Duplicate devices discovered when using random hardware addresses

Duplicate devices display in Inventory

Multiple devices with the same device name and same user displays in the Inventory screen.

How to identify the problem

A device with the exact same device name and same user displays twice or multiple times in the inventory screen. The devices can be confirmed to be identical by clicking on it, expanding from the fly-out Window and confirming that the serial number match under the Hardware tab.


What caused this problem?

On a device, each network interface card (NIC) has a hardware MAC address. This address is targeted in EPC to identify the device. If a device has multiple NICs, like a LAN port and Wi-Fi, both the NICs are used as identification. MAC addresses are linked to the hardware and does not change, so it is a reliable source to use for identification. 
From Windows 10 onwards, a feature was introduced to randomize the hardware (MAC) address on Wi-Fi, to protect from open and guest Wi-Fi networks. 

On machines with both a Wi-Fi NIC and a LAN NIC, this has no effect and the LAN NIC will still be used to identify the machine. On certain devices with Wi-Fi only (like Netbooks) and without a physical LAN NIC, this will cause a new MAC address to be identified, and the machine inventoried as a new device.

How do I resolve this problem?

Turn off Random Hardware Addresses in Windows. 

To do so:

Click on Start  and type the word 'Random' and select 'Use random hardware addresses'

Turn Random hardware addresses to Off.


Check if the problem has been fixed

If the problem has been fixed successfully, then only one device will continue to report its online status and continue backups. The duplicate device will automatically go inactive in 30 days. 

What will Cibecs do to mitigate this issue?

We have logged a product improvement for the handling of random hardware addresses. The correct device discovery should not be dependent on whether the Windows setting is on or off.