Wednesday, April 21, 2010

‘net send’ vs msg.exe

This article aims to investigate the possibilities, limitations and differences between the old NT command “net send” and the newer msg.exe utility.

net send (usage: net send [computername] [message]


  • The machine must be running XP or 2003 Server (net send is not available in Vista, Win7 or Server 2008
  • The service “Messenger” must be running (sending and receiving machine) It is disabled by default from XP sp2 and later
  • NetBIOS must be enabled (sending and receiving machine)
  • The ports 137/UDP and 139/TCP must be open (receiving machine)
  • Domain-independent



  • Available in 2003 Server, XP sp2/sp3, 2008R2, Vista, Win7
  • Sending and receiving machine must be members of the same domain
  • Not NetBIOS dependent
  • Only uses port 445/TCP (SMB)
  • Possible to use IP instead of machinename
  • Not dependent on the messenger service.

Note: If you have trouble with “Access denied” problems, try this registry hack: Locate the DWORD key “AllowRemotePRC” in HKLM/System/CurrentControlSet/Control/Terminal Server. it should be set to “1”. 

If none of these meet your requirements, the following third party softwares are available: