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Unique identifiers for a PC

Posted on 2003-03-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-03-19
I am seeking a way of uniquely identifying a PC for security issues. Currently I am using the Hard disk serial numbers but have found that these are not unique. In one case a company had 15 PCs which all had the same serial number on their hard disks!

THis needs to be based on something that is more or less fixed. eg ip address is possibly going to change from login to login.

One option is the computer's name on the network. This would at least distinguish between 2 PCs that are one the same network. Is there a function to determine this?

Any other suggestions/functions eg Windows serial number (although again this may not be unique for PCs in the same company with site licences).
Question by:Kymberley

Accepted Solution

Erina earned 120 total points
ID: 8056294
There is something called a MAC-address on every network card, this is universily unique.

check this: http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,289893,sid9_gci212506,00.html

and maybe this:

Hope this helps you on your way..

Assisted Solution

vxlil earned 90 total points
ID: 8056582
hi kym
the unique identity of your computer/system/pc is depend on which context you want it should be unique in your lan. Lets take lan is 50 systems is the context then only ip address is enough... but if you want to change the range of context from single domain to multiple domain .... from single network address to multiple subnetted addressed network then you could even go with ip-addressing... but if you need your identity to be fixed and unchnageable as you know you can even change the logical address (ip-address) of any pc very easily..... you should go for MAC address of the Lan card. As rule of thumb.... eache and every Lan card in the whole world has unique MAC address burn on it. But even you are more concern about the unque identity of the systems on your lan and thinking about the change of Lan card even... then go for serial No. of the Processor and motherboard.
Please reply me if you have any more difficulties.
LVL 33

Assisted Solution

by:Dave Howe
Dave Howe earned 90 total points
ID: 8057346
There *are* no unique identities, outside of the P4 processor id.
Network cards have a unique MAC address, but that is often firmware changeable. Hard disks (again) have a unique number, but that is often not only changable, but only notionally unique (ie, the manufacturer recycles numbers, or different manufacturers use the same ranges)
Probably best if you look at the work Microsoft has done in this area for their XP Activation scheme - it covers several different areas (network MAC,chip, memory, motherboard chipset, bios version, windows guid) and even then is spoofable by a clever technician.

Expert Comment

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