Hardware Decommissioning Process (Surplus)

When computers have reached the end of their lifespan, they come back to the office for decommissioning. This KB will detail the procedures that we take when a computer comes back to the office at the end of its life.


Decommissioning (or Surplus) will be performed when there is old hardware a department is looking to get rid of or when we deploy new computers to replace old computers.

This document covers the entire process of decommissioning a computer once it is returned to us. It will cover the documentation in Cherwell and removal from all management systems as well as the physical process of decommissioning. Before decommissioning a computer, make sure that we hold on to the computer for 5 days – just to make sure that clients are certain that they have all of their files fully transferred to their new computer or OneDrive. If the computer belongs to a high-level Full Time staff, reference this article.

NOTE: When receiving a computer to decommission, include a label on the machine stating when it was received and when it is okay to decommission it to reduce its shelf life.


This document will help with setting up Cherwell for easy access to One-Steps as well as the entire decommissioning process.

Setting Up One-Step Manager

  1. Navigate to the One-Step button in the Cherwell toolbar and select the One-Step Manager.
  2. Be sure to select Incident in the drop-down menu in order to find the One-Step we are looking for.
  3. Under the SAITS Support Services folder for Incidents, right-click on Hardware Workflow - Next Step  and navigate to the Pinning tab and select Pin for user. This will pin the One-Step under the One-Step menu in the Cherwell toolbar.
  4. To access this One-Step, navigate back to the Cherwell toolbar, choose One-Step and look under Recent Incident One-Steps.

Creating and Working With the Ticket

  1. Create a ticket for the machines to be decommissioned.
    • Under the Workflows section of Cherwell, choose Hardware Purchases.
      • If this is a new ticket for decommissioning, click the Decommission Hardware button in the center-right of the page.
        • Enter the ePanther of the client requesting the decommission.
        • Enter the Serial Number (Mac) or Service Tag (Windows) of the device.
        • Select the type of hardware in the prompt that pops up after. Each type of machine will have a slightly different process to follow in the tasks that are created.
        • Once you have added a computer to a ticket, attach a sticky note to the computer, and write "Decom" and the ticket number, so we know what ticket the computer belongs to.
      • If this is a ticket that is already created, select the Decommissions box in the lower left-hand corner of the page.
  2. If another machine needs to be added to the ticket, use the One-Step Hardware Decommission - Add Object  under the One-Step Recent Incident One-Steps menu. Remember to attach a sticky note to the computer as stated above. If possible, add all the computers into the ticket before saving it for the first time. This way, the client gets a receipt of the computers that we took back from them.
    • Note: This will have you enter the computer service tag/serial number and choose what type of computer it is. Instead of creating a new ticket, it will add on to the current ticket.
  3. Before disabling the object in AD, if you are decommissioning a laptop, ensure that you disable BitLocker. See Disabling BitLocker for assistance.

  4. When disabling an object in AD, copy the full computer path (found in the 'Object' tab of the computer in AD) into the completion details of the task. Hit enter twice in the completion details, and then do the same with the description field of the computer in AD. Then, copy the Cherwell task description to the description field of the computer in AD. Finally, disable the computer object (right click --> disable account) and move it to the 'SA\Workstations\Disabled' OU. If you can't find the computer in AD, close the task and note in the completion details that it was not in AD.
  5. To complete the 'Wipe Harddrive' task, follow the applicable steps outlined for each platform: 
    • Windows: 58977
    • Mac: 59299 
    • If the hard drive is unable to be wiped following the KBs above, smash or disassemble the hard drive, ensuring that all the platters are completely deformed.
  6. For the "Archive a computer in the Asset DB" task, we will be looking at the "Asset IT" SharePoint. We can check all of the machines we support here and mark the machine status as "Surplus". Below are the steps to complete this task
    • Go to the "Asset IT" within SharePoint.
    • Click the arrow by the "Asset Tracking-Computer" to expand the menu.
    • From there, click on the "SAITS-Deployed". 
    • You will see a list of all the machines that we support. Find the machine you are decommissioning and change the Asset Status to Surplus (which means decommissioned). 
  7. When all tasks have been completed for a specific computer, draw a line diagonally through the entire sticky note so we know the process has been completed. Keep the sticky note attached so we can look back to see what was done with the computer.
  8. There will be a task that states "Move to appropriate storage location". If machine is being decommissioned, take it over to Surplus which is located over at the CTS Desktop Support area. If it's being held, ask T3 where to put machine.
  9. Once all tasks are closed, the ticket can be closed using the following as the close description:
    • The decommission process for the machines returned to us has been completed. All machines given to us have been removed from inventory and have been processed accordingly.
  10. Also along with this task, send Chad an email with information about the Machine: Model of Machine, Computer Name/Serial Number, and the location of the machine (If it went to Surplus or not).

Keywords:decom, Windows, Mac, hardware, decommission, inventory, deployments, lifecycle, hardware, process saits phase 5, surplus   Doc ID:74219
Owner:Help Desk K.Group:UW-Milwaukee Help Desk
Created:2017-06-21 13:06 CSTUpdated:2019-01-02 13:42 CST
Sites:UW-Milwaukee Help Desk, UW-Milwaukee Student Affairs IT
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