Topic Last Updated—August 2008

Unknown computer support is an operating system deployment feature in Configuration Manager 2007 R2 that allows unmanaged systems to be discovered and receive operating system deployment. This section provides information to help troubleshoot unknown computer support issues in Configuration Manager 2007 operating system deployment.

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

Operating System Deployment to Unknown Computer Fails to Complete

When an unknown computer requests an operating system image by using unknown computer support but then fails to completely install the image, the computer is left in an unprovisioned state. The PXE service point will have a record of the MAC address of the computer, but because it has not successfully installed the Configuration Manager 2007 client, it cannot be discovered as a client computer. Computers in this state appear in the Unprovisioned Computers folder in the Configuration Manager 2007 console.


To view unprovisioned computers, in the Configuration Manager 2007 console, navigate to System Center Configuration Manager / Site Database / Computer Management / Operating System Deployment and then click Unprovisioned Systems. A list of unprovisioned computers appears in the results pane.

Unknown Machines Registered with a Generic Task Sequence Not Recognized by Active Directory

If a generic task sequence with one "Image Apply" task targets unknown computers and the task is then run from boot media or PXE without any task sequence variable to specify the machine name, Configuration Manager 2007 will use 'Unknown' for the name of each machine. This can result in multiple machines with the name 'Unknown.' Active Directory will have issues with identically named machines.


Name each unknown machine explicitly using environment variables in the task sequence.

Log Files for Unknown Computer Support

When an unknown computer attempts to install an operating system by using PXE boot or boot media, a log file is created on the unknown computer. On Windows XP, this is located by default in C:\Documents and Settings \ Local Settings \ Temp. On Windows Vista, this is located by default in C:\Windows \ Temp. To find all log files for unknown computer support on the client machine, search for smsts*.log.

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