We run WDS on Server 2008 R2. We have a large stock of Loan Laptops that we reimage when they come back from loan. these machines all used to have a generic name (LoanLT) which was specified in the answer file.

We have since decided to barcode all the machines for ease of stock checking and would like the machines to pick up the %MachineName% that corresponds to the barcode. For the new machines this is easy as when they are first connected to the WDS Server they show up in the Pending Devices section and we can Name and Approve them.

The problem lies in that for about 50 of our old laptops these were just Approved on the WDS system so no record of them exists in AD which is where the %MachineName% attribute is pulled from.
This leads to a "Windows could not parse or process the unattend answer file for pass [specialize]. The settings specified in the answer file cannot be applied."

Is there a way to remove all computers that have been added to the WDS database withut a name? Therefore any that do not exist in AD will have to be re-approved and can be named at that point

1 Answer 1


According to this article you can clear all approved devices from the database with this command: WDSUTIL /Verbose /Delete-AutoAddDevices /Server:MyWDSServer /DeviceType:ApprovedDevices.

Hope this helps.

  • I ran the command without the verbose. What is the verbose added for?
    – Joe Taylor
    Aug 11, 2012 at 10:34
  • It is just to give more feedback about what is happening while the process is running. It is not needed.
    – dwolters
    Aug 13, 2012 at 17:08

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