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Description != OSDComputername

Nov 29, 2013 at 9:59 PM
hi Chris, I've had a heck of a time for the last two days deploying a new computer. I had the same problem with my own laptop replacement but i was in a hurry so I modified the registry and carried on but for this one I have the time to make sure that everything is perfect for a new model that we're getting now.

I kept getting errors during deployment that the unattend.xml file, and I spent 2 days chasing it down thinking it was the now-infamous Windows 7 IE10 "bug" but just this afternoon I finally discovered what the problem was.

the Settings/ComputerName was invalid... when I looked at the unattend.xml, instead of seeing RFBxxxLAP which is our naming scheme, I saw RFBxxxLAP (HP 9470m). I couldn't figure out why my OSDComputerName was using the Description, and then I remembered that I just started using MDT Admin to enter computers instead of Deployment Workbench.

I went into MDT Admin and sure enough, the OSDComputerName was RFBxxxLAP (HP 9470m), same as the Description in the Computers list box. I changed it using the edit button and re-tried the deployment and it worked.

Just to confirm, I clicked "Add computer" and the dialog that came up says "Description" in the title bar, so I put in "RFB123TEST (HP 6570B)" and clicked OK. the computer showed up in the list with that string, but it also set the OSDComputername to "RFB123TEST (HP 6570B)". The invalid file error was probably caught because that string is longer than the maximum 15 characters allowed for an OSDComputerName.

Do you think you could:
A) change the titlebar of the first dialog in New Computer to say "Description/OSDComputername" so that new users know that it's setting both to the same thing
B) add to the documentation that the Description is also used for the OSDComputerName
C) (I don't know if this is possible with an HTA) have some validation to make sure that the OSDComputerName is <= 15 characters?

OR to prompt the user for separate dialogs for the OSDComputerName and the Description, but have a checkbox on the first(OSDComputerName) dialog to say "Also use this value for the Description" kind of like "my shipping address is the same as my billing address" on a shopping cart web page :)

Thanks Chris and have a great weekend (I guess it's started already in Sweden!)
Nov 30, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Hey Doc,

Sorry about your problems! You are right, the OSDComputerName variable is set to the same as Description when creating a new computer.
I was thinking "this is probably what MOST people do anyway", therefore, I thought it should be automatically set, with the option to change it afterwards.
That's the most effective, least intrusive way to handle it. BUT, as you pointed out, other people also might do what you did and not realize that MDT Administator does this automatically without informing the user.

I will change this behaviour to let the user be prompted (simple yes/no box) on "new computer" whether to set OSDComputerName the same as Description.
I also think that a 15 character restriction on OSDComputerName is a good idea and I will add that too.

My weekend is good so far, thanks! Hope yours is good too! I'm "getting my code on", perhaps tomorrow or monday!
Stay tuned!
Dec 2, 2013 at 7:51 AM
New version released with the changes you requested. The user will be prompted if to set OSDComputerName variable to the same as Description field. There's now also a 15 char limit on OSDComputerName.
Dec 3, 2013 at 7:38 PM
Awesome, thanks, Chris! I've got more new machines coming in next week so will give it a try then!