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I have several machines I have networked together and I use information about the motherboard to uniquely identify them. This is the Windows PowerShell code I use to get it:

>> $Manufacturer = Get-WmiObject win32_baseboard | select-object -expand Manufacturer
>> $Product = Get-WmiObject win32_baseboard | select-object -expand Product
>> $SerialNumber = Get-WmiObject win32_baseboard | select-object -expand SerialNumber
>> $UUID = (Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_ComputerSystemProduct).UUID
>> write-host $Manufacturer~$Product~$SerialNumber~$UUID
Micro-Star International Co., Ltd.~PRO B650M-A WIFI (MS-7D77)~To be filled by O.E.M.~FFFFFFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFFFFFFFFFF

However, one used motherboard I obtained recently has some unusual values for the serial number and the UUID.

Apparently the serial number got wiped somehow? It is being returned as To be filled by O.E.M.. And the UUID isn't working either; I'm just getting FFFFFFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFFFFFFFFFF.

I happen to have another motherboard that is the exact same model and I do get a unique serial number as well as a unique UUID when I run the same command on it.

This was a manufacturer (MSI) refurbished board that I bought used on Ebay. I'm not sure if this is typical behavior you would get on a refurbished motherboard?

Is there some way I can recover the serial number (ideally so that the win32_baseboard command returns it correctly) and/or generate a new UUID that stays with the motherboard?

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    My guess is it never existed, not that it was removed. the commands you are working with cannot really be expected to work on ALL windows compatible hardware. its like how speedfan cannot handle every fan controller and hardware sensor on every system that can run it. some systems just have passable-but-non-compliant components and configuration. Aug 10, 2023 at 3:20
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    DMI data is notoriously inaccurate.
    – Daniel B
    Aug 10, 2023 at 6:17
  • Actually we had a case where a motherboard had to be replaced, and it seems the technical was expected to program the system's serial number into the motherboard, but he did not. So at the end the system had no longer a serial number in BIOS...
    – U. Windl
    Aug 10, 2023 at 21:16
  • I'm wondering why, if the machines are networked, you are not using a MAC address or IP address to identify them uniquely. Aug 11, 2023 at 18:04
  • @MikeSpivey, I do use the IP address for most purposes, but when I'm running the initial setup scripts after reinstalling an OS, I use the UUID to determine what scripts to run since the networking isn't set up yet. Aug 11, 2023 at 18:08

3 Answers 3

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For motherboards that use an AMI BIOS there is a utility called AMIDEWINx64.exe that can change the serial number and UUID. I don't know if MSI uses an AMI BIOS, but if not they may have their own version of this utility.

I don't know how official the AMIDEWINx64 utility is, but a quick Google suggests it is easily downloadable. The MSI motherboard should have the serial number written on a sticker on the board somewhere, or if the sticker is gone I guess you could just add one to the serial number from the other MSI motherboard.

There is another tool called DMIEdit that can apparently do the same thing. I cannot vouch for the provenance of this either, but I note that Schenker have it on their website for their laptops. The version for the AMI BIOS is here.

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    The link for the AMI BIOS version worked well. I was able to give it a UUID. Unfortunately I haven't been able to figure out the mapping between the serial number displayed in Windows and the serial number on the box, so I'm unsure what to enter for it to be accurate. On my other board, what Windows shows is 07D7710_MBXXXXXXXX, but the box shows 601-7D77-010B22XXXXXXXX, with no obvious relationship between any of the numbers. If I can figure out the mapping, it should be straightforward to use the tool to change the serial as well. Aug 10, 2023 at 19:29
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Apparently the serial number got wiped somehow? It is being returned as To be filled by O.E.M.. And the UUID isn't working either; I'm just getting FFFFFFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFF-FFFFFFFFFFFF.

[...]

This was a manufacturer (MSI) refurbished board that I bought used on Ebay. I'm not sure if this is typical behavior you would get on a refurbished motherboard?

Honestly from what I've seen this is typical behavior you would get on a brand new motherboard, for a few certain manufacturers. There are OEMs that simply don't bother filling in the To be filled by O.E.M. fields – there is nothing to recover if there was nothing there to begin with.

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    This allows for the replacement of a motherboard while keeping the same serial number. This is sometimes done with warranty repairs.
    – barbecue
    Aug 10, 2023 at 17:24
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Have you tried using the https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MAC_address

Doubt you'll be able to "recover" anything considering there probably is nothing to recover

In regedit go to:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\HARDWARE\DESCRIPTION\System\BIOS

You can fill in whatever information you like for System Manufacturer and SKU (see pic)

enter image description here

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