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Find MAC address of turned off remote computer

Posted on 2008-10-28
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I am on an enterprise level network. I would like to get the MAC address of a remote computer so that I can wake it remotely through it's NIC using the Wake on LAN utility. The remote computer is on my network in my domain.

Thanks
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Question by:pciatto
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7 Comments
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:JohnGerhardt
ID: 22823152
ARP table of the switch it is connected to?
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Expert Comment

by:Don Johnston
ID: 22823650
If the computer obtains it's IP address from a DHCP server, there may still be a binding for it on the server.

If the computer hasn't been off for more that 4 hours, there may still be an entry in the ARP cache of the default-gateway.

Other than that, I can't think of any other way to determine the MAC of powered-off PC.
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Author Comment

by:pciatto
ID: 22823648
Thank you for your response.

How do I find the ARP table of the switch? What do I type in the command line? Do I need the IP address of the switch , if so, how do I obtain it?
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Expert Comment

by:Don Johnston
ID: 22823655
What brand/model switch?
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Expert Comment

by:JohnGerhardt
ID: 22823708
If you can get the IP of the switch then we can have a look..
I am sure there is a reason but is it not easier to get the machine turned on by some means and then get the MAC address...????!!!
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Accepted Solution

by:
raffraffraff earned 125 total points
ID: 24303252
John, I think the point of the question is that he doesn't know in advance that he will need the MAC address of this PC. For example, he may needs to update a large number of Windows PCs out of business hours with a script. Active Directory doesn't store MAC addresses. Basically, he needs to  find the MAC addresses in a cache somewhere, and the only places that I can think of are the DHCP server or the router/switch.

The best option is to modify your environment so that each PC caches its MAC address somewhere useful.

I support 8000 Linux PCs for a bank, and I make use of Wake On Lan extensively, so I need MAC addresses. However, I record each MAC address when the PCs register themselves in the LDAP directory. For Windows PCs you could possibly do something similar with a startup script, making use of some Active Directory attributes that you don't require, like 'comment' or 'location':

My Windows scripting is rusty, but you might be able to get this working:

Imports System.Management
Try
 Dim MACAddress as string = ""
 Dim Query As String = _
 "SELECT * FROM Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration WHERE IPEnabled = True"
 Dim query As ManagementObjectSearcher = New ManagementObjectSearcher(Query)
 Dim queryCollection As ManagementObjectCollection = query.Get()

 ' Search for the MAC address in these results
 Dim mo As ManagementObject
 For Each mo In queryCollection
  MACAddress = mo("MacAddress").ToString().Replace(":", "")
 Exit For
 Next
 Return MACAddress
Catch ex As Exception
 Return ""
End Try

' Modify Computer Location Attribute
Set objComputer = GetObject _
("ldap://cn=computer101,cn=Computers,dc=company,dc=com")
objComputer.Put "Location" , MACAddress
objComputer.SetInfo

For each 'wake' event, you could query Active Directory (even from a Linux box running ldapsearch!) and extract the MAC address of any PC.

PS: I know this question is old, but there are no answers, and this might help somebody. Also note, PCs/Servers with multiple adapters will have problem with this script.
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