Final Super-Fast Ping Command

by Mar 12, 2018

In the previous tip series, we developed a new function called Test-OnlineFast that can ping multiple computers in record time. For some reason, the final version of this function did not include the pipeline support we promised. Here is the complete function again for you:

function Test-OnlineFast
        # make parameter pipeline-aware

        $TimeoutMillisec = 1000

        # use this to collect computer names that were sent via pipeline
        [Collections.ArrayList]$bucket = @()
        # hash table with error code to text translation
        $StatusCode_ReturnValue = 
            11001='Buffer Too Small'
            11002='Destination Net Unreachable'
            11003='Destination Host Unreachable'
            11004='Destination Protocol Unreachable'
            11005='Destination Port Unreachable'
            11006='No Resources'
            11007='Bad Option'
            11008='Hardware Error'
            11009='Packet Too Big'
            11010='Request Timed Out'
            11011='Bad Request'
            11012='Bad Route'
            11013='TimeToLive Expired Transit'
            11014='TimeToLive Expired Reassembly'
            11015='Parameter Problem'
            11016='Source Quench'
            11017='Option Too Big'
            11018='Bad Destination'
            11032='Negotiating IPSEC'
            11050='General Failure'
        # hash table with calculated property that translates
        # numeric return value into friendly text

        $statusFriendlyText = @{
            # name of column
            Name = 'Status'
            # code to calculate content of column
            Expression = { 
                # take status code and use it as index into
                # the hash table with friendly names
                # make sure the key is of same data type (int)

        # calculated property that returns $true when status -eq 0
        $IsOnline = @{
            Name = 'Online'
            Expression = { $_.StatusCode -eq 0 }

        # do DNS resolution when system responds to ping
        $DNSName = @{
            Name = 'DNSName'
            Expression = { if ($_.StatusCode -eq 0) { 
                    if ($_.Address -like '*.*.*.*') 
                    { [Net.DNS]::GetHostByAddress($_.Address).HostName  } 
                    { [Net.DNS]::GetHostByName($_.Address).HostName  } 
        # add each computer name to the bucket
        # we either receive a string array via parameter, or 
        # the process block runs multiple times when computer
        # names are piped
        $ComputerName | ForEach-Object {
            $null = $bucket.Add($_)
        # convert list of computers into a WMI query string
        $query = $bucket -join "' or Address='"
        Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_PingStatus -Filter "(Address='$query') and timeout=$TimeoutMillisec" |
        Select-Object -Property Address, $IsOnline, $DNSName, $statusFriendlyText

Let’s first check how Test-OnlineFast works. Here are some examples. Let’s first ping a number of computers. You can use both computer names and IP addresses:

PS> Test-OnlineFast -ComputerName,,,

Address                Online DNSName                Status           
-------                ------ -------                ------                  True DESKTOP-7AAMJLF        Success                 True              Success    True Success             False                        Request Timed Out

Let’s now ping an entire IP segment. The below example was taken from our public hotel WLAN (make sure you adjust the IP range to the network you are located in):

PS> $iprange = 1..200 | ForEach-Object { "192.168.189.$_" }

PS> Test-OnlineFast -ComputerName $iprange

Address         Online DNSName                            Status           
-------         ------ -------                            ------     True          Success      True                          Success    True                  Success     True fritz.repeater                     Success     True Success    True                Success     True          Success     True Success    False                                    Request Timed Out  False                                    Request Timed Out  False                                    Request Timed Out 

The amazing thing is the tremendous speed. Pinging an entire subnet takes only a few seconds.

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