UPDATE: You can now just powerwash the device and press ALT + V at the welcome screen to get he serial. (see here)
I had a large delivery of Dell chromebooks recently, and while sorting them into OU’s using Andrew Stillman’s awesome chromebookInventory script, I was unable to locate one of the devices in the dashboard. Assuming something went wrong during enrollment, I powerwashed it and re-enrolled. Still unable to find it in the dashboard, I sorted by enrollment date. What I found, was that the device I enrolled had a different physical service tag than was listed in the “serial number” column of the dashboard. Strange…
I started searching the internet for another way to get the serial number, but kept getting linked back to my original post on getting a serial number off of a Chromebook. After a wasted chat with Dell support, Google support was able to give me the process.
The process below involves booting the device into “developer mode” which can impact local user data. Please follow the process below at your own risk.
- Enter Chromebook developer mode:
- Press esc+refresh (the circular arrow)+power
- You should see the “Chrome OS is missing or damaged” screen, press ctrl+d
- To turn OS verification off, press enter
- The screen will inform you that OS verification is off, press ctrl+d
- Entering developer mode can take up to 15 minutes (this machine took less than 5 minutes). A progress bar is shown across the top of the screen.
- Upon completion, the device will reboot and return to the OS verification screen. Press ctrl+d to continue in developer mode.
- Retrieve the serial number:
- Connect the device to wifi using the welcome screen and agree to the ToS
- Log into the chromebook (if you have forced enrollment enabled you may have to re-enroll first)
- once the welcome screen loads, press ctrl+alt+t to open the terminal
- type “shell” and press enter
- type “sudo bash” and press enter
- type “vpd -l” and press enter
- Your should see a screen (like the one above) containing the serial number of your chromebook.
- Exit developer mode:
- Turn the chromebook off
- Turn the chromebook on
- The OS verification off disclaimer is shown, press spacebar, then press enter
- OS verification is now on (green checkmark) and the chromebook will reboot. The device will again be cleared and you’ll need to go through the initial setup (wifi, ToS, enrollment).
While the scenario that affected me is very unlikely, this process would also be helpful to determine the serial number or service tag of a device whose physical tag is missing or damaged. I hope this helped you – please leave any questions in the comments below.