Collecting computer inventory using WSUS

I was recently tasked with collecting a list of software installed in my environment (desktops and servers). In the past, I would have used a WMI script to query the computers and export it into a database or spreadsheet. However, the more recent Windows versions block all remote connections by default, meaning my WMI script would fail.
A little research made me began to look at WSUS (which was already used to patch our environment). I realized there was a view (PUBLIC_VIEWS.vComputerInventory) that is empty, but looks like it should hold inventory information. There is also a table (tbInventoryRule) that lists an XML to inventory hardware and software of client machines. So it’s possible, how do I enable it.

I finally came across a field – tbConfigurationC.CollectClientInventory=0. I executed the following command to update its value.
update tbConfigurationC set CollectClientInventory=1

I told my client to rescan for updates, and now when I view PUBLIC_VIEWS.vComputerInventory, I see hardware inventory, and Add/Remove Programs information.

5 thoughts on “Collecting computer inventory using WSUS

  • July 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    You beauty! I've spent several hours trying to figure out why WSUS wasn't collecting this information despite having the tables for it.

    Thank you very much.

  • January 27, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    i must not be doing it right i changed the value but nothing is populating what else did you change and what tables are you viewing?

  • February 6, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    This can also be changed with PowerShell with the wsus API:

    $wsusserver = "wsus-server-name"
    #Load required assemblies
    $wsus = [Microsoft.UpdateServices.Administration.AdminProxy]::getUpdateServer($wsusserver,$False)
    $wsusconf = $wsus.GetConfiguration()
    $wsusconf.CollectClientInventory = 1 # 0=turn off, 1=Turn on

  • August 6, 2013 at 6:55 pm

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