System Center 2012 Configuration Manager hardware inventory reads information about devices by using Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI). WMI is the Microsoft implementation of web-based Enterprise Management (WBEM), which is an industry standard for accessing management information in an enterprise environment. In previous versions of Configuration Manager, you could extend hardware inventory by modifying the file sms_def.mof on the site server. This file contained a list of WMI classes that could be read by Configuration Manager hardware inventory. If you edited this file, you could enable and disable existing classes, and also create new classes to inventory.

The Configuration.mof file is used to define the data classes to be inventoried by hardware inventory on the client and is unchanged from Configuration Manager 2007. You can create data classes to inventory existing or custom WMI repository data classes or registry keys present on client systems.

The Configuration.mof file also defines and registers the WMI providers that access device information during hardware inventory. Registering providers defines the type of provider to be used and the classes that the provider supports.

When Configuration Manager clients request policy, for example, during their standard client policy polling interval, the Configuration.mof is attached to the policy body. This file is then downloaded and compiled by clients. When you add, modify, or delete data classes from the Configuration.mof file, clients automatically compile these changes that are made to inventory-related data classes. No further action is necessary to inventory new or modified data classes on Configuration Manager clients.

In System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, you no longer edit the sms_def.mof file as you did in Configuration Manager 2007. Instead, you can enable and disable WMI classes, and add new classes to collect by hardware inventory by using client settings. Configuration Manager provides the following methods to extend hardware inventory.

Method More information

Enable or disable existing inventory classes

You can enable or disable the default inventory classes used by Configuration Manager or you can create custom client settings that allow you to collect different hardware inventory classes from specified collections of clients. For more information, see the To enable or disable existing inventory classes procedure in this topic.

Add a new inventory class

You can add a new inventory class from the WMI namespace of another device. For more information, see the To add a new inventory class procedure in this topic.

Import and export hardware inventory classes

You can import and export Managed Object Format (MOF) files that contain inventory classes from the Configuration Manager console. For more information, see the To import hardware inventory classes and To export hardware inventory classes procedures in this topic.

Create NOIDMIF Files

Use NOIDMIF files to collect information about client devices that cannot be inventoried by Configuration Manager. For example, you might want to collect device asset number information that exists only as a label on the device. NOIDMIF inventory is automatically associated with the client device that it was collected from. For more information, see To create NOIDMIF files in this topic.

Create IDMIF Files

Use IDMIF files to collect information about assets in your organization that are not associated with a Configuration Manager client, for example, projectors, photocopiers and network printers. For more information, see To create IDMIF files in this topic.

Procedures to Extend Hardware Inventory

Use the following procedures to extend hardware inventory, as described in the preceding table.

These procedures help you to configure the default client settings for hardware inventory and they apply to all the clients in your hierarchy. If you want these settings to apply to only some clients, create a custom client device setting and assign it to a collection that contains the devices that you want to inventory. For more information about how to create custom client settings, see How to Configure Client Settings in Configuration Manager.

To enable or disable existing inventory classes

To add a new inventory class

To import hardware inventory classes

To export hardware inventory classes

How to Use Management Information Files (MIF Files) to Extend Hardware Inventory

See Also