Q: Should I install the program on a server or on a workstation?
A: Both a server and a workstation can run Total Network Inventory. It’s just a matter of usage convenience, because it's not a client-server application, and you need to have access to the graphical console of the computer it's installed on, either directly or by using a remote desktop utility. However, if you run it under the domain admin account, you’ll be able to scan all computers as "current user" – otherwise you’d need to specify domain admin credentials explicitly.
However, take note that if you install the program on Windows XP SP2/SP3 or Vista SP0/SP1 and there are a lot of scan threads launching simultaneously, there may be issues with connections to remote computers. This is caused by a restriction on the maximum number of TCP half-open connections (connection attempts, SYN_SENT socket state) existing in the aforementioned Windows versions, which doesn't allow for more than 10 outbound connections to be in this state at a time. After reaching this limit, all other connections in the system (including those executed by this program) are queued and may reach their timeout, thus producing inconsistent results. This issue is also known as the Event 4226 issue, because reaching the limitation produces a record in the System Event Log with EventID 4226. Windows Vista SP2, Windows 7 and newer, and all Windows Server systems don't have this limitation. Thus, in the general case, we recommend to install the program on server systems or modern desktops.
Backup and restore
Q: How to backup/restore the Storage or move the program to another computer?
A: The Storage is located in a separate folder (file system directory). It can be located by right-clicking the storage root group and selecting Show in Explorer. Then go up one level and copy/archive the whole storage folder.
Program settings can be backed up by copying/archiving a folder entitled Total Network Inventory in your account's Application Data folder (can be expanded using the %APPDATA% environment variable) if you chose Install for me during the program installation. If you chose Install for all, the settings are stored in "C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Total Network Inventory" (Windows 2000/XP/2003) or "C:\ProgramData\Total Network Inventory" (Windows Vista/7/8/10/2008/2012). You can also find this folder by clicking Open tasks folder in the Scanner tab or Open templates folder in the Table reports tab and then going up one level.
To restore the program, install it on another computer (but don't run it) and extract your backed-up settings to the Total Network Inventory folder in the Application Data folder for your profile or all users, depending on your choice during the installation (after the installation, this folder is automatically created and contains one file: config.ini). Also, extract the storage folder locally: for instance, to My Documents. Then run the program and browse to the storage folder when prompted (if its location differs from the path stored in previous settings).
Backup of the Storage to a .zip archive and its subsequent restoration can also be performed from the program's Storage menu. Regular backups can be performed using the Scheduler.
Access is denied
Q: How do I deal with the errors "Access is denied" or "Unknown user name or bad password"?
A: These errors can occur for several reasons:
- Username or password are specified incorrectly.
Check your username and password.
- The specified user account does not have administrator rights on the remote machine.
You need to have administrator access to remote computers to be able to scan them (local administrator or domain administrator rights). If you have logged on as domain administrator or remote computers have the same name and password for the local administrator account as your account, you can use the Current user scan option. Otherwise specify the user name in full format: DOMAIN\Administrator.
- Blank password.
Remote administrator access with blank password is not allowed starting with Windows XP.
- The scanned computer has Windows XP Home Edition installed.
This version of Windows cannot be scanned remotely. It’s an OS limitation, and the Access denied error will be displayed at all times. However, it’s possible to scan XP Home locally by running the standalone audit tool tniwinagent.exe (located in the program's installation folder) on that machine. It’ll generate an .inv file with scan results, which should be copied to the program's storage (it will be imported upon TNI’s next launch or immediately, if TNI is running) or imported by using the Storage main menu or any group's context menu.
- Computers are not in domain and have default settings.
Workstations running Windows XP, Vista or later client versions and not connected to a domain don't allow the local administrator to authenticate as himself by default. Instead, the ForceGuest policy is used, which means that all remote connections are mapped to the Guest account. But again, the administrator rights are required for running the scan. Thus, you need to update the security policy on each computer using one of the following ways:
- Run secpol.msc, expand Local policies / Security options, locate the Network access: Sharing and security model for local accounts policy and change its value from Guest to Classic.
