HowTo: Run NetTools

NetTools consists of a single executable, which doesn't need to be installed and can be run from any location, be it a network share, local drive or removal storage.  The location can be read-only however, in this case the option to save lists and favorite queries will not be available.

The NetTools.ini configuration file should be located in the same directory as the executable.

NetTools Basics

NetTools has a number of common features which are used throughout the program. This post provides details on some of these features.

Where to start
The number of options in NetTools can make it confusing where to start.  The best approach is to start with the Search option under Users, this allows you to search the AD, be it at the Forest or Domain level for any object in the Active Directory, from there the context menu options allows you to then interrogate the returned objects.  See User Search.

To find your favorite option quickly, NetTools includes a Pin option, which will add a toolbar button at the top of the Options list to quickly select your commonly used options.  To Pin an item, select the option, then right click on the option name and select the Pin from the context menu, you will be prompted to select an icon for the button.  To remove a Pinned item, simply right click on the button and select Remove.

Option or test Linking
For a number of the tests the output from one can be used as the input for other tests and options, by selecting the corresponding output entry and right clicking the context menu will display these options.  The Search option has a number of linking options that are displayed under the use with sub menu.

Copy and Paste
The outputs from the tests can be copied into other functions in NetTools or to external programs.  The Copy and Paste option are displayed in the right click context menus. For table views it's possible to copy the data in a single column, the line, or the entire table. When using the copy column option, mouse position when the right click is pressed, is used to define which column will be selected.  For text based output fields it's possible to copy the text as with standard copy and paste.  The Copy to new Window context menu option will copy the contains of the view to a new detached window, which provide additional sort and filtering options.  See Copy to new Windows

Server Lists
In most of the options there is a server or domain enter field, this is a dropdown list.  The right click context menu you save the current name and also manage the lists.  A separate list is used based on the enter field name, i.e. Server, Domain, LDAP filters etc.

Server and Domain Fields
The server and domain fields are optional, by default NetTools will use the domain information of the computer that is running NetTools.  By default the server name will use the name returned by the DsGetDcName API.  For the domain filed , the name of the domain that the machine running NetTools will be used.

By default NetTools will run in the context of the session that is running NetTools.  It's possible to use the RunAs option to use a different account with elevated permissions. Some of the option have an option to use the credentials that are provided in the LDAP Search option.  See Credentials

Messages\Results pane
On most options, there is a lower pane, this pane is used to display any errors or status report from the execution.

NetTools saved configuration
NetTools uses a single configuration file called NetTools.ini, this is used to save any user defined configuration or saved lists.  NetTools will try to read the configuration from the same location as the exe from executed from.