A MAC address or physical address is frequently needed when troubleshooting network or broadband connections. (MAC should be all caps because it is an acronym, standing for Media Access Control. If I were talking about an Apple computer, or a Macintosh, it would be proper to use ‘Mac’.) Sometimes you might need to provide your MAC address to get onto somebody’s wireless (if they have MAC filtering enabled) or to your system administrator to troubleshoot a network problem.
As a system administrator (or even just trying to troubleshoot my parents’ computer problems) I’ve needed to ask for the MAC address over the phone before. Typically this was accomplished by asking the person on the other end to run ‘ipconfig /all’ . This has proven to not be too successful whether the person misses the space or types the wrong slash, something always seems to go wrong. A much easier way is to use the command ‘getmac’. g-e-t-m-a-c, it’s pretty easy to say over the phone as well.
To effectively use it, go into the command prompt by going to Start, Run and typing ‘cmd’ or finding the Command Prompt on the Start Menu under Programs, Accessories, Command Prompt. Once the small terminal window opens up, type the command ‘getmac’ and you’ll get your physical address as a result.
Getmac is also pretty slick in a network environment because it allows you to reach across the network and get a computer’s MAC address easily. Just type ‘getmac /s ‘ and then the host name or IP address of the computer you want to get. Of course, this won’t work in cases where you’re trying to troubleshoot why a machine won’t connect to the network.
You can also use the other parameters in case you need to log in as a different user or you’d like to format the output. Getmac is a very handy utility to keep in the toolbox.
[shell]GETMAC [/S system [/U username [/P [password]]]] [/FO format] [/NH] [/V]
This command line tool enables an administrator to display the MAC address for one or more network adapters on a system.
/S system Specifies the remote system to connect to.
/U [domain]user Specifies the user context under which the command should execute.
/P [password] Specifies the password for the given user context. Prompts for input if omitted.
/FO format Specifies the format in which the output is to be displayed.
Valid values: “TABLE”, “LIST”, “CSV”.
/V Specifies that the detailed information should be displayed in the output.
/NH Specifies that the “Column Header” should not be displayed in the output.
Valid only for TABLE and CSV formats.
/? Displays this help/usage.
GETMAC /FO csv
GETMAC /S system /NH /V
GETMAC /S system /U user
GETMAC /S system /U domainuser /P password /FO list /V
GETMAC /S system /U domainuser /P password /FO table /NH[/shell]