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Cloned win10 pcs appear as one device on Central console


Greetings to the community!

I'm facing a - kind of unexpected - situation with Total Security: I have a Win10pro system which I cloned twice and installed in similar hardware, thus getting 3 identical pcs (without having to install them from scratch). The original has BD Total Security installed on it. After the cloning, I changed IPs and hostnames on the 2 clones. I expected they would appear as new devices on my Central console, after the renames. But... it didn't happen. I see only 1 device on Central, updated with the latest status that gets reported to Central from all 3 pcs. If I change something to the device settings on Central, the change propagates to all 3 pcs.

I thought it was due to the same Device IDs and Widnows key. So, I took the time to reinstall from scratch Win10pro on 1 pc and gave it a new IP and hostname. The Windows key is the same since it is hardcoded in its BIOS. Device ID and Product ID are new, also; they are not the same as the other 2 pcs.

When I installed BD Total Security on the newly formatted system, it recalled the "old" hostname on the Licensing page and appeared exactly as before the format. Notice that the actual hostname of the pc is something different. Only BD seems to "remember" it with the old name. On the devices page on Central there's only 1 device listed yet (with the old name). This means that BD could not tell that this is a different pc, regardless of the different IP, hostname, Device and Product IDs.

I can try to change (again) the Windows keys on 2 of the 3 pcs. Would that do any good? I don't wish to "try" it if its not gonna work, because I don't want to risk spending 2 of my windows keys.

If someone knows how BD defines devices, I would appreciate some advice. I need to make it understand that those 3 pcs are separate devices.

Best Answer

  • Alexandru_BD
    Alexandru_BD admin
    Answer ✓

    Hello @Spirogero and welcome to the Community!

    These are based on the mac addresses. Can you tell us if the 3 mac addresses of the 3 devices have anything in common? If you find any similarities between the 3 mac addresses, let us know for which devices they apply.

    If no common mac addresses are found, try to switch account on each device to re-connect Bitdefender with the Central account. You can follow the steps described in the link below:

    Let us know how it goes.

    Best regards.

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user


  • Spirogero

    The 3 MAC addresses on the 3 pcs are different. Or... that's what we expect, right? Read on, it's quite interesting.

    I did change BD accounts on the 3 pcs but that didn't resolve the problem. When I registered them back to my normal account they returned to the 3-in-1 state on Central.


    Your answer, Alexandru_BD, pointed me to the right direction: MAC addresses.

    What happened, is quite unexpected and I think BD programmers should give it some attention.

    The original pc which was cloned, had installed the "Forticlient VPN" application. When the cloning happened Forticlient was not running but it had registered to the system its virtual network adapter with a virtual MAC address. Now, the strange thing is that BitDefender identified the original pc not with the MAC address of its Ethernet LAN card but with the MAC address of the Forticlient virtual network interface. I noticed that on Central, where it reported as the MAC address of the pc the Forticlient MAC and Fortinet as the manufacturer of the pc (not HP or Broadcom or some other LAN manufacturer). I cannot tell why BitDefender chose to identify the device with a virtual network interface and not with its real LAN interface; that's something for you to look at.

    As you might suspect, the BitDefender on the 2 clones continued to "prefer" the Forticlient MAC address instead of the MAC addresses of the new pcs (which are different from the original pc but BitDefender didn't notice that). Don't forget that, when cloning, I also cloned the installed Forticlient and its virtual network interface from the original pc. So, BitDefender from both clones reported the same MAC address: that of - the same - Forticlient virtual interface.

    Nice, isn't it?

    I wish to thank you for your answer to my problem. You did help me to clear this out.

  • Alexandru_BD


    That's indeed very interesting! Thank you for sharing this with us and I'm glad to hear I could help.

    I have already passed your valuable feedback to one of our developers for further analysis.

    Stay safe and best wishes.

    Premium Security & Bitdefender Endpoint Security Tools user