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.
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.
Yes, this is really needed. Right now you can actually make a “Device Name” column in the .CSV you import, and it does not report an error.
The Device Name imported is ignored however, so you still have to click on the created device and set the Device Name manually before you let it autopilot. Then that device name is used and works as intended going forward.
So please, respect the .CSV import of “Device Name” since you already allow it, and set it on the device as intended.
David Martin commented
This functionality is actually supported in a limited capacity. As far as I know it can't be done through the .CSV file but can be done manually from MDM>Devices>Enroll Devices>Devices.
Upon selecting a device, a "Device Name" can be set then Saved. After clicking "Sync" the change should appear the next time you click the device. The next time the device is wiped and goes through AutoPilot, it gets assigned the specified name, even if a naming scheme is already set up for the AutoPilot profile, this overrides it.
The process is VERY manual and I have yet to find any solid documentation for it. Every now and then a device won't take to a name as well, but the extra work is well worth it to me to ensure that I don't have to manually rename a PC every time it gets wiped.
I think I would prefer to have the ability to use a script to set the computer name.
Right now, our info sec team has strict requirements for naming for quick discoverability of ownership when looking at a device. This includes the device type (Desktop/Laptop, State, Location, and Serial Number). I can accomplish this with a script, but not even close with the current capabilities. As mentioned earlier, it doesn't make sense to change the computer name after joined, especially when using Hybrid Azure AD Join with Autopilot.
Our PC names are based on location in buildings. So if it could pull the name from intune or configmgr would be great for existing devices. For new devices it needs to be able to be imported by CSV or prompt during OSD.
SARAVANAN RAJAPPA commented
Hello Microsoft Windows Autopilot team,
Looks like this request is taken back seat. Please understand, we enterprise use unique computer name and there are processes tied to computer name which will take decades to redesign without the name and nothing but slows down autopilot consumption.
Kindly provide an option to set unique computer name during autopilot (this is the user voice with third highiest voting as of today)
@Friends having similer requirement, Please upvote
Michael Goff commented
What I really need is instead of using the serial number field, use the Asset ID field. We have asset tags that are applied that is used for many, many purposes. We have used the asset ID for the computer name for close to two decades. This would be optimum for us.
Tom Speijer commented
this is for a deployment profile, it would be great if we could specify a name for each computer, like assign a user.
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.
@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.
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.
@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
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.
@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.
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.
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.
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.
For us, static is a requirement, the machine name is used as a 'friendly name' for our asset management.
For now, I meet this requirement using a powershell that contains the pairs of serial # and computernames and is deployed using Intune's device configuration, http://blog.therookie.nl/2018/02/enforcing-computername-using-intune-powershell/
Sheshmani Pandey commented
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.
Ronald van der Meer commented
Peter van de Woude has written a blog about this.
SARAVANAN RAJAPPA commented
We have similar requirement as @Dieter stated here.