This post is all about how to manage SCCM duplicate hardware identifiers. A lot of organizations today are replacing the laptops with devices such as Microsoft Surfaces, DELL XPS devices and tablets. While these devices are imaged and sent out to customers, re-imaging them is another big task. You as an SCCM admin would want to reimage such devices using SCCM. So you provide these devices to employees, they are installed with company specific apps and OS.
If you have imaged devices such as Surface pro 3, you know the pain of using USB to Ethernet adapters. Because the devices do not include on-board Ethernet port, the technicians have to use adapters to get the OSD working. Not only these adapters are expensive they are difficult to get one when you need. I mean the adapter that works all the time.
Devices such as Surface pro 3, dell tablets come with a unique MAC address. When you want to re-image the same device using SCCM, you have to remove the old devices to add new devices for deployment. May be it’s fine if you have less devices but it becomes difficult when you have got lot of such devices. SCCM uses the hardware identifier to identify clients that might be duplicates and alert you about conflicting records.
So how did admins manage this earlier ?. Suppose you reinstall a computer, the hardware identifier would be the same but the GUID used by Configuration Manager might be changed. While the SMBIOS attribute should be unique, some hardware devices have duplicate identifiers. The simple solution here is to exclude its MAC address. Before Configuration Manager current branch version 1610 you could manually add MAC addresses of devices to the registry. With this you exclude duplicate identifier and rely on the unique MAC address of each device.
How to Manage SCCM duplicate hardware identifiers
We will now look at steps to manage SCCM duplicate hardware identifiers. In the Configuration Manager console, go to Administration > Overview > Site Configuration > Sites. On the Home tab, select the site and choose Hierarchy Settings.