Motherboards with same serial numbers!!!

Posted on 2012-04-03
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-04-08
May 2 users have same serial number for the motherboard?
Question by:hassanayoub85
LVL 16

Expert Comment

by:Raymond Peng
ID: 37803910
I highly doubt that's possible since that's what's used during the RMA process.  The Serial number is usually located on the side of one of the motherboard slots.
To answer your question - Yes, it's unique and no they can not be the same

What exactly are you trying to do?
LVL 14

Expert Comment

by:Michael Dyer
ID: 37803936
It is possible that they are looking at a part number instead of a serial number - those could be the same.

Author Comment

ID: 37803960
2 different answers, still confused.
What I am trying to do is a security for my software, I want to make a unique identifier for users to generate keys based on it.
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 37804019
use the network card mac address. these are unique. serial numbers are not gaurenteed to be unique. On ibm/lenovo the are soft so they may be preserved when one is replaced. sometimes they get left as 0. in any case the numbers are only unique per model so two pcs of different models will often have the same number.

If you are coding on windows you can use guidgen to create a unique serial...


Author Comment

ID: 37804060
Cannot using MAC, as MAC is changeable!!!
LVL 69

Assisted Solution

Callandor earned 400 total points
ID: 37806094
You may want to try cpu properties such as UniqueId and ProcessorId http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa394373(VS.85).aspx, along with hard drive identifiers http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa394132(VS.85).aspx.  But you'll have to provide for the possibility that the user may upgrade their equipment.
LVL 12

Accepted Solution

Dave earned 1600 total points
ID: 37806570
Locking software and a licence to an individual PC is an interesting problem. How do you do it so the user can perform reasonable upgrades with out breaking the software yet present rampant piracy is something no one has yet got right.

Lets face Microsoft follows this process:-


to check windows is running on the same PC, I bet you aren't going to follow that?

The MAC address is changeable but you can't use two PCs on the same network segment with the same MAC address. So its a pretty good way of stopping users pirate software round an organization. Not fool proof, but pretty good.  Most everything is changable, so on IBM PC's you can change the serial number with a BIOS utility as per:-


If you are going to support old CPU's the the ID can be masked.

If some one really wants to steal your software then they can create a custom hacked virtual machine that reflects the real machine you want to clone. These days there are OpenSource machines dedicated to forensic computing that will simulate most bits on a real machines.

The only secure way to lock software to an individual PC is to use some kind of dongle. I guess that if the software is expensive the this type of tool


with a serial number is the secure choice.

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