- Disable the Use simple file sharing option in File Explorer’s Folder Options.
- Modify the registry: set the forceguest value, located in the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Lsa" key, to zero.
For Windows client versions starting with Vista, an additional step should be taken: it concerns the User Account Control (UAC). It restricts administrator rights for remote logons in certain cases. You should either disable UAC or make changes to the registry: create a DWORD parameter (name: LocalAccountTokenFilterPolicy; value: 1) in the "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\system" key. A reboot may be required.
You can modify both settings easily by running a .reg file with the following contents on such computers (omit the last two lines for Windows XP):
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
RPC server is unavailable
Q: How do I deal with the error "RPC server is unavailable"?
A: This error may be caused by one of the following reasons:
- The connection is blocked by a firewall (Windows Firewall or third party firewall).
Try temporarily disabling the firewall on the remote computer. If the target computer runs on Windows XP SP2/SP3, Vista or 7, see the question regarding the Windows Firewall setup.
- The target computer does not have the Windows Management Instrumentation service installed.
According to the Microsoft documentation:
"WMI is preinstalled in Windows starting from 2000.
Windows NT Workstation 4.0 SP4 and later: WMI is available through "Add/Remove Windows components" in Control Panel, as WBEM option install. A later, more comprehensive, version is available as an Internet download. Look for "WMI CORE 1.5 (Windows 95/98/NT 4.0)".
Windows 98/95: WMI CORE 1.5 (Windows 95/98/NT 4.0) is available as an Internet download. This download requires Microsoft Internet Explorer version 5 or later."
Remote interrogation of Windows 98/95 computers is supported partially, because problems with DCOM authentication may occur. The solution is to run a local scan (manual or autostart) with the help of the standalone audit tool (tniwinagent.exe).
- The target computer is offline or the IP address may not be occupied at all (when scanning by IP's and if the ICMP ping option is disabled).
The Windows Browser service updates the computer list every 12 minutes, so a computer can go offline, but remain visible in My Network Places. However, in this case you are more likely to get the Ping failed status. But if the ICMP protocol (ping, echo) is not allowed in your network, you might want to disable pinging in Options – Scanner – Use ICMP ping. After this, you will be able to scan online hosts which don't respond to pings, but all offline hosts (and also unoccupied IP addresses) will show the RPC error status, and thus it will slow down the scanning of large IP groups or ranges.
- Wrong DNS record.
If you scan the computer by name, it could be resolved to an invalid or not existing (unoccupied) IP address due to problems with DNS or WINS. If you scan the computer by IP address, you are likely to receive Ping failed, but if pinging before scanning is disabled, you will receive the RPC error when scanning an offline or unoccupied address (see the previous point). A TNI user has encountered this problem and described it on our forum: http://www.softinventive.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=428
- The target host is not a computer, or it runs an operating system other than Windows when scanning via the RPC protocol.
If the scanned name or IP address belongs to a network device which can be pinged, but is not a Windows computer (NIX-computer, network printer, router, managed switch, type library, IP phone, firewall, thin client, etc.), it cannot be scanned via the RPC protocol and shows this error. However, the program tries to scan this host via other protocols (SMB, SSH and SNMP), and the scan result may vary depending on the settings for these protocols and the nature of the scanned network host.
Q: How can I find out which port numbers are used by TNI, so I can configure the firewall?
A: By default, TNI uses the SMB protocol to scan Windows computers. It can be allowed by enabling the File and Printer Sharing exception in the Windows Firewall or TCP port 445 in other firewalls. You could also enable TCP port 139 (NetBIOS) for older systems.
