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How to manually install and configure Packet Filter

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Created by Seamus.Enright, last modified by MindTouch on Jun 23, 2016

Views: 732 Votes: 1 Revisions: 9


The Packet Filter driver is installed with Orion Failover Engine (FoE), and should be enabled on the Principal (Public) NIC(s) for both the Primary and Secondary server. It is required to be installed regardless of implementation - HA/LAN or DR/WAN - and depending on chosen implementation configured as follows:

  • HA/LAN
    • Principal (Public) NIC(s) - enabled
    • Channel NIC(s) - disabled
  • DR/WAN
    • Principal (Public) NIC(s) - disabled
    • Channel NIC(s) - disabled


It is critical to the installation that Packet Filter is always disabled on the Channel NIC(s) otherwise the Channel will not oprate.


When the server is in passive mode in HA/LAN implementation, the Packet Filter prevents traffic (In/Out) using the Principal (Public) IP address. It also prevents NetBIOS traffic utilizing other IP addresses on the NIC from being sent to prevent NetBIOS name resolution conflicts.


When the passive server becomes the active server it will change state of the Packet Filter to allow traffic.


Filter States:

Using command line, you can check the state of the packet filter by running nfpktfltr.exe GETSTATE command:

  • Filter means the Packet Filter is blocking packets (server in passive mode)
  • PassThru means the Packet Filter is not blocking packets (server in active mode)

The command line can also be used to manually set the packet filter states, should they be out of sync with the server state for any reason, using nfpktfltr.exe SETSTATE <STATE> command and Filter or PassThru as the command argument.


  • FoE all versions


In certain circumstances, it may become necessary to manually install and configure the Packet Filter. As a first step for troubleshooting FoE, always collect the following information about the environment. This will make it easier to keep track of the servers while troubleshooting:


  • Primary server
    • Principal (Public) NIC IP
    • Channel NIC IP
    • Secondary Channel NIC IP (if configured)
  • Secondary server
    • Principal (Public) NIC IP
    • Channel NIC IP
    • Secondary Channel NIC IP (if configured)


  1. Log in to the passive server (at the time secondary server was the passive server).
  2. Shut down FoE service
  3. Open command prompt
  4. Navigate to: C:\Program Files\SolarWinds\FoE\R2\bin\
  5. Run: nfpktfltr.exe GETSTATE
  6. Below example output of the command showing that the PacketFilter wasn't LOADED / INSTALLED

    image2012-12-5 17-2-55.png
  7. Run: 

    nfpktfltr.exe INSTALL "C:\Program Files\SolarWinds\FoE\R2\Drivers\nfpktfltr\6.4.4686" (for FoE 6.4)

    nfpktfltr.exe INSTALL "C:\Program Files\SolarWinds\FoE\R2\Drivers\nfpktfltr\6.7.11152" (for FoE 6.7)
  8. Click Install

    Note: During installation you will temporarily lose Connection to the server but it will come back up and you should see Packet Filter installed without issue.

    image2012-12-5 17-3-8.png
  9. Run: nfpktfltr.exe GETSTATE to find the state of the Packet Filter on this server. After the installation, the Packet Filter state is usually set to PassThru, as if the server was Active.

    image2012-12-5 17-4-51.png

    Unfortunately, this server was the passive at the time and Packet Filter must be set to Filter.
  10. Run: nfpktfltr.exe SETSTATE FILTER to change the state of Packet Filter.

    image2012-12-5 17-5-7.png

  11. Run: nfpktfltr.exe SETFILTER to set the filtering to occur for the public IP Address. The IP address used in the example is of the Principal (public) NIC.

    image2012-12-5 17-6-52 (1).png

  12. Start FoE service on this server.
  13. Check Manage Server screen to confirm both servers are synced


Ref: Packet Filter command line options and functions



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