In some cases you might not want the client agents to be installed on few computers. If you have enabled site-wide automatic client push installation then the client agents are installed on all the computers. In this post we will see how to prevent Configuration Manager Client Software from being installed on specific computers. However note that this procedure does not prevent the client from installing when you are using other client installation methods, such as the Client Push Wizard or by manually running CCMSetup.exe.
Using the Windows registry, we can prevent Configuration Manager client agent installation on specific computers when using the site-wide automatic client push installation method. We exclude the list of servers in the registry that don’t need the client agent. Before we edit the windows registry, we need to backup the registry and then make changes. Keep in mind that computers that are excluded from the client installation can still be found by using Configuration Manager discovery methods.
Prevent Configuration Manager Client Agent Installation
Open the Windows Registry Editor on the Configuration Manager 2012 R2 site server that hosts the site that you want to exclude a computer from joining. Locate the SMS_DISCOVERY_DATA_MANAGER sub-key by browsing to the following path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/Software/Microsoft/SMS/Components/SMS_DISCOVERY_DATA_MANAGER.
Double click the key ExcludeServers to open the Edit Multi-String window and specify the NetBIOS name of each computer you want to exclude. Press the enter key after typing each computer name to ensure that each computer name appears on a separate line. Once you have done, click OK and close the registry editor.
You can see in the below screenshot that the computer that I added in ExcludeServer list has no client agent installed. Definitely this method works but the difficult part is you need to add the computers to the exclude list manually.
Suppose you want the client agent to be installed on one of the computers which are in ExcludeServers list, just by removing them from ExcludeServers list will not help. You must run the clear install flag task. To do that launch the console, click on Administration > Site Configuration > Sites > click on the Primary site and on top ribbon click on Site Maintenance. Look for the task named Clear Install Flag. Click on the task and click Enable. You could also set the schedule to control how often the task runs. Click OK.