N-central Help

Install a Windows agent

Before you can use SolarWinds N-central to monitor and manage computers at a customer's site, you need to install the agent. The Windows agent monitors local services and reports any issues. The agent also used with Patch Manager to communicate with the Windows Update server to request a lists of available updates for the device.

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 SolarWinds 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 SolarWinds 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.

You need a device's agent activation key to install the agent software. Activation keys are located on the All Devices view. To copy the agent activation key, hover your mouse over the key icon and copy.

When installing on a Hyper-V server, its is a good idea to install an agent on every virtual machine. This enables you to patch each vm like a physical server.

After installing an agent, SolarWinds N-central discovers the device, SolarWinds N-central will restart the backup Windows services to update database configuration.

For a list of supported Windows versions see Supported operating systems.

  1. Click ActionsDownload Agent/Probe.
  2. From the Select Customer/Site drop-down menu, select a customer or site.
  3. In the System Agent/Probe area, click the Windows Agent link.
  4. Launch the installer and follow the instructions to complete the installation.
  5. Follow the instructions on the install screens to complete the agent installation.
  6. If a Windows agent has already been installed, you will be offered the option to uninstall it before continuing with the installation of the new agent. If the Remove the Program screen is displayed, click Remove to uninstall the existing agent. When the existing agent has been successfully removed, you will need to click Finish to continue installing the new agent.

The agent software installs and communicates with the SolarWinds N-central server.