How to Find a Serial Number on a CPU


The serial number on a CPU is dictated by the specific characteristics of the processor itself. Specifications such as the processor's family, model and stepping number are the values that make up a CPU's serial number. These values are important because they provide a key insight into the capabilities and properties of the CPU itself. With some care, virtually anyone can locate the serial number on a CPU regardless of its manufacturer.

Things You'll Need

  • Powder-free latex gloves
  • Grease-removing soap
  • Wash your hands completely with soap to remove any oils and debris from them. It is important this step be completed prior to touching the gloves as the oils from your fingers may remain present on the outside of the gloves.

  • Dry your hands thoroughly to remove any moisture and detritus.

  • Put on the latex gloves. It is very important that these be powder-free--any material left on the processor after inspection may cause damage later.

  • Pick up the CPU and orient it so the manufacturer's name is upright and reads left to right.

  • Examine the processor face plate. There will be several numbers and identification marks there. The serial number will be denoted with the words "Serial" or "S/N." All characters, both numbers and letters, are part of the serial number. Also, there may be large spaces between these numbers; however, all alphanumeric characters on the same line make up the serial number.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never handle a processor with your bare hands. The oils and detritus from your fingers can cause electrical shorts if they touch any of the CPU pins and lead to a failed CPU.

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