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.

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-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 “post a comment or question” link below.

Sincerely,

Shawn Tierney
Automation Instructor and Blogger

Have a question? Join my community of automation professionals and take part in the discussion! You'll also find my PLC, HMI, and SCADA courses at TheAutomationSchool.com.

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