How does the wizard choose which template to use?
Whichever template is currently selected in the Inventory Configuration Editor. As a matter of practice, I recommend opening the ICE prior to creating an inventory task to confirm which template is selected. To be fair, earlier versions of the product did do this, and somewhere along the way, this workflow got lost.
Once a Managed Computer Inventory Task is created, does the data collected change if the template on which it is based changes?
No. The template generates a collection of WMI SELECT statements which are hard-coded into the inventory task declaration. You can inspect this by looking at the Information tab of an inventory task in the Scheduled Tasks node.
To change the objects that are collected requires the creation of a new (or supplemental) inventory task.
Thanks Lawrence. Is there a way to get the Default Inventory Template back after making changes to it?
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I don't believe that the system-defined template is editable; but it's also not automatically saved.
In fact, there really isn't an actual default template, it's just the default settings of each individual object at installation.
The good news, though, is that it's a very short list of what's not enabled by default, so you can turn it all on, disable the items listed below, and then save that template for future reference.
Computer (Network Information) > IP4 Route Table
Computer (Registry Information) > Registry
Computer (System Information) > Printer
Computer (System Information) > Thread
Files, Directories, and Storage Devices > File
Files, Directories, and Storage Devices > Directory
Installed Programs and Features > Installed Certificate
Resultant Set of Policy > RSoP Analysis
Services, Device Drivers, and Terminal Services > Terminal Service
Services, Device Drivers, and Terminal Services > Terminal Service Setting
Services, Device Drivers, and Terminal Services > Terminal Service Client Setting
Task History > Task History
Windows Update > Windows Update Scan
Windows Update > Windows Update History
Windows Update > Windows Update Agent Log
Windows Update > Event Log