal Area Network)         7

6TO4 Adapter

Microsoft 6to4 Adapter

Microsoft Windows Mobile Remote Adapter

isatap.launchmodem.com

isatap.{647A0048-DF48-4E4D-B07B-2AE0995B269F}

Microsoft Windows Mobile Remote Adapter

WAN Miniport (SSTP)

WAN Miniport (Network Monitor)

6TO4 Adapter

6TO4 Adapter

Microsoft 6to4 Adapter

Microsoft Windows Mobile Remote Adapter

isatap.{C210F3A1-6EAC-4308-9311-69EADBA00A04}

isatap.launchmodem.com

Virtual Machine Network Services Driver

Virtual Machine Network Services Driver

Teredo Tunneling Pseudo-Interface

isatap.{647A0048-DF48-4E4D-B07B-2AE0995B269F}

There are two things you will no doubt notice. The first is that most of the network adapters report no status what-so-ever. The second thing you will notice is that the ones that do report a status do so in some kind of code. The previous table is therefore pretty much useless! But it does look nice.

A little work in the Windows SDK looking up the Win32_NetworkAdapter WMI class, and I run across the following information:

Value    Meaning

0          Disconnected

1          Connecting

2          Connected

3          Disconnecting

4          Hardware not present

5          Hardware disabled

6          Hardware malfunction

7          Media disconnected

8          Authenticating

9          Authentication succeeded

10         Authentication failed

11         Invalid address

12         Credentials required

The value of 2 means the network adapter is connected. Here is the command I wrote to exploit the results of our research.

Get-WmiObject -class win32_networkadapter -filter "NetConnectionStatus = 2" |

format-list -Property [a-z]*

Such ecstasy is short lived, however, when I realize that although I have indeed returned information about a network adapter that is connected, I do not have any of the configuration information from the card.

What I need is to be able to use the NetConnectionStatus property from Win32_NetworkAdapter and to obtain the TCP/IP configuration information from the Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration WMI class. This sounds like a job for an association class.

In VBScript, querying an association class involved performing confusing AssociatorsOf queries. (Refer to the MSPress book, Window Scripting with WMI: Self Paced Learning Guide for more information about this technique.)

By using the association class with Windows PowerShell, I come up with the FilterAssociatedNetworkAdapters.ps1 script shown here:

FilterAssociatedNetworkAdapters.ps1

Param($computer = "localhost")

function funline ($strIN)

{

 $num = $strIN.length

 for($i=1 ; $i -le $num ; $i++)

  { $funline = $funline + "=" }

    Write-Host -ForegroundColor yellow $strIN

    Write-Host -ForegroundColor darkYellow $funline

} #end funline

 

Write-Host -ForegroundColor cyan "Network adapter settings on $computer"

Get-WmiObject -Class win32_NetworkAdapterSetting `

-computername $computer |

Foreach-object `

 {

  If( ([wmi]$_.element).netconnectionstatus -eq 2)

    {

     funline("Adapter: $($_.setting)")

     [wmi]$_.setting

     [wmi]$_.element

    } #end if

 } #end foreach

I begin the script by using a command-line parameter to allow us to run the script remotely, if needed. I use the Param statement to do this. I also create a function named funline that is used to underline the results of the query. It makes the output nicer if there is a large amount of data returned.

Param($computer = "localhost")

function funline ($strIN)

{

 $num = $strIN.length

 for($i=1 ; $i -le $num ; $i++)

  { $funline = $funline + "=" }

    Write-Host -ForegroundColor yellow $strIN

    Write-Host -ForegroundColor darkYellow $funline

} #end funline

I print out the name of the computer by using the Write-Host cmdlet as shown here. I use the color cyan so the text will show up nicely on the screen…unless of course your background is also cyan. Then the output will be written in invisible ink. That might also be cool.

Write-Host -ForegroundColor cyan "Network adapter settings on $computer"

Then I get down to actual WMI query. To do this, I use the Get-WmiObject cmdlet. I use the –computername parameter to allow the script to run against other computers, and I pipe the results to the ForEach-Object cmdlet.

Get-WmiObject -Class win32_NetworkAdapterSetting `

-computername $computer |

Foreach-object `

I need a way to look at the netConnectionStatus property of the Win32_NetworkAdapter class. This class is referred to by the reference returned from the association query. It is called element. To gain access to this class, I use the reference that was returned and feed it to the [WMI] type accelerator (it likes to receive a path, and this is what the reference is).

