FOG - Windows 8.1 and MAC Address Changing

  • This was a little unbelievable to me at first, but it has been consistently happening and I can recreate the issue. I just haven’t been able to solve the problem to make the FOG Client work seamlessly in my Windows 8.1 deployment.

    I am using FOG 1.1.2 on Dell OptiPlex 390 workstations (a computer lab of 25) and a fresh installation of Windows 8.1 Professional. I have loaded the Realtek PCIe driver directly from Realteck onto the image. The image has always been a part of a workgroup, never added to our domain. To test, I have left the Windows 8.1 image as basic as possible with just the NIC driver and FOG Client loaded. I should add that I originally imaged with the Windows 8.1 default NIC driver and had the same results.

    After uploading the image and downloading it to my clients, everything looks great at first, but after Windows 8.1 boots and the FOG host renamer automatically reboots after the renaming process, all of my other computers in the lab somehow aquire the original computer’s MAC address, and not just in Windows. The copied MAC address also shows up in the Dell BIOS (updated to the latest release of A11) and worse the FOG pxe boot screen shows that the hosts are now all registered as the same name, which makes sense seeing they now all have the same MAC address.

    To reset the MAC address on the computers I have to pull the CMOS battery and reconfigure the BIOS settings and then immediately image with a clean version and not allow the host name changer to run. After pulling the BIOS battery, if I don’t immediately re-image and they boot to Windows, the MAC address changes again.

    To troubleshoot, I’ve exhausted my ideas. Finally, I created a brand new image once again, and left the FOG client off of it. After uploading and downloading the image without the FOG client, I can now manually change the computer names and then add them to the domain and the MAC addresses stay to what they are supposed to be and life stays ok, for this lab. I have been able to successfully deploy Windows 8.1, fully loaded to my whole lab without the FOG client, but having to manually rename each computer.

    I am open to any ideas to try to get the FOG client working with these computers in order to fully reap the benefits of FOG!

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