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How To: Get USB Volume Serial Number and USB Device Serial Number

Using the command prompt (cmd) you can quickly and easily get the USB volume serial number and the USB device serial number. There is no computer experienced needed to perform these functions, simply type a couple letters and you will get the information!

To get the USB Volume Serial Number do the following:

Insert USB flash drive into the computer

Double click the drive letter associated with the USB flash drive (remember the drive letter as you will need this in a moment)

usb drive letter in windows explorer

In File Explorer type: cmd

cmd prompt in usb drive letter

From the command prompt type: vol d: and click Enter ( where “d” is the drive letter of the USB flash drive)

The command prompt window will return the results and look something like this:

The Volume in drive D is named “Nexcopy”

The Volume serial number is 3AAB-AA16

vol command for usb drive letter

After we explain how to get the USB device serial number we will explain the difference between the two.

To get the USB Device Serial Number do the following:

Insert USB flash drive into the computer

Double click the drive letter associated with the USB flash drive

usb drive letter in windows explorer

In File Explorer type: cmd

cmd prompt in usb drive letter

From the command prompt type: wmic diskdrive get Model, Name, InterfaceType, SerialNumber and click Enter

The command prompt window will return results and look something like this:

The USB device serial number is found on row labeled USB and below the column “SerialNumber” you will see the USB device serial number. In this example the USB device serial number is 85Y112M1

usb device serial number, cmd

So now we have the USB volume serial number and the USB device serial number what does this all mean?

USB Serial Number Definitions

A volume label is a name given to a specific device (or storage volume) in a file system. In a FAT and FAT32 file system the volume label can be only 11 characters long and all capital letters. With a NTFS file system the volume label can be up to 32 characters and can be either upper case and/or lower case letters when using letters (exFAT can also be upper and/or lower case when using letters).

The volume label can be changed.

The volume serial number is unique and (typically) not changed by the User, thus the volume serial number acts as a more consistent and reliable way to identify a device, especially if the volume label has been changed. For example, formatting a USB flash drive will change the volume serial number. The volume serial number is a 32-bit number determined by the date and time on the real-time clock on the current computer at the time of a disk’s formatting.

A USB device serial number is a unique device number which can be a collection of alpha-numeric string of digits. The device serial number is written into read only memory (ROM) of the device and cannot be changed by the user regardless of attempts to do so. The USB device serial number follows the device and gives any host computer a way of uniquely identifying the device.

Most computers, such as Windows and Mac computers, try and index the USB device serial number in the attempt to become more efficient at handling the device during subsequent connections.

Because the USB device serial number is unique, written into read only memory and cannot be changed, many programmers and companies use this hardware device serial number as an authentication or verification method to run programs or applications stored on the USB flash drive itself. Although this technique is not secure and easy to emulate it is suggested not to use a USB device serial number as an authentication or verification method.

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Rich Gates

Administator for GetUSB.info GetUSB.info started in 2004 with the concept of providing USB information for everything USB related. At the time, USB was gaining momentum and every day new products, articles and news became published. Today, the site is focused on bringing technical information, tricks and hacks to USB related products. The site does publish off topic information as well, to keep the variety up. Please visit the footer area of any page if you or your company is interested in article or product placement via purchased advertising.

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