Because the reference refers to a specific instance of a WMI class, and because the [WMI] type accelerator can query a specific instance of a class, I am now able to obtain the value of the netConnectionStatus property. So I say in our script, if it is equal to 2, I will print the name of the network adapter, the configuration that is held in the setting property, and the adapter information that is held in the element property. This section of the script is shown here:

{

  If( ([wmi]$_.element).netconnectionstatus -eq 2)

    {

     funline("Adapter: $($_.setting)")

     [wmi]$_.setting

     [wmi]$_.element

    } #end if

The result of running the script is that it displays information from the Win32_NetworkAdapter WMI class and information from the Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration class. It also shows us that I only have one connected network adapter:

Using NetSh

Microsoft created NetSh in 2000, and it has been a staple of networking ever since. When I open it these days, it displays a message that says it might be removed in future versions of Windows, and therefore, I should begin using Windows PowerShell. Here is the message:

Image of message

Now, because NetSh is an old style menu type application, it is possible to enter NetSh, and walk my way down through the menus until I arrive at the proper location. Along the way, if I get lost, I can use the ? to obtain Help.

The problem is that the Help is quite often not very helpful; therefore, at times it takes me nearly a dozen times before the command is correct. The great thing is that, for the most part, when I figure out a command, I can actually keep track of my location in the program, back out all the way, and enter the command as a one-liner. Here is the NetSh command to display network interface information that is bound to IPV4:

netsh interface ipv4 show interfaces

The output is shown here:

Image of command output

Using PowerShell in later versions

If I have the advantage of Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012R2, or Windows Server 2012, I have the built-in NetAdapter module. Due to the way that modules autoload in Windows Powell, I do not need to remember that I am using functions that exist in the NetAdapter module. I can use Windows PowerShell 4.0 or Windows PowerShell 3.0, and the behavior will be the same. (Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 come with Windows PowerShell 4.0 and Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 come with Windows PowerShell 3.0.)

The Get-NetAdapter cmdlet returns the name, interface description, index number, and status of all network adapters present on the system. This is the default display of information, and it is shown in the following image:

Image of command output

To focus in on a particular network adapter, I use the Name parameter, and I supply the name of the network adapter. The good thing is that in Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, the network connections receive new names. No more of the “local area connection” and “local area connection(2)” to attempt to demystify. The wired network adapter is simply Ethernet and the wireless network adapter is Wi-Fi. The following command retrieves only then Ethernet network adapter:

Get-NetAdapter -Name Ethernet

To dive into the details of the Ethernet network adapter, I pipe the returned object to the Format-List cmdlet, and I choose all of the properties. (The following command uses the fl alias for the Format-List cmdlet.)

Get-NetAdapter -Name ethernet | fl *

The command and output associated with the command are shown in the image that follows. 

Image of command output

There are a number of excellent properties that might bear further investigation. For example, there are the AdminStatus and the MediaConnectionStatus properties. The following command returns these properties:

Get-NetAdapter -Name ethernet | select adminstatus, MediaConnectionState

Of course, there are also other properties that might be interesting. These properties are shown here, along with their associated output (this is a single logical command broken on two lines):

Get-NetAdapter -Name ethernet |

select ifname, adminstatus, MediaConnectionState, LinkSpeed, PhysicalMediaType

 

ifName               : Ethernet_7

AdminStatus          : Down

MediaConnectionState : Unknown

LinkSpeed            : 0 bps

PhysicalMediaType    : 802.3

I decide to look only for network adapters that are in the admin status of Up:

PS C:\> Get-NetAdapter | where adminstatus -eq "up"

 

Name                      InterfaceDescription                    ifIndex Status

----                      --------------------                    ------- ------

vEthernet (InternalSwi... Hyper-V Virtual Ethernet Adapter #3          22 Up

vEthernet (ExternalSwi... Hyper-V Virtual Ethernet Adapter #2          19 Up

Bluetooth Network Conn... Bluetooth Device (Personal Area Netw...      15 Disconn...

