Is there any way to ID a computer that can’t be removed or altered without taking the PC apart?

Richard Weeden May 15, 2013
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On Friday, I’m going to lose my Acer Eee PC for a good deal of time. The Computer Name, IP Address, and even Product Key can be removed, by Re-Installing Windows or simply changing it in Control Panel. What ID, Code, or other Identifier can NEVER be removed or altered in any way without taking the computer physically apart?

  1. Oron Joffe
    May 16, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    Download SIW from http://www.gtopala.com/ and look in the hardware section under "system" or "motherboard". You will find the serial number of the motherboard. Using the MAC address as Rajaa suggests is also good, provided network interface is built into the motherboard.

  2. Chris Marcoe
    May 16, 2013 at 1:17 am

    Agree with Rajaa. You can't change a MAC address, usually. To find it, open a "DOS" or command prompt. Type in (not the though) Then, look for the "Physical address". You will probably have to scroll up to see it.

    • dragonmouth
      May 16, 2013 at 2:04 pm

      "You can’t change a MAC address, usually"
      If your network connection is built into the m/b, you cannot change the MAC. However, if you use a card, MAC can be changed by changing the card.

    • Paul Pruitt
      May 18, 2013 at 7:33 pm

      Raja meant to say type in "ipconfig /all". Per Oron, I installed SIW but my machine is hiding the motherboard serial number.

  3. Rajaa Chowdhury
    May 16, 2013 at 12:17 am

    The MAC ID cannot be removed as it is a manufacturer ID and is a unique ID to your computer.

    • Rajaa Chowdhury
      May 16, 2013 at 12:18 am

      MAC Address is like a physical address of your computer.

  4. Bruce Epper
    May 15, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Using CPUID and checking the SPD tab, you may be able to pull the serial numbers from the memory sticks in the computer. Also, some manufacturers include utilities that can be used to pull serial numbers from their motherboards. I'm running Linux as my primary OS on this machine, but the MSI motherboard in this one came with a Windows utility that will show model, revision, BIOS version, and serial numbers of pretty much every MSI product in the system.

  5. ha14
    May 15, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    it is the way of Windows to personalize a pc with owner id, if you make yoursef the administrator and open another user account with lower rights then perhaps you can do what you want. But formatting and Reinstalling Windows will revert the situation, also there are many live boot cd that can remove administrator password and so on...

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