What is System Ferret, and how do you use it?

Recently an “end user” had the need to upgrade the firmware on several newly installed Allen-Bradley devices. This was due to an issue the factory had found post production.

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To aide customers like this find the firmware of devices they have installed on their control networks, Rockwell created a free utility called “System Ferret.”

Basically, this utility works with RSLinx Classic to poll all the devices on a network and create a report of what is found. Below I’ll show you the simple steps to using this utility:

1) Start by downloading the free System Ferret utility from Rockwell using the below link, then install it:

System Ferret from www.ab.com/go/iatools

System-Ferret-Download

2) Configure RSLinx Classic to communicate to your controls network.

3) Launch System Ferret and chose from the available options. In my example below I’m showing the defaults:

System Ferret

4) One option you must select is the “Origin.” This is the “driver” in RSLinx Classic which System Ferret will scan:

System-Ferret-with-Path

5) Press “Start Scan” and read the warnings which come up. To proceed, click on “Scan” on each warning popup:

System-Ferret---Scan-Warning-1-Level-0System-Ferret---Scan-Warning-2

6) Now wait as the System Ferret scans

System-Ferret---Scanning-level-1 System-Ferret---Scanning-level-7

 

 

Note: The network I ran this test on had about 30 devices on, and it took System Ferret less than 5 minutes to find all the items (I was connected via a VPN which I’m sure slowed things down.)

7) Once the scan is complete, you’ll likely want to save and view the system scan report:

System-Ferret---Scan-Summary-Create-Report

8) Here’s what my report looked like in Excel

System-Ferret---Scan-Summary-Report-in-Excel

I hope you’ve found this article about using System Ferret helpful. If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or corrections please don’t hesitate to leave them by using the “leave a reply” form at the bottom of this page.

Sincerely,

Shawn Tierney
Automation Blogger and Trainer

Need personalized help? For as little as $25 per month you can get direct access to ask me Rockwell PLC, HMI, and SCADA questions! Learn the details at Patreon.com/Automation

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