Unique identifiers are a rare property. Computer machines contain many numbers and character strings. Not many of them are unique and fewer yet are fixed for good.
- Network unique identifier. (based on IP protocol)
- It is globally unique (each computer that is connected to an IP network, like the internet has a different IP address)
- Most IP addresses are licensed to Internet service providers and are logged by the ISP
- This address may not stay with one workstation for a long time. Most ISP use dynamic IP addresses, which means each time you log in to the network you may get a different IP address.
- The only guarantee is that while you are on the network the IP will be unique.
- Check your IP on Windows 98/95 by going to Start->Run type winipcfg.exe (You may have more than one adapter. Only one of them will be active)
Computer Serial Number
- Every workstation on a network has a piece of hardware called the Network Interface Card. Each card has a unique identifier called Mac address. It is physically graved into the card.
- In contrast with the IP address, Mac address will not change for the given workstation.
- You can check your MAC address on Windows 98/95 by going to Start->Run type winipcfg.exe (You may have more than one adapter. Only one of them will be active)
- Notice: If you change or remove the Network Card, the MAC will change for the workstation.
- Each element in your computer has a serial number. The only problem with serial numbers is that they may be troublesome to look up.
- Each vendor (Dell, Gateway) has its own serial sequence of numbers. They are quaranteed to be unique per vendor.
- Some vendors include their serial numbers in the BIOS, low level hardware code. This makes the serial number available to software inventory programs. (WMI is Microsofts low level programming access)
- Most serial numbers can be read from the back of the computer. Some of them are only on a sticker, which can be removed.
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