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Static computernames in Windows autopilot before Intune autoenrollment.

Maybe posting this to the wrong component-team but a suggestion would be to give the ability to set a static computername to the imported device when registering the csv file containing hardware information in "Autopilot deployment". The current functionality randomizes the computername after each factory reset or reinstallation. Seems pointless to perform a namechange after Intune autoenrollment. This would solve alot of of administrative issues within larger organizations.

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Johan shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →
noted  ·  AdminCathy Moya (Program Manager, Microsoft Intune) responded  · 

As of the week of August 27, you can use a template to control how the machine will be automatically named. So not exactly static, but gets you away from total random. From the discussion, sounds like not total random was good enough for some, but not all, so I will switch this back to “noted”.

more detail about what we released in August:
When you create an autopilot deployment profile, you can designate a name, which must be 15 characters or less, and can contain letters, numbers, and hyphens. Names can’t be all numbers. Use the SERIAL macro to add a hardware-specific serial number. Alternatively, use the RAND:x macro to add a random string of numbers, where x equals the number of digits to add.

It’s only available with the Windows Insider build for now.


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  • SDe commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Same here. All of our devices have custom ids we want to use as device names.
    There are a lot of reasons:
    - Using msra without have to look up the device name by our ids
    - All types of monitoring, where generated device names are not meaningful.

  • Rob de Roos commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @dieter, not if you use (part off) the serial + a few letters for the computer name. As I said, the manufaturer allready created a unique nr. for us, so why bother designing your own? In most cases the CMDB allready has the serial nr noted. Only thing is the user perspective, thats why I build a small app. The user clicks that and all of the info for the helpdesk is there.
    I can't realy think of a situation where tuis wouldn't work. I won't put a user id in a computername because of regulations in europe. Most of my customers have indeed got stickers on the devices. When I ask them why, I Always get the awnser… because it is easy.... My reaction then is.... Why? You design something yourself….. You spend time on all devices to register the sticker in the CMDB..... You put the sticker on the devices.... That all is precious time in my opinion. I believe with autopilot, IT shouldn't touch the device anymore at all.

  • Dieter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    One more reason to have configurable computer names ( besides regulations) is because existing devices will be reused as modern managed devices.
    - These devices have labels attached to them and we can,t simply exchange those.
    - the computer name is used as an identifier in many other systems as it was assumed to be immutable. Changing identifiers is always hard, even more as we do not own these systems and even if we did it would create too much effort to build new migration tools.

  • Dieter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @rob, but i’d end up with 20000 autopilot profiles if i have 20000 computers 😩 and would need 20000 groups and even have no clue at the moment how to create a dynamic query for those.

    Thats why i still suggest to have a new field „assigned computer name“ along with new field to set an assigned users upn and friendly name

  • skatterbrainz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    fwiw - template based naming would be fine for me and most of my customers. Anything is better than completely random. I have customers that prefer usernames for part of the device names, but they can adapt.

  • Rob de Roos commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    @Dieter, the autopilot profile is assigned to a device. So every time that device gets reset it wil get the same name.

    I recon then that this could be a working solution for you.

  • Rob de Roos commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    For me the solution is great! I always use a few letters and then the serialnr. of te device. Why would I think of a solution to create an unique ID for a device if the device allready has one. Every customer of ours where we design and implement the modern workplace is asked this exact question. Why invest time in something a hardware vendor allready has a solution for? Okay the serial isn't the most user friendly name but hey when do users realy need them. Most of the times you can find devices based on the username also.

    I had only 2 customers that had a realy good reason for doing it themselves. But they are also looking into the possibility to use the serial or part of the serial number.

  • Dieter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    We really need a static computer name best assigned to the autopilot registered device, not autopilot profile.
    The reason behind this are the processes we are bound to the name assigned by our asset central management system. All our various client management systems must follow these names.
    Some processes like label printing also require the name assigned by the central management system.

  • Marco commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    For companies that have a strict naming convention, not random is not really enough.
    It is a good start, but the possibility to inject the name of the system during the staging phase is quite critical.
    Moreover if you plan to manage windows 10 on premises (SCCM) and on cloud (intune) and you don't have control on the name of the device you might end up having duplicate names.

  • Sheshmani Pandey commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yes, I agree. Being an imaging guy and admin, hostname would be the first thing we would love to change as hostname is the key factor for performing activities.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    This would be very useful to have the device pick up a desired name during enrollment or self provisioning.

  • SteffanH commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Yes please !

    In lieu of this functionality, I've written a simple PowerShell script that fixes this ;)

  • Dieter commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Having defined the computer name in advance and already associated it with the device order would just be perfect for us in order to be able to continue our comfortable end device self services as they exist today.

    E.g. our users are used to order a new computer and the set of applications on it in a self service portal. They can configure the applications at any point in time after they have ordered it. The device even doesn't have to be produced by the OEM yet.

    Not sure if this is possible but if we have the computer name and the device has not yet been registered in the cloud by the OEM we might preregister it in AAD anyway and thus be able to add it to application groups. If this is not possible at least we could use the Graph API to add the computer automatically to the application groups as soon as we discover it in AAD.

    By doing the application assignment in advance the oobe for our users will improve a lot as they get what they have configured as soon as they touch their device for the first time :-)

    They won't need to go back to self service portal or an administrator to get the final set of applications they need to work.

    From what i have seen at Ignite Windows Provisioning Packages seem another possibility to pre-load a set of applications on the computer but due to the large variety of software loads in our enterprise this seems very hard to manage and likely not possible with additional coding.

    Actually we want to have our modern clients to be configured by Intune and Autopilot only and from a strategic perspective (and lessons learnt from SCCM) we want to use as few provisioning techniques as possible.

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