Introduction to hardware inventory in System Center Configuration Manager
Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager (Current Branch)
Use hardware inventory in System Center Configuration Manager to collect information about the hardware configuration of client devices in your organization. To collect hardware inventory, the Enable hardware inventory on clients setting must be enabled in client settings.
After hardware inventory is enabled and a hardware inventory cycle is run by the client, the client sends the information to a management point in the client's site. The management point then forwards the inventory information to the Configuration Manager site server which stores the inventory information in the site database. Hardware inventory runs on clients according to the schedule that you specify in client settings.
You can use several methods to view the hardware inventory data that Configuration Manager collects. These include the following:
Create query-based collections that are based on a specific hardware configuration. Query-based collection memberships automatically update on a schedule. You can use collections for several tasks, which include software deployment. .
Use Resource Explorer to view detailed information about the hardware inventory that is collected from client devices.
When hardware inventory runs on a client device, the first inventory data that the client returns is always a full inventory. Subsequent inventory information contains only delta inventory information. The site server processes delta inventory information in the order in which it is received. If delta information for a client is missing, the site server rejects additional delta information and instructs the client to run a full inventory cycle.
Configuration Manager provides limited support for dual-boot computers. Configuration Manager can discover dual-boot computers but only returns inventory information from the operating system that was active at the time the inventory cycle ran.
For information about how to use hardware inventory with clients that run Linux and UNIX, see Hardware inventory for Linux and UNIX in System Center Configuration Manager.
Extending Configuration Manager hardware inventory
In addition to the built-in hardware inventory in Configuration Manager, you can also use one of the following methods to extend hardware inventory to collect additional information:
You can enable, disable, add and remove inventory classes for hardware inventory from the Configuration Manager console.|
Use NOIDMIF files to collect information about client devices that cannot be inventoried by Configuration Manager. For example, you might want to collect device asset number information that exists only as a label on the device. NOIDMIF inventory is automatically associated with the client device that it was collected from.
Use IDMIF files to collect information about assets that are not associated with a Configuration Manager client, for example, projectors, photocopiers and network printers.
For more information about using these methods to extend Configuration Manager hardware inventory, see How to configure hardware inventory in System Center Configuration Manager.