Missing Computers

What is the standard for handling computers that are lost and are missing? We contacted asset owner and they dont recall what happened to the computer. Is there additional actions we should take other than marking the asset missing in the repository?

Hi @dinamac01

I would check with your IT Security team to see if any of their security endpoints picked up the asset at anytime during a time period to see when it last checked-in. Also, verify with your own ITAM tool (SCCM or whatever tool you are using to see if it checked-in in the same time period.

Check with Procurement, IT Finance if the asset is depreciated. If you still cannot find the asset, maybe IT Finance can write it off but that will be determined by answering the previous question.

Hope this helps.


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@JamesM Thanks for replying to my message.

I am finding that some of these “missing” assets are being discovered and I can see the name of the person that last used the device. The challenge now is that I am having to send an email to this large group of people asking them to confirm if they have the computer and I need to update the asset from missing to In use, but I cant keep up with all the email I am receiving and Im having to manually update each asset record. Is there an easier way to do this?

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@dinamac01 - I would create a template where you can add a list of people via BCC (this way when people reply, it does blow up people’s mailbox).

If your company uses an agent based endpoint like SCCM, Tanium, Flexera or any tool. Ideally, you can set-up a connection between the tool to update your hardware status. If detected, update to In Use. Or after xxx days or months, update to “xxxx” the key is to decide your status and substate matrix before you do anything.

Manual updates unfortunately is still happening. There are some automation that can be done via Powershell script or PowerAutomate.

I’m sure others on the ITAM Forum can chime in with what they are doing for hardware updates.


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I’d also work with HR and Security/Compliance to check whether there are already policies relating to missing assets and if not to set some up. Missing assets aren’t just a cost issue, there are security issues (e.g. unpatched dormant laptop suddenly appearing back on the network) and compliance issues (e.g. taking due care of customer and other sensitive data). Your company should have a policy which addresses this. Unfortunately not all users can be trusted to take good care of company assets, unless there is a policy in place which makes them responsible for it. At a former employer we asked our security guards to remove any laptops left unsecured on desks overnight. Employee then had to go to front desk next morning to get their laptop back, where they were reminded of the policy. Policy stated that laptops must be taken home or locked in a desk drawer overnight. Very effective, very few repeat offenders.

Assuming you have a Windows domain another option is to work with your network admin, Help desk, or Identity & Access Management team to set a policy to automatically remove dormant machines from the domain. This will stop it being logged back on to the domain at a later date and potentially generate a support ticket which can then be used to check why it’s not reporting.

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