You can use Windows Deployment Services to link physical computers to computer account objects in Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS). This is called prestaging the client. Prestaged clients are also called known computers. Prestaging the client allows you to configure properties to control the installation for the client. For example, you can configure the network boot program and the unattend file that the client should receive, as well as the server from which the client should download the network boot program. For more information, see For a list of procedures related to the Auto-Add policy and prestaged clients, see How to Manage Client Computers (

You can create a computer account object and associate it with a physical computer using the following methods:

To prestage client computers by using the Windows interface
  1. On the server running Active Directory Users and Computers, open the Active Directory Users and Computers MMC snap-in (click Start, click Run, type dsa.msc, and then click OK).


    To manage the server remotely, you can install “AD DS Snap-Ins and Command-Line Tools” in Remote Server Administration Tools. To do this, click Add Features in Server Manager, and install the feature from the following location: Remote Server Administration Tools>Remote Administration Tools>AD DS and AD LDS Tools>AD DS Tools>AD DS Snap-Ins and Command-line Tools.

  2. In the console tree, right-click the organizational unit that will contain the new client computer.

  3. Click New, and then click Computer.

  4. Type the client computer name, click Next, and then click This is a managed computer.

  5. In the text box, type the client computer's media access control (MAC) address preceded with twenty zeros or the globally unique identifier (GUID) in the format: {XXXXXXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXX-XXXXXXXXXXXX}.

  6. Click Next, and click one of the following options to specify which server or servers will support this client computer:

    • Any available remote installation server

    • The following remote installation server

  7. Click Next, and then click Finish.

To prestage client computers by using a command line
  1. Click Start, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator.

  2. Type the following, where <devicename> is the name and <GUIDorMACAddress> is the identifier of the new computer. If you use a MAC address with the /ID option, you must precede it with twenty zeros (0).

    WDSUTIL /add-device /device:<devicename> /ID:<GUIDorMACAddress> <options>

    For example: WDSUTIL /Add-Device /Device:Computer1 /ID:{E8A3EFAC-201F-4E69-953F-B2DAA1E8B1B6} /ReferralServer:WDSServer1 /BootProgram:boot\x86\ /WDSClientUnattend:WDSClientUnattend\unattend.xml /User:Domain\MyUser/JoinRights:Full /BootImagePath:boot\x86\images\boot.wim /OU:"OU=MyOU,CN=Test,DC=Domain,DC=com"