Wi-Fi                     Intel(R) Centrino(R) Ultimate-N 6300...      12 Up

To find the disabled network adapters, I change AdminStatus from Up to Down, as shown here:

Get-NetAdapter | where adminstatus -eq "down"

I go back to my previous command, and modify it to return Wi-Fi information. This command and associated output are shown here (this is a single logical command):

PS C:\> Get-NetAdapter -Name wi-fi |

select ifname, adminstatus, MediaConnectionState, LinkSpeed, PhysicalMediaType

 

ifName               : WiFi_0

AdminStatus          : Up

MediaConnectionState : Connected

LinkSpeed            : 54 Mbps

PhysicalMediaType    : Native 802.11

If I want to find any network adapters sniffing the network, I look for PromiscousMode. This command is shown here:

Get-NetAdapter | ? PromiscuousMode -eq $true

When I combine the Get-NetAdapter function with the Get-NetAdapterBinding function, I can easily find out which protocols are bound to which network adapter. As shown in the following command, I send the results to Where-Object and check to see if the enabled property is equal to True:

Get-NetAdapter | Get-NetAdapterBinding | ? enabled -eq $true

Here is an example of the command and the output from the command:

Image of command output

If I want to find which network adapters have the Client for Microsoft Networks bound, I need to first see which protocols are enabled (using the syntax from the previous command), and I need to see which one of the enabled protocols have the display name of Client for Microsoft Networks. This requires a compound Where-Object statement. Therefore, I cannot use the simplified syntax. Also, because only one of the protocols begins with Client, I can use that to shorten my query just a bit. Here is the command I use (this is a one-line command that I broke at the pipe character to make a better display):

Get-NetAdapter |

Get-NetAdapterBinding |

where {$_.enabled -AND $_.displayname -match 'client'}

The command and associated output are shown in the following image:

Image of command output

Join me tomorrow when I will continue Network Adapter Week by talking about enabling and disabling network adapters.

I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook. If you have any questions, send email to me at scripter@microsoft.com, or post your questions on the Official Scripting Guys Forum. See you tomorrow. Until then, peace.

Ed Wilson, Microsoft Scripting Guy 

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  • What I find interesting about this is that the WMI code doesn't return what I hope for. My wired and my wireless NICs are both identified as "802.3". I was expecting 'wireless' for the wireless one, obviously. The only thing I did find that gave me a value for the adapter type was this:

    Get-WmiObject -Namespace "root/WMI" -Query "SELECT * FROM MSNdis_PhysicalMediumType"

    Which returns '9' for wireless', '10' for bluetooth (which apparently equates to infrared wireless!) and '0' for just about everything else. The best way I found to use this was to correlate the 'InstanceName' property with the 'Name' property from win32_networkadapter, like this. Pardon the cobbled together code.

    Now to write something that will allow me to enable or disable wireless whenever a wired adapter disconnects or connects. The challenge there is finding an event that works on every type of PC I have.

    $types = Get-WmiObject -Namespace "root/WMI" -Query "SELECT * FROM MSNdis_PhysicalMediumType"
    $nics = Get-WmiObject -Namespace "root/CIMV2" -Query "SELECT * FROM Win32_NetworkAdapter"|?{$_.physicaladapter}

    $nics|%{
    $nicinstance = $_
    $types|%{
    if($_.instancename -eq $nicinstance.name)
    {
    switch ($_.NdisPhysicalMediumType)
    {
    0 {
    # "Wired adapter:"
    # "ServiceName: "+$nicinstance.servicename
    # "MACAddress: "+$nicinstance.MACAddress
    # "AdapterType: "+$nicinstance.AdapterType
    # "DeviceID: "+$nicinstance.DeviceID
    # "Name: "+$nicinstance.Name
    # "NdisPhysicalMediumType : "+$_
    # "`n"
    $wired += ,$nicinstance
    }
    9 {
    # "Wireless adapter:"
    # "ServiceName: "+$nicinstance.servicename
    # "MACAddress: "+$nicinstance.MACAddress
    # "AdapterType: "+$nicinstance.AdapterType
    # "DeviceID: "+$nicinstance.DeviceID
    # "Name: "+$nicinstance.Name
    # "NdisPhysicalMediumType: "+$_
    # "`n"
    $wireless += ,$nicinstance
    }
    }

    }
    }
    }

    "Wired adapters:"
    $wired
    "`n"
    "Wireless adapters"
    $wireless

  • Hello, Scripting Guy! :-)
    Been looking for a way (if there is in Powershell) to identify devices over the network via an IP Address or list of IP Addresses to see if that IP Address is currently assigned to a computer (say, displaying a computername), printer (displaying say, its network sharename, to theleast identify that it is a printer), or the Operating System that is running on that particular network device. Any input is much appreciated.

    Adjie
    adjier11@yahoo.com