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Standalone Windows scanning tool

In certain applications, computer and server assets are located on systems that typically cannot be reached by the BMC Discovery appliance, either because of network security or because the systems are on an isolated network.

The standalone Windows scanning tool enables you to perform discovery on these standalone systems. It enables you to run BMC Discovery from a USB drive inserted into the target Windows host and to inventory all assets on that system. The tool gathers data from Windows computers that are not connected to a network and creates scanner files with the discovered data.

The standalone Windows scanning tool complements the equivalent UNIX scanner scripts.

This functionality does not permit interactive running of patterns to gather the full depth of data that a Windows proxy provides; however, it enables BMC Discovery to contain data about hosts that would otherwise be unreachable and to synchronize this information to BMC CMDB. After the tool is run on the target host, the collected data must be manually uploaded to the appliance.


The standalone Windows scanner can be used to manually collect a limited set of information from a Windows host. The scanner is designed to be used solely on isolated systems or networks. It is not equivalent to a Windows proxy, because it collects only basic host, process, and package information that can be obtained by WMI queries, not additional data such as NIC registry information (for NIC discovery).

Accessing and downloading the tool

The Windows scanning tool is a .zip archive file that can be extracted onto the target system or onto some form of removable storage (such as a USB drive). The .zip archive file contains everything you need to scan the Windows system; no connection to a BMC Discovery appliance is required.
To access and download the file:

  1. From the main menu, select Manage > Discovery Tools.
  2. In the Standalone Windows Scanner area of the Discovery Tools page, click the Download link at the bottom of the page.
  3. Extract the .zip file to a directory on a writable a USB flash drive or similar removable media.

Supported platforms

The standalone Windows scanning tool is supported on the following platforms:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Server 2003
  • Windows Server 2003 R2
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Server 2008 R2
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2012
  • Windows Server 2012 R2
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10
  • Windows Server 2016

Using the tool


The Windows scanning tool requires the 32-bit Microsoft Visual C++ 2008 run-time DLLs regardless of whether the Windows operating system being scanned is 32 bit or 64 bit. The run-time DLLs are usually installed on the operating system, but on a minimal or custom Windows installation, you might need to manually install them. To do so, use the 2008vcredist_x86.exe installer that is included in the standalone Windows scanner .zip file.

The standalone Windows scanning tool runs as a portable console application directly from an external flash drive.
To use the tool:

  1. Insert the USB flash drive into the host system and explore the contents.
  2. If necessary, change the command options.
    For example, it is recommended that you select a target IP address, if known, to avoid the possibility of overlapping IP addresses.
  3. Double-click the tw_windows_scanner.exe file.
    A command window opens, and the tool begins collecting data.
    The following example output lists the informational messages the tool displays during data collection:

    U:> tw_windows_scanner
    Output file is results\
    Collecting Host Information ... DONE
    Collecting Interface Information ... DONE
    Collecting Process Information ... DONE
    Collecting Service Information ... DONE
    Collecting File System Information ... DONE
    Collecting Package Information ... DONE

Changing the command options

By default, the scan files are named based on the IP address of the Windows system (the lowest selected by the tool, after it ignores the localhost address). The system does not overwrite existing scan files unless you change the options shown in the following table.

Command Option


--id XXX

Sets the name of the scan file to results\XXX.scan. Scanner files are automatically named based on the host's first listed IP address. If you do not set the file name using this option, you might inadvertently generate the same result file from two computers.

--target IPADDR

Sets the IP address to be scanned. For more information, see Changing the IP address to be scanned.

-x, --overwrite

Specifies to overwrite any existing scan file.

-q, --quiet

Specifies to not display informational messages.


Specifies to alter the WMI timeout (the default is 2 minutes).

Changing the IP address to be scanned

In certain cases, the IP address of the Windows system (the lowest selected by the tool, after it ignores the localhost address) might not be correct (for example, a VPN connection). Although these occurrences are uncommon, the tool will display an error message and exit. To help prevent these occurrences, it might be necessary to explicitly specify the IP address you want to use. To do so, run the tool and use the --target IPADDR option to set the target system.

It is also possible to scan other sytems using this option, as long as your user account has the required privileges (typically Administrator privileges). Setting the IP address to a specific target is especially useful for scanning an isolated subnet, because you would need only to insert the tool into one computer to collect data from all of them.

Uploading the data to the appliance

After you have collected the data, upload it to the appliance by using the SCP utility to transfer the files to the appliance as the upload user.

For more information about uploading scanner files to an appliance, see Loading a scanner file onto the appliance.

After the data is uploaded, it is processed by BMC Discovery. For more information about scanner files, see Standalone UNIX scanning.

Related topics

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  1. Lisa Keeler

    After creating the Scanner file on Windows, you are told to click this link for how to upload the file to the appliance:

    "For more information about uploading scanner files to an appliance, see Loading a scanner file onto the appliance.


    That link takes you over to the Unix Scanner Files section, and tells you to use "scp" to copy the file to the appliance.  "scp" is not available on Windows.  It is only Unix.

    I used WinSCP to copy the file, using the "upload" user.

    WinSCP is free tool : https://sourceforge.net/projects/winscp/

    I'm sure you can also use "ftp" from command-line, or whatever else you normally use to get files from your Windows box to your appliance.

    Apr 07, 2018 08:24
  2. Lisa Keeler

    This sentence says: "After the data is uploaded, it is processed by BMC Discovery. For more information about scanner files, see Standalone UNIX scanning."

    But, when you transfer the file to the correct location, /usr/tideway/var/scanner/, you will not see an immediate scan on your Discovery Runs page.

    There is a configurable option on the Administration→Discovery Configuration page called "Scanner File polling interval".  Default is one hour.  You can change it to every minute, or every day.

    Apr 07, 2018 08:34
  3. Lisa Keeler

    Also, note the message on the screen that says: "Discovery must be restarted for changes to take effect" when you change the "Scanner File polling interval".  That means, go click "STOP ALL SCANS", followed by "START ALL SCANS" on the Manage→Discovery page.  

    Apr 07, 2018 09:54