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sunilkasar

Among below mentioned ids, which all can not be changed and will not change after formatting?

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Hello all,

               Among below mentioned hardware details, which all the ids(hardware information) unique, and can not be changed by user??? and which all the ids will change after formatting the PC? and is it present in all the manufacturer's PC?.

 

1. MAC id

2. HDD serial number

3. Processor id

4. Board product id

5. Bios serial number

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1. MAC id

MAC address is easily changed, easily forged, and people can add, remove, and swap network cards.

2. HDD serial number

Hard drives can be mirrored and replaced, or can be backed up and restored to a different drive after a drive fails.

3. Processor id

These can be swapped out. You may get a processor, install everything, discover it is flaky, and get it replaced with the same model under warranty.

4. Board product id

Same as above. Bad boards are replaced by service shops all the time.

5. Bios serial number

Ever done a bios upgrade?



None of those will "never change".

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None of them is really good. Remember that not even Microsoft got their hardware-based Windows Activation right. And they're a big company with a lot of resources (plus, since it's in the OS, they have easy low level access to hardware).

The IDs that you enumerate can all be changed or spoofed, only doing so is harder on some than on others. At user level, you cannot directly access these, so you must rely on what the operating system tells you. The relevant parts of the operating system can be hooked/modified/subverted relatively easily for someone who knows by replacing system files or changing import tables in your application, or one of several other ways.

Changing the MAC is entirely trivial, this requires no special tools or knowledge. Many network drivers as well as virtual machines have this as standard feature. Not only for this reason, MACs are not necessarily unique (used to be some cheap Chinese manufacturers would just assign MACs that were not within a reserved range of theirs). They're only 48-bit numbers, too... something with a few more bits would surely be preferrable.

The drive serial number (there are actually two) either cannot be changed by a normal user (hardware ID, there may exist firmwares that let you change these, but you normally do not have access to the necessary tools), or requires reformatting or accessing the drive directly (volume UUID, which is just "data" stored on the disk). Low level access is not possible under Windows for the boot volume, so you would have to boot from a PE/boot/rescue disk. Of course, legitimate users do occasionally change disks, so using the hardware ID is a non-optimal approach.

The product ID stored on the motherboard is not very good insofar as although it is kind of unique, it can be easily changed, and it's a lie that they are unique. There is a "refurbish" process, so two or several PCs may indeed have the same product ID. In some cases, with shady refurbishers, "several" may be several hundred.

Processor ID and BIOS serial number are pretty useless. On my computer, for example, when I query the BIOS serial, I am told the serial number is "serial number", and the processor ID simply returns zero.

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It might be worth considering a system that checks that no more than one of the different IDs have changed since the last time it was checked - that implies an update rather than being a new system entirely. Obviously there can still be false positives.

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