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GibsonSG
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Post Posted: Thu Apr 21, 2016 11:44 am   Post subject: Tricks to physically locate a computer Reply with quote Back to top  

Wanted to see if anybody might have a nifty way to accomplish this....

I have a Call Center with around 400 computers in it. We have certain models that either only have 4 GB of RAM in them, or are running 32-bit OS. We need to upgrade RAM and/or convert to 64-bit OS.

We've found what we could by roaming around and checking PC names (these are all Dell computers and the service tag is in the name). We're down to around 30 PCs and we're having trouble finding them.

I know the names, I know they're on the network as I can ping them... but we can't physically find them. I can connect with Powershell, PSExec, etc... is there any easy way we could do something such as make them play music, or display a message on the logon screen? I've found a way to make them play sounds when a user is logged in, but haven't had any luck when there isn't a user.

That is currently the issue, some of these haven't been logged in to in months, so even knowing the last logged on user isn't helping, because they may not have sat in that location in who knows when.

EDIT: I figured out a way to do this... maybe not the most elegant solution, but it works. I used the Dell Command and Configure Toolkit to create a little EXE that modifies the boot order in the BIOS to set the NIC as the first boot option. Copy it out to all the PCs in question, execute with PSExec and then force restart them all. Now we'll be able to just walk through and look for computers sitting on our PXE splash screen.

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anglachel
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Post Posted: Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:26 am   Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top  

I was going to suggest a script that just rebooted them over and over and then either walk for the floor looking for the machine that is rebooting and/or wait for a service call.

(probably worked better in the olden days when computers beeped when they booted up)

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CMTG
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Post Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 1:45 am   Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top  

anglachel wrote:
(probably worked better in the olden days when computers beeped when they booted up)


Why not just play a sound on the remote lost box?

marco.mp3

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JustAnEngineer
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Post Posted: Wed May 04, 2016 2:21 am   Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top  

Hopefully, no-one has dry-walled in the room where the lost PCs are located.

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anglachel
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Post Posted: Tue May 17, 2016 7:18 am   Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top  

CMTG wrote:
anglachel wrote:
(probably worked better in the olden days when computers beeped when they booted up)


Why not just play a sound on the remote lost box?

marco.mp3



Back when I last had to do this the machines we were working with were positioned around a library and as such none of them had sound cards and/or speakers. but they'd beep on startup.

there were ways to trigger the beep without rebooting the computer also, but I think something stopped us from doing that...

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Extreme
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Post Posted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 12:35 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top  

Sounds you found a solution, a few others that jump to mind are:
Run a remote command to open the CD Tray if one is installed:
http://superuser.com/questions/972447/how-can-i-eject-a-cd-via-the-cmd

OR

Depending on your networking skills and equipment, you can tie the MAC Address to the port its connected to, and hopefully you have documentation in place that shows where these ports are in your environment.

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GibsonSG
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Post Posted: Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:49 am   Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top  

Extreme wrote:
Sounds you found a solution, a few others that jump to mind are:
Run a remote command to open the CD Tray if one is installed:
http://superuser.com/questions/972447/how-can-i-eject-a-cd-via-the-cmd

OR

Depending on your networking skills and equipment, you can tie the MAC Address to the port its connected to, and hopefully you have documentation in place that shows where these ports are in your environment.


Unfortunately, no CD drives. And no documentation on which jacks go to which ports on the switches. We did briefly contemplate just shutting the ports off and waiting to see who complained though. Twisted Evil

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Extreme
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:07 pm   Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top  

GibsonSG wrote:
We did briefly contemplate just shutting the ports off and waiting to see who complained though. Twisted Evil


If your environment is anything like mine, they would just move to a new workstation and the "broken" PC would just go unreported Rolling Eyes

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Extreme
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Post Posted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 1:10 pm   Post subject: Re: Tricks to physically locate a computer Reply with quote Back to top  

GibsonSG wrote:
Copy it out to all the PCs in question, execute with PSExec and then force restart them all


BTW, you might want to check out PDQ Inventory and/or PDQ Deploy...I've been working with it for the last few months to automate most of our deployments/updates and love it!

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GibsonSG
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Post Posted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 7:42 am   Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top  

Extreme wrote:
GibsonSG wrote:
We did briefly contemplate just shutting the ports off and waiting to see who complained though. Twisted Evil


If your environment is anything like mine, they would just move to a new workstation and the "broken" PC would just go unreported Rolling Eyes


This is too true and probably exactly what would have happened. Laughing

Extreme wrote:
BTW, you might want to check out PDQ Inventory and/or PDQ Deploy...I've been working with it for the last few months to automate most of our deployments/updates and love it!


We use SCCM for that, this was just kind of an on the fly situation that we had to figure out quickly.

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