Also, TNI uses the RPC protocol to scan Windows computers (direct WMI connection) if SMB fails. To allow remote RPC connections, you should either disable Windows Firewall or set it up in the following way:
- Use the following netsh firewall command in the command prompt: netsh firewall set service RemoteAdmin enable for Windows XP or netsh advfirewall firewall set rule group="remote admin" new enable=Yes for Windows Vista/7 or newer;
- Use the Group Policy editor: Group Policy editor (gpedit.msc) -> Local Computer Policy -> Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Network -> Network Connections -> Windows Firewall -> Domain Profile or Standard Profile -> Windows Firewall: Allow remote administration exception -> Action -> Properties -> Enable.
Windows Firewall in Vista, 7 or newer has a special exception entitled "Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI)", which can be enabled and thus save you from the necessity of setting up the policies manually.
TCP/IP security limit
Q: How do I deal with the following warning "TCP/IP has reached the security limit imposed on the number of concurrent TCP connect attempts"?
A: This warning may appear when you run the network scan under Windows XP SP2/SP3 or Windows Vista SP0/SP1 with port scan enabled. In these operating systems a controversial limitation of not more than 10 concurrent TCP connect attempts ("half-open connections") has been introduced by Microsoft to reduce the speed with which malicious software spreads over the networks. When you see this message in the scanner log, it means that the program detects that some computers have no open ports and there's an event with ID 4226 (source: Tcpip) in the system Event Log with the same message. As a consequence of reaching the aforementioned limitation, the program cannot reliably detect whether ports on computers are open or not. That's why the program starts to ignore the port scan results and connects to all computers using all selected protocols to provide successful scans. This policy remains active during the current session, that is, until the next program restart. To avoid this warning you can do the following:
- Disable the Scan ports option in the Scanner settings. Note that this will decrease the network scan performance;
- Patch your system using the widely known patch by LvlLord or this patch (based on the former). However, note that this is illegal according to the Windows EULA;
- Run TNI on a system which is not affected by this limitation: Windows Server, Windows 2000, Vista SP2, 7 or later.
No network provider accepted the given network path
Q: How to fix the error "No network provider accepted the given network path"?
A: Take the following steps:
- Make sure that you can ping the remote computer by network name;
- Make sure that the File and Printer Sharing exception is enabled in the Windows Firewall (or that NetBIOS is allowed in any other firewall), or the firewall is disabled;
- Make sure that both Client for Microsoft Networks and File and Printer Sharing For Microsoft Networks are enabled in the properties of the network connection on the remote computer;
- Make sure that the NetBIOS over TCP/IP setting in the properties of the network connection (Internet Protocol Version 4 – Properties – Advanced – WINS) is set to Default or Enabled and that the TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper service is set to Automatic and started;
- Make sure that the Network security: LAN Manager authentication level security policy (secpol.msc–Local Policies – Security Options) is set to Send LM & NTLM responses (option #1) or Send LM & NTLM responses – use NTLMv2 session security if negotiated (option #2);
- Run sfc /scannow.
Call was canceled by the message filter
Q: How to fix the error "Call was canceled by the message filter"?
A: Take the following steps:
- Run services.msc on the remote computer and make sure that the Windows Management Instrumentation service is set to Automatic and started;
- Make sure that DCOM is enabled: run dcomcnfg, select Component Services – Computers – My Computer, right-click, choose Properties, open the Default Properties tab and make sure that Enable Distributed COM on this computer is on;
- Restart the remote computer;
- Run WMI diagnosis utility from Microsoft;
- Follow these tips to repair WMI on the remote computer.
Domain logon scan
Q: How do I set up the program to scan computers when users log on to a domain?
A: This is a shortened guide. The full version of this guide is available here.
- Copy the standalone scan agent tniwinagent.exe located in the program’s installation directory to a shared folder on your file server accessible to all users with read-only access. For this, open the Options window, then open the Logon script page, press the Export standalone scanner button and specify the folder to export to. This action will also fill the Path to agent field. It should be a UNC path (a network path starting with double backslash).
