Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have an Nvidia GPU GTX 470 - Can I get it's serial number with out opening the case?

EDIT Thanks for all the comments: I tried the Device path as well as the WMIC command (which are the same actually) Value returned from the WMIC command

NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470  PCI\VEN_10DE&DEV_06CD&SUBSYS_079F10DE&REV_A3\4&2F1C4782&0&0018

The WMIC (device path is) 2F1C4782 which is translated to: 790382466 (converted to decimal).

My card SN is: 101500021088 - I think this does not get the correct values.

share|improve this question
add comment

1 Answer

Note: Note that this technique only works if the hardware manufacturer implements it. I can't give a percentage of accuracy, but I would guess the big players would implement it. If it's not implemented, Windows will generate a unique number instead.

Method 1 - Device Manager

Open the Windows Device Manager. Find your video card under Display Adapters. Double-click on it. Under the "Details" tab, select the "Device Instance Path" property.

Method 2 - WMI

Using WMI, at the command line, run the following command.

wmic PATH Win32_VideoController GET Description,PNPDeviceID

Method 3 - Use a Tool

A program like SIW will grab the PNP Device ID for you, but it won't do the parsing for the serial number.

Parsing It

Looking at the PNPDeviceID value, break it up by "\".

  • The first piece it the bus type. For me, it is PCI.
  • The second section describes the card. There's a vendor code, model number, etc.
  • The last section contains a number separated by ampersands. The serial number is the second number in that list, formatted in hex.
share|improve this answer
    
There are "PNPDeviceID"s for other things too. Replace "Win32_VideoController" with "Win32_DiskDrive" to see the IDs for your disk drives. If possible, you may want to verify the numbers against something you can look at to make sure you're parsing the number correctly. –  dangowans Sep 2 '12 at 14:24
    
Further research shows that the value in the PNPDeviceID may be just an autogenerated number made up by Windows to uniquely identify the card. So, it is important to try and verify what you see. –  dangowans Sep 2 '12 at 14:43
    
wait ... so do any of these methods conclusively provide the product serial number? Because if the case must be opened to verify that the serial number is correct, you have defeated the purpose of the question... which was to find a method of determining the serial number without opening the case. –  Bon Gart Sep 2 '12 at 16:01
    
@BonGart This technique is used to determine serial numbers on USB hard drives. It may also work on video cards. You are correct though that, depending on the device manufacturer, this may not properly identify the serial number. –  dangowans Sep 2 '12 at 16:08
1  
@BonGart I don't mind opening the case once to verify that this method works, if I can proof that it is correct for 100's other systems :-) for now it doesn't work, so back to square 1 –  Saariko Sep 3 '12 at 7:37
show 2 more comments

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.