In an earlier post I describe how to automate PuTTY. One problem remained: When the host was not reachable there could be a very long timeout period without any response from the script. On windowsitpro.com I found a wrapper script for the ping command that returns an exit code which tells you about a host being reachable or not. The problem with the normal Windows ping.exe is that there is no reliable exit code, so you could not depend on it in scripts. The "isAlive.cmd" script handles this by looking for patterns in ping's output. I tweaked it a little to look for something different in the ping commands output, but anyway, the function is still the same.