I have many Windows servers in the lab. I wanted to use ping broadcasting to discover the machines. I try to avoid a central server to maintain the list of machines as this seems like a single point of failure to me.

ping in the network won't receive any response.

How can I enable response to broadcast ping?


The Windows ping program cannot send a ping request to broadcast addresses. But you can use the IcmpSendEcho API to send a ping request to the connected network. But from my observations, this does not work with:

  • a directly connected Windows station - seems that a Win station does not respond to broadcast ICMP requests
  • through a switch - seems that a switch blocks broadcast ICMP requests

In case the IP address range is not too large, it would be possible to use:

  • ARP scanning
  • ICMP scanning
  • SNMP scanning - much slower, but working

this is the method that I use:

First... in a command line use this...

FOR /L %i in (1,1,255) do @ping -n 1 192.168.1.%i | find "Reply"

Of course, you need to supply a 'real' address for 192.168.1.%i, that's just for example.

you don't have to pipe it (-> | find "Reply") to the find command but it is said to filter out the junk; I've done it both ways and don't remember seeing a lot of difference...

then issue the command...

arp -a > filename.txt

Open the filename.txt file with either Notepad++ or the like, or, I will often open it with Excel and make a spreadsheet of connected devices...

hth, Gary


You can use Angry IP Scanner which will ping the whole subnet and see what hosts are on the network, hopefully based on your naming convention you will be able to pick out the servers from the other hosts on the network.


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