Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Use the same external ethernet adapter for multiple devices during OSD

When deploying modern devices like Microsoft Surface Pro or Lenovo Yoga Pro, no internal ethernet adapter is present. Therefore deployment is done on external ethernet adapter(s). Most of time many devices are ordered, but only a few ethernet adapters, because of high costs. Devices can connect to Wi-Fi networks afterwards, so no need to order a ethernet adapter too.

When deploying different devices with the same external ethernet adapter(s) over and over again, there may be an issue in the ConfigMgr database. This because devices are registered on MAC address by default. Because the MAC address is found in the external ethernet adapter instead in the device, you may know what's causing the problem. Let's have a look at the solution given..

Just import modern devices by SMBIOS GUID (UUID) instead of using MAC addresses. UUID is higher in rank than MAC addresses, and will overrule this. The UUID on devices can be found with the following WMI query (type in command prompt): wmic csproduct get UUID. When importing systems you can choose between MAC or UUID, so choose the 32 hex characters instead of the 12 hex one.

The following must be done too: Add the MAC Address of the external ethernet adapter to the list of MAC adresses that should be excluded from data discovery. This has to be done on the Primary Site Server. Open Regedit and browse to: HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\SMS\Components \SMS_DISCOVERY_DATA_MANAGER\ExcludeMACAddress.
It's possible to add multiple MAC addresses there too!

As you can see in the picture no MAC address is linked to the ConfigMgr client that way, and deployment went successful. Just deploy multiple modern devices, with the same external ethernet adapter, and without issues from now on!

When devices connecting to Wi-Fi networks afterwards, the MAC address will be registered as always.

Happy deploying :-)

Source: Microsoft Blogs


  1. Hi Henk, at my company we use around 300 MS Surfaces with all external adapters. Is there a wildcard for the Mac Address to exclude them all? I already tried the ?. My second question is when using the above method will this affect the availability to the software center when for example person A suddenly uses person B his docking station? Will i still be able to deploy software then?
    Best Regards, Michael

    1. Just make sure MS Surfaces and external adapters matches and you will be fine.
      No experience on using docking stations too. Hope it helps!