PowerShell: Ping Range of IP Addresses

The other day I needed to scan a small section of our network which uses static IP addresses rather than DHCP to see which assigned IP addresses actually correlated with a working device and which were no longer being used by an active device. Though there are plenty of fancy tools for this, due to the simplicity of what I wanted I figured it would be easier to throw together a quick PowerShell script than install and learn a third-party tool.

Here’s what I came up with:

$Failure = @() #initialize array

#pings IP addresses from to
for ($i=0; $i -le 255; $i++)
	$IP = "192.168.1." + $i #append the iterator as the last byte of the IP address
	if(!(Test-Connection -ComputerName $IP -Quiet -Count 2)){ #if noting responds to the ping, add the IP address to an array
        $Failure += $IP


foreach ($site in $Failure) {
    Write-Host $site -ForegroundColor red #iterate through and write results from array

Note that this runs¬†really slowly, but in this case there wasn’t any rush, so I could let it run in the background for a while.

Domain User Account Info

This is a short but incredibly useful command line command I’ve found for pulling information on domain accounts in an Active Directory environment:

net user [username] /domain

The net user command is designed to create / update domain accounts, but in this form just displays a ton of info that can be useful to IT, like when a user’s password expires, what active directory groups they’re a member of, etc. There’s plenty of other commands to do similar things, but this one is an easy way to get a readout of a ton of information.

Full documentation is available on Microsoft’s website.

PowerShell: Starting Remote Desktop Once Server Available

This is a simple but useful bit of PowerShell. Have you ever been waiting on a server to reboot and ended up pinging it or trying to start a remote desktop session several times before it’s back up and you can log in? This script pings a server (or any computer) every 15 seconds until the server responds, then starts a remote desktop session.

param ([Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][string]$URL)#get the parameter and set it as the variable $URL

While (!(Test-Connection -ComputerName $URL -Quiet -Count 1)) { #Loops until Test-Connection reaches the server and returns true. Only tries one ping at a time
	Start-Sleep -s 15 #pauses for 15 seconds. Easily editable to different time lengths

mstsc /v:$URL #starts a remote desktop session

To use it, just save and run the script, passing the hostname or IP address as a parameter:

PowerShell screenshot showing passing an IP address as a parameter.

And if you want it as a one-liner you can copy and paste rather than saving it, use the following and replace the IP address at the beginning with the target IP address or hostname:

$URL = ""; While (!(Test-Connection -ComputerName $URL -Quiet -Count 1)) { Start-Sleep -s 15 } ; mstsc /v:$URL