> Probes and Agents > Probes > Install a Windows probe

Install a Windows probe

To set up a Windows probe to monitor a network, you need to install a Windows probe on a server or other dedicated computer. The Windows Probe can be installed on any server behind the firewall. When monitoring a very large environment, SolarWinds MSP recommends that you install the probe on a dedicated server.

For Windows and MacOS clients there are customer-specific installers. There are also generic system installers.

The customer-specific installers come pre-configured with the information needed to automatically create a device. Activation keys, customer names, or the IP address of your MSP N-central server are not required. As the customer-specific installers are very easy to use, we recommend that you make them your first choice when downloading the agent or probe software.

Generic system installers are available for all types of supported agents and probes. These require you to specify either the activation key, or the IP address of your MSP N-central server and a customer name or customer ID. These installers are useful when you want to keep a copy of a certain version of the agent or probe offline.

There are no specific requirements other than using a Windows server. It is recommended you use a File or Print server, as they have more resources available on a consistent basis. If the environment is small and the only option is an SBS server, this will be adequate for your probe.

  1. Click ActionsDownload Agent/Probe.
  2. For the specific customer in the Windows Probe column, click Download Windows Probe.
  3. If you have not set up customers yet, click the System Software tab, and click the Windows Probe link. You will need a probe activation key to install generic system probe software. The activation key available by clicking Administration > Probes > System Communication tab when you edit a probe. For more information, see to Probe Activation Key.

  4. Launch the installer and follow the instructions to complete the probe installation.

Once the probe is installed you can exit the server and return to MSP N-central. To verify, in MSP N-central, click Administration > Probes.

If you are using a customer-specific installation program, the Windows Probe registers with the central server and initiates a discovery of all of the devices on the specified network. This may take some time depending on the size and configuration of the network being scanned.

If your probe is unable to communicate with the MSP N-central server, you may need to adjust your IP/FQDN settings from the System level. Click Administration > Defaults > Appliance Settings and at the System level, click Administration > Network Settings > Network Setup of your on-premises installation.