Thursday, January 29, 2015

Managed Switch Port Mapping Tool v2.42 released on January 22, 2014

A few days after releasing 2.41 I found out that if you start the Switch Port Mapper with an empty history database (as a new user would), you would see this error message "SQLITE_ERROR[1]: duplicate column name: voiceVlan". This was due to a problem in the creation of the new Voice VLAN column introduced in 2.41. It worked fine if you already had data in the history database.

Version 2.42 corrects this - new trial users take note! We also took the opportunity to update SQLite to version and update the MAC address to manufacturer database.

Please upgrade to v2.42 by clicking Help/Check for Update or by visiting


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Managed Switch Port Mapping Tool v2.41 Released

Managed Switch Port Mapping Tool Version 2.41 was released on January 14, 2015.

This is an important upgrade if you use this software with Cisco Switches. There are two changes you need to be aware of: First, we improved VLAN reporting for unused ports on Cisco switches. Secondly, we added a new optional Voice VLAN column that currently supports Cisco switches only - because this column is new you will have to go into Settings and Tools/Column Order and Visibility Editor to add the column and to put the columns back to your personal preference - we had to reset the order to add the new column. Changes were made to better support Enterasys switches.

Please use Help/Check for Update or download from and install over your current 2.x. The USB version patch will be ready very soon.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Hi-DPI Displays and NetScanTools Pro

The last couple of years have seen the release of Hi-DPI displays primarily on laptops. The displays we have run into are typically running 3200x1900. This is something new to Windows and it causes problems with the menus and results areas of many programs including NetScanTools Pro.

To address this issue we added a new NetScanTools Pro Help/Preferences item called Menu and Left Panel Font Scaling. It gives you 6 options for scaling the text of those items.

However, we recently found out about another way to change the menu and left panel fonts under Windows 8.1. If you right click on the icon or link and select Properties you can select the Compatibility tab. Next check the box labeled 'Disable display scaling on high DPI settings'. This will fix the menu text and icons, but the results text may be too small. Fortunately there is an easy fix for this - go to Help/Preferences and press Change Font in the lower right corner - make the font larger than the default and you should have no problems reading the results areas in NetScanTools Pro.

USB Flash Drives suitable for End User Install

As you may or may not know both NetScanTools Pro and the Managed Switch Port Mapping Tool can run from a USB flash drive. We can supply the software on a suitable drive or, as the title implies, you can install the software on your own USB flash drive.

In order to install on your own flash drive, we have two basic requirements.

Your USB Flash Drive must be a 'removable' flash drive.

We are talking here about the tradition of the drives showing up as ‘removable’ on a Windows computer. Windows 8 changed all that.

Windows 8 certified USB Flash Drives appear as type ‘Local Drive’ (fixed disk/hard disk) as opposed to the traditional type ‘Removable Disk’. The effect of this is that any software that expects to be running from a removable disk (USB Flash Drive) will not work properly if the USB drive appears as a fixed disk. That includes both NetScanTools Pro USB Version and the Managed Switch Port Mapping Tool.

The difference is apparently the state of a bit or bits in the USB flash drive controller. Some manufacturers have a utility to flip this bit and others just put out Windows 8 certified drives in addition to their standard design flash drives.

The USB’s we use are Windows 8 Compatible which means it appears as a removable flash drive – and they are also USB v3 in addition to USB v2 compatible. Look carefully at the packaging Windows 8 logo or the online description and check the wording when they talk about Windows 8. 
You can tell the state of your USB Flash Drive by opening File Explorer and right clicking on the flash drive and selecting Properties. Look for Type: Removable Disk on the General tab. That’s what you want if you are using our software on a USB flash drive.

Your USB Flash Drive must be serialized with a hardware serial number.

This is usually not an issue but we have run into one end user's drive that was not serialized. If you want to confirm that it is serialized, there is a utility from Microsoft called UVCViewx86.exe that will show all connected USB devices including the serial number. It is older and works on everything from Windows XP through 8.1 - there is a newer one called USBView that works only on newer operating systems. Your flash drive must be serialized.

Those are the only two requirements we have for putting the USB versions of our software on your flash drive.

NetScanTools Pro v11.63 released on December 9, 2014

This release had improvements in three areas:
1. Packet Generator. Mostly in the Packet Player (button is on lower right section of Packet Generator window) - it now saves the paths to recent packet captures you have played previously and there is now a status window. Be aware that once you start a playback you cannot stop it. TCP, UDP, ICMP, and RAW manual packet definition windows now show the length of the data portion of the payload and it now makes a definite check against the actual MTU of the sending interface.
2. SSL Certificate Scanner. The SSLv3 POODLE vulnerability issue is now addressed by showing you new columns with connection types SSLv2 through TLS 1.2. The server you are connecting to is tested to see if it accepts all types and the results are displayed in the new columns.
3. SNMP Core and Advanced have some changes including buttons to go between the two tools rapidly and improvements to the OID selector.

If you have an active maintenance plan you can click on Help/Check for New Version. The links to download the software are in the embedded IE window on the right side of the program. The installed version has a full installation and the USB version uses a patch.


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

My New Years Resolution is to post more often on this blog. I haven't posted since August, so I'm going to do a couple posts today.