- Create and share a folder with write access for all users on your file server. This will be the folder where the scan agent will save the scan results. Note: instead of creating a separate folder (most secure), you can share an empty folder inside the TNI storage (secure) or the storage root folder (least secure) with write access for all users.
- In Options – Logon script – Save path specify a path to the folder where the agent should save the files (the folder from step 2). This should also be a UNC path. Specify other options if necessary (such as Delay before scan start and Overwrite existing files).
- Copy the auto-generated command using the Copy the command button.
- If you already have a logon script for your domain, a particular Organizational Unit or a single user, paste the command you’ve copied earlier to this script and save it. Otherwise, refer to the full version of this guide.
- In the main TNI window: press Options, open the Auto-import page and specify the path to the folder with the inventory files in the Import data path field. You can import new data right now or set the settings to import on startup or set the timer. Each time you want to update the information manually, open Options – Auto-import and click Import now. Also, you can delete files after importing or import from subfolders (in case each OU has its own logon script which runs the scanner with different parameters to save results in different folders). If you chose to share a folder in the storage or the whole storage folder, you don’t need to set up Auto-import. The scan results will be automatically imported as you run the program and it opens the storage, or immediately, if the program is already running.
Windows 95/98/NT scan
Q: Is it possible to scan Windows 95/98/NT machines?
A: It's possible, however these systems can only be scanned remotely (via the RPC protocol). First of all, you should install Microsoft WMI core components for Windows 95/98/NT. WMI CORE 1.5 (Windows 95/98/NT 4.0) was available as an Internet download from http://www.microsoft.com/downloads for a long time, but it is no longer there. You can still find it on CNET or other resources.
Then place a link to \WINDOWS\SYSTEM\WBEM\WinMgmt.exe into the startup folder and reboot, or run the file manually.
Additionaly, in order to perform the remote online scan, you need to run a registry file (*.reg) with the following content on a Windows 95/98 machine:
Alternatively, you may change these values manually. Rebooting is advised. After this, you should be able to connect remotely using any credentials or as current user.
Please note that support for Windows 95/98/NT is provided "AS IS", because Microsoft has officially stopped supporting these operating systems.
Program usage questions
Network tree selection
Q: I have selected several assets in a network tree, but the report shows only one. Why?
A: In TNI, the Network tree has two node selection modes: single and multiple. To build a report for several nodes, either select a group (the report will be built for all assets in this group and all subgroups) or enable multiple selection by ticking the Multiple selection checkbox over the tree — checkboxes will appear in front of each node. Rectangular selection (as well as selection using Ctrl or Shift) is not used for building reports and is used for working with the nodes in the tree (drag'n'drop moving, deleting, etc). For more details, see Selecting a node.
List of computers with particular software
Q: How to get a list of computers which have particular software installed?
A: Go to the Software accounting tab, use the Search bar and filters to find the necessary software and select it to display a list of computers it's installed on (in the details area on the Installations page). You can select the items in the list and copy or export them, or click the Installations summary link to get a printable report.
No antivirus installed
Q: Why does the program show that no antivirus (or firewall, or antispyware) is installed?
A: TNI can recognize all antiviruses and firewalls (in Windows XP SP2/SP3, Vista or later) and antispyware (only starting from Windows Vista) that support Security and Maintenance (previously known as Windows Security Center and Action Center), that is, if they are displayed in Security and Maintenance. The vendors of antivirus (firewall and antispyware) software should provide this support from their side, because they have to publish the product information and status to the system in a special way. Otherwise neither our product, nor Windows itself can recognize such software (in this case Security and Maintenance should usually generate a message from time to time that the computer is not protected by antivirus/firewall/antispyware).
Unfortunately, even with the support from the side of the security products, this does not work on Windows 2000 and earlier and also on all Windows Server systems, because they don't have Security and Maintenance, that is they don't provide an interface for these products to publish their status to the system and thus to other applications.