Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!

10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works System
In Panther, clicking twice on the 'Version 10.x.y' text in the About This Mac dialog (in the Apple menu) now gives you the serial number of your machine. In former versions of OS X, this line usually quoted an empty serial number (though in *some* cases it would work, depending on the install method)

I just verified that the number it quotes is actually on a sticker underneath the battery of my iBook, so it's actually getting the serial number from the hardware itself, and not from the install CDs or from a random source. This may come in very handy for admins who need to track hardware serial numbers through an organization.
    •    
  • Currently 2.14 / 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  (7 votes cast)
 
[40,242 views]  

10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works | 18 comments | Create New Account
Click here to return to the '10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: rusto on Nov 17, '03 11:14:02AM

This does not work on all computers, at least my G3/350 running 10.3.1 does not reveal the serial number when the version number is clicked twice in "About this Mac"



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: Dr. Blau on Nov 17, '03 11:33:15AM

Hasn't this worked in all OS X versions?
I remember doing that a long time ago when Apple needed to know the serial number of my Cube...

---
Stealing bandwidth off of the internet since 1989.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: CHerbold on Nov 17, '03 11:50:28AM

This all depends on the age of your machine & on any logic board replacements. the Serial Number given is in a chip on the logic board. Not all machines have this chip. Most G3 Powerbooks do not have them. I believe the first G4 Ti's didn't have this either.

A very early release of OS 10.0 did not have this feature. I know without a doubt everything 10.2 and up does.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: scifiman on Nov 17, '03 02:11:32PM

I have a rev. A 500 MHz G4 TiBook and I have never had a problem displaying the serial number. I believe you are correct about the G3's though.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: laudet on Nov 18, '03 09:53:04AM

Actually, the original TiBook does have this feature. I lost it when they changed the logic board.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: pascalpp on Nov 17, '03 11:59:55AM

This doesn't work on my Dual 1ghz G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors) which i bought a little over a year ago. I remember that it used to work when I first installed OS X 10.2 on it. But now I'm running Panther 10.3.1 and it just says "Serial Number", not the actual serial number.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: geordie on Nov 17, '03 07:32:18PM
It would be interesting to see what a
"ioreg -c IOPlatformExpertDevice | grep serial-number" 
in the terminal reports. FYI some mac models encode the serial number in a funky hex form that requires sending the result through a
"| sed -e 's/.*\<//' | xxd -r -p" 
to get an ascii approximation (still slightly out of order though)

[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: justzisguy on Nov 18, '03 04:31:50AM

Works just fine on my MDD 1.25 GHz...



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: gvitale on Nov 17, '03 12:06:08PM

There is some magic around this: talking about my late 2001 iBook, the serial # used to appear in the About this Mac window until I sent it for a display repair (it was around 10.1.5). When it came back, it had the logic board replaced, a new display and the HD was re-formated with MacOS9. At this point I clean installed Jaguar but the serial # would NOT appear anymore, so I thought that the new logic board was the culprit. This until I update to 10.2.8 (the first release if I remember well), when I realized the the serial # was back!!!
Now I'm running Panther and the serial # is still there.



[ Reply to This | # ]
At least 4 Macs, no problem
Authored by: sinjin on Nov 17, '03 01:36:32PM

Since OS 10.1 I've used 2 iMac DV's, a PB G4 667 and a G4 iMac. I can't recall ever having problems getting the serial number from the "About this Mac" pane from any of these computers (and I just confirmed that both the PB G4 and the G4 iMac provide the serial number), nor can I recall having trouble getting it from any of the other 15 or so Macs I "administer". Currently none of these machines is above OS 10.2.8.

Is this missing serial number thing a rare bug? Perhaps these people need to do something like reset their PRAM? Fix permissions? fsck? I got nuthin'!



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: Little Neddy on Nov 17, '03 03:05:55PM

doesn't work on my 17" Al G4



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: aranor on Nov 17, '03 07:17:41PM

It does on mine. Always has.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: dkwyman on Nov 17, '03 03:23:37PM

...perfectly functional on my 400Mhz Pismo PowerBook G3 FireWire



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: varase on Nov 19, '03 02:36:48AM
But not mine.

Identical machine, Apple Profiler show my serial number under MacOS 9 (and I think 10.0) but not after.

I have had service done, but don't think the logic board was replaced.

[ Reply to This | # ]

10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: diamondsw on Nov 17, '03 03:36:39PM

What ever happened to "Is it a hint"?



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: masjones on Nov 18, '03 04:11:57PM

Since when does something have to be useful to be a hint? It works on my 12" PB and a single click switches from OS version to build another click switches to serial # and a third click switches back to OS version.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: dabeatles on Nov 17, '03 08:07:37PM

Works on my iMac (Summer 2001) 600 Mhz G3.



[ Reply to This | # ]
10.3: Serial number in the 'About This Mac' box now works
Authored by: woodega on Nov 18, '03 02:05:18AM

Actually, this is a problem that Apple has known about all the way back to 10.1.3. See Apple Support Article 106529 for more info.

I was able to fix the problem way back then by resetting my PRAM as per the article, but this article only mentions that as a fix prior to 10.1.3. Anybody wanna give try this on their non-serial-number-reporting-Mac and let us know if this still fixes the problem?



[ Reply to This | # ]