Odd behavior with PXE booting inactive clients: known workstations being recognized as unknown

May 31, 2013 at 4:23 PM
Today we were refreshing some images on one of our mobile device carts, which had been turned off/not used long enough to be listed as inactive within SCCM. Interestingly, when we went to PXE boot the workstations, ZTIMediahook.wsf stated that there was already an advertisement for the workstation and skipped running the MDT wizard, even though the only advertisement for the client was the custom boot wizard (and yes, the collection it was deployed to was "hidden"). WinPE continued to run through the TS wizard, showing (of course) that the only available TS was the custom boot wizard...which naturally won't do anything at that point, aside from run through the disabled step and reboot the computer.

It was odd, I thought, but I just ended up adding all the clients in the cart to the collection which contained the Required deployment for their image refresh and we booted them again. What I found even more bizarre in this was when the client finally booted into PXE...the network boot recognized a required deployment and did not require me to press F12 to continue the network boot...however, once I got into the WinPE environment, the MDT wizard pops up asking me which collection I would like to select for deployment...when it SHOULD have skipped the wizard altogether, and immediately started the required deployment for the collection the workstation had just been added to.

Now, I have modified our MDT wizard a little bit, and have added an additional check for whether or not the computer is known or unknown. If it is unknown, then I actually receive a small alert, and the custom MDT wizard is closed in order to accommodate a slightly different process for imaging unknown computers in our environment. Ultimately what we do with unknown computers is beside the point...the fact that the webservice was recognizing the workstation as Unknown is more concerning...

HOWEVER...rather than move into our customization for unknown computers, the workstation begins the required TS associated with the collection it was added to earlier (this is what I expected it to do before the MDT wizard came up).

Computer PXE boots, won't launch MDT wizard on account of existing advertisement...then add computer to OSD collection, and webservice thinks computer is unknown. Why does it think it is unknown when it is actually known in CM?

I don't have much to test with right now...but I'm going to try PXE booting one of these workstations again after it has been imaged to see if the active/inactive flag in ConfigMgr has anything to do with this false positive.

Sorry for the wall of text...just trying to be thorough :)
Jun 4, 2013 at 1:46 PM
As an update, after we refreshed the image on our mobile devices, they booted correctly into the custom boot wizard...I'm still at a loss though as to why the web service was reporting that they were unknown.