Quick Tips

Getting Your PC's Serial Number Without a Reboot

If you're in my line of work and have to setup or reconfigure machines on a regular basis, it helps to have a tool to help keep your hardware inventory.  One item on my inventory that I need to update any time I work on a computer is the Serial Number of the machine.  This number helps me keep track of who is on what machine and when service is needed, it's usually the first number you look for.

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In the past, I've had to rely on external stickers on the pcs themselves or rebooting the computer and getting the serial number.  Some systems will provide the number in certain system software.  It's great that we can find it in all these places, but if you have to remember where to look just to get to the number, it's a hassle in itself.

A couple of years ago, I discovered a command line that will shoe just the serial number:

wmic bios get serialnumber

This has saved me much head scratching and looking for online tips every time I need it.  I've used it enough now that I have memorized the command and its just a few click away!  I've primarily used this on Dell computers and it has worked on a few other brands as well.  It will work on Windows XP, 7 and 8.

Many of you sysadmins already know this command, if you didn't, I hope this will help you save some head scratching.

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