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Track Computer Inventory Using PDQ.com Inventory Management Software

Josh MackelprangJosh Mackelprang
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Getting Started

Right on! You just downloaded the free trial of PDQ’s inventory management software (PDQ Inventory).  The best way to get it up and running “Pretty Damn Quick,” is simple. This overview will show you how to quickly add computers to start your efficient computer inventory management.

PDQ Inventory is a Windows inventory software and can scan any Windows machine running .NET 4.5.2 or higher. The fastest way to do this is with an AD (Active Directory) sync; these preferences are managed from Options > Preferences > Active Directory:

You can specify which computer objects you want PDQ Inventory to load into the database and scan from this window. Once they are in the database, you can use PDQ to start gathering information.

After your machines are added, PDQ will scan them with a “standard” scan. PDQ Inventory uniquely scans all computers by their “scan-age” (last scan date of seven days).  Since these are new machines, they satisfy this condition. However, if you ever want to change how often you are scanning, or want to collect data that is not included in the standard scan, you can always create your own from Options > Scan Profiles.

Now Let’s See What This Inventory Management Software Can Do!

Let’s grab a scanned computer to see the returned data. Start by opening a computer object, this shows you a high-level overview of collected data such as hardware and drivers installed on the machines, the installed software, and the Windows features enabled.  Below are some sample screenshots of the data you might see.

However, all of this data is not completely useful in this form.  So, this is where PDQ Inventory’s ‘Collections,’ really make this application shine. Collections allow you to group computers together based on any criteria you wish. For example, this could be something as simple as “these computers don’t have application x installed,” or something as complex as, “these computers have this version of x software, and have less than 10% HDD space free, and are also missing Windows updates.”

The Collection Library is the best place to start. The Collection Library is included in PDQ Inventory Enterprise (as well as trial licenses) and can be a great cheat-sheet to creating your own collections.

Reports

Collections are great for giving you a quick look into what is in your environment, but if you are like most admins, you have managers and executives looking for a similar insight. This is where reports come in; you will be able to collect any logically grouped data you want and either save it where people can access it, or even better email it to them.

We have several reports prebuilt for you; they are to save you a bit of work, but also to give you a peek into how we built them to provide you with a head start on building your custom report.

Let’s say you needed a report to know which of your users are awesome enough to have PowerShell 7 installed? That is quick to find out!

Now you can email that to all people in the office who may want to know who is the most awesome people in your environment. Creating an Auto Report will make it, so you are gathering and share that data on a schedule.

There is nothing better than not having to do tasks anymore because they are now done for you. People thinking IT is lazy and does nothing is a time-honored tradition! Let us help you live up to the standard by working smarter.

Better Together

These collections are even more impressive with PDQ Deploy, which allows you to target collections for software deployment.  That capability, combined with PDQ Deploy’s Auto Download feature emphasizes the true, “set it and forget it,” patch management solution. PDQ’s inventory management software (PDQ Inventory) is easy to use and simple to set up. Now be proactive and explore PDQ Inventory for yourself. You can also watch this brief introductory video for more information.

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