Topic last updated—March 2008

Unknown computer support is an operating system deployment feature in Configuration Manager 2007 R2 that allows unmanaged systems to be recognized and receive an operating system deployment.

The information in this topic applies only to Configuration Manager 2007 R2 and Configuration Manager 2007 R3.

Unknown computer support allows computers without a Configuration Manager 2007 client to be provisioned with an operating system by Configuration Manager 2007 operating system deployment. The unknown computer can then receive an advertised task sequence to install an operating system image by using Configuration Manager 2007 operating system deployment or other task sequences.

If you enable unknown computer support, any unknown computers that use PXE-initiated operating system deployments will attempt to run mandatory task sequences. Mandatory task sequences that include operations such as Apply Operating System Image or Format and Partition disk will destroy all data on those unknown systems.

Unknown Computer Installation Process

When the unknown computer broadcasts a PXE boot request or boots from boot media, the computer will be assigned to a PXE-enabled server by the DHCP server. A Configuration Manager 2007 server with an unknown computer support–enabled PXE site role will record the MAC address of the unknown computer. For the purpose of operating system deployment, the computer is now recognized as unprovisioned rather than unknown. The unprovisioned computer can receive task sequences and install an operating system image that includes the Configuration Manager 2007 client. During operating system installation, the task sequence can retrieve collection variables but not machine variables from unknown computers.

When installed with the Configuration Manager 2007 client, the computer will appear in the appropriate Configuration Manager 2007 collections. If the computer fails to install the operating system image with the Configuration Manager 2007 client, the computer will appear in the Unprovisioned Computers folder in System Center Configuration Manager / Site Database / Computer Management / Operating System Deployment.

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