Installing the Windows Server 2003 Network Monitor

The Windows Server 2003 Network Monitor serves as a free packet sniffing tool provided by Microsoft. It can prove as a very useful tool for network troubleshooting. This software comes as a basic version on the standard operating system installation media. To install the basic version of Network Monitor you should do the following:

  1. Open Add/Remove Programs in the Control Panel
  2. Click the Add/Remove Windows Components button
  3. Select Management and Monitoring Tools, and then click Details
  4. In this window, select the Network Monitor Tools check box, and then click OK
  5. Click Next, if prompted for additional files insert your Windows 2003 Server CD or type the appropriate network path to these files
  6. Click finish with installation is complete

The basic version only allows you to view data frames being sent and received by the computer it is installed on. In order to view data frames for an entire network segment you will need to upgrade to the full version, which is included with SMS.


Chris Sanders is the network administrator for one of the largest public school systems in the state of Kentucky. Chris’s specialties include general network administration, windows server 2003, wireless networking, and security. You can view Chris’ personal website at

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