Export (0) Print
Expand All

How to Manage Unknown Computer Deployments in Configuration Manager

Updated: January 1, 2012

Applies To: System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager

Use the information in this topic to deploy operating systems to unknown computers in your System Center 2012 Configuration Manager environment. An unknown computer is a computer that is not managed by Configuration Manager. This means that there is no record of these computers in the Configuration Manager database. Unknown computers include the following:

  • A computer where the Configuration Manager client is not installed

  • A computer that is not imported into Configuration Manager

  • A computer that is not been discovered by Configuration Manager

You can deploy operating systems to unknown computers by using PXE deployments, bootable media, or prestaged media.

Here is the basic workflow that you need to follow to deploy an operating system to an unknown computer:

  • Select an unknown computer object to use in the deployment. You can deploy the operating system to one of the unknown computer objects in the All Unknown Computers collection or you can add the objects in the All Unknown Computer collection to another collection. Configuration Manager provides two unknown computer objects in the All Unknown Computers collection. One object is for x86 computers and the other object is for x64 computers.

    noteNote
    The x86 Unknown Computer object is for computers that are only x86 capable. The x64 Unknown Computer object is for computers that are x86 and x64 capable, In other words, these objects describe the architecture of the destination computer. They do not describe the operating system that you want to deploy on the destination computer.

  • Configure a PXE enabled distribution point or media to support unknown computer deployments. Before you enable unknown computer support for an operating system deployment, ensure that the site system meets all the prerequisites for unknown computer support.

    ImportantImportant
    If you use a PXE deployment to provision an unknown computer, the unknown computer attempts to run required task sequences. Any required task sequences that include operations such as Apply Operating System Image or Format and Partition Disk automatically PXE boot the computer and attempt to run. In this scenario all data is destroyed on the unknown computer.

  • Deploy the task sequence that deploys the operating system to the collection that contains the unknown computer object that you want to use.

When a computer is first booted from PXE or from media, Configuration Manager checks to see if a record for that computer exists in the Configuration Manager database. If there is a record, Configuration Manager then checks to see if there are any task sequences deployed to the record. If there is not a record, Configuration Manager checks to see if there are any task sequences deployed to an unknown computer object. In either case, Configuration Manager then performs one of the following actions:

  • If there is an available task sequence, Configuration Manager prompts the user to run the task sequence.

  • If there is a required task sequence, Configuration Manager automatically runs the task sequence.

  • If a task sequence is not deployed for the record, Configuration Manager generates an error that there is no deployed task sequence for the destination computer.

In addition, when an unknown computer is booted, Configuration Manager recognizes the computer as an unprovisioned computer rather than an unknown computer. This means that the computer can now receive the task sequences that were deployed to the unknown computer object. The deployed task sequence then installs an operating system image that must include the Configuration Manager client.

After the Configuration Manager client is installed, a record for the computer is created and the computer is listed in the appropriate Configuration Manager collection. If the computer fails to install the operating system image or the Configuration Manager client, an “Unknown” record for the computer is created and the computer appears in the All Systems collection.

noteNote
During the installation of the operating system image, the task sequence can retrieve collection variables but not computer variables from this computer.

Use the following table to enable unknown computer support for PXE deployments, bootable media, and prestaged media.

 

Deployment type Configuration More information

PXE deployment

Select the Enable unknown computer support check box on the PXE tab for a distribution point that is enabled for PXE.

See the Creating Distribution Points that Accept PXE Request section in the How to Deploy Operating Systems by Using PXE in Configuration Manager topic.

Bootable media

Select the Enable unknown computer support check box on the Security page of the Create Task Sequence Media Wizard.

For information about how to create bootable media, see the How to Create Bootable Media section of the How to Deploy Operating Systems by Using Media in Configuration Manager topic.

Prestaged media

Select the Enable unknown computer support check box on the Security page of the Create Task Sequence Media Wizard.

For information about how to create prestaged media, see the How to Create Prestaged Media section of the How to Deploy Operating Systems by Using Media in Configuration Manager topic.

-----
For additional resources, see Information and Support for Configuration Manager.

Tip: Use this query to find online documentation in the TechNet Library for System Center 2012 Configuration Manager. For instructions and examples, see Search the Configuration Manager Documentation Library.
-----
Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft