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I need to know whether my server has TPM installed. It is located 10000 miles away from me so going there to look at the BIOS is not an option. It is also not anyhow described on the Dell website nor wikipedia. So please answer only if you know how to find out if TPM installed on my server through remote desktop. Thank you

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Why can you not check whether the TPM is there for a 10000 miles away server? I can access the BIOS of my server in a browser, you know. Server - not toy. Remote KVM support is standard. As is btw. listing ordered content on invoices. –  TomTom Jun 20 '12 at 4:21
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

It is important to understand two common phases of operating a Trusted Platform Module (TPM).

On/Enabled

This setting is only controlled from a BIOS/UEFI and will be set to on/enabled or off/disabled. This setting is what actually turns on the TPM so it can be seen by an operating system.

If the TPM is turned off/disabled in the BIOS/UEFI Windows cannot see the TPM -- not in Device Manager or anywhere else.

This on/enabled status is similar to other on-board hardware like Ethernet NIC's, sound cards, etc. where they can be disabled in the BIOS/UEFI and do not appear in Windows Device Manager.

Activated/Initialized

After a TPM is on/enabled a Windows driver must be loaded. Microsoft requires minimum TPM v1.2 hardware and recommends that only Microsoft drivers be used to interface with TPM hardware.

With the TPM on/enabled and a driver loaded -- visible in Device Manager under Security Devices -- the TPM can then be Activated/Initialized -- the process of assigning an Owner to the TPM.

Once the TPM is Activated/Initialized it can be used by applications.

Activation/Initialization can be done in Windows through TPM Manager (tpm.msc).

Difference

It is important to understand that if the TPM is off/disabled in the BIOS/UEFI -- then it is not possible to tell whether the system has a TPM from within Windows Device Manager.

You could check the system configuration from the vendor from whom the system was purchased, or review the BIOS/UEFI for TPM options.

If the TPM is on/enabled it will appear in Windows Device Manager, but is not usable by applications until Activated/Initialized.

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wow. thank you very much. –  Boppity Bop Feb 19 '12 at 21:29
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It will show up under Security Devices in Device Manager if you have one installed.

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Installed is the keyword that has semantic elasticity. More details in the answer posted. –  Weaver Feb 19 '12 at 16:51
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