Dell Chromebook 11 Service Tag

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.dell_chromebook_serial

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.

  1. Enter Chromebook developer mode:
    1. Press esc+refresh (the circular arrow)+power
    2. You should see the “Chrome OS is missing or damaged” screen, press ctrl+d
    3. To turn OS verification off, press enter
    4. The screen will inform you that OS verification is off, press ctrl+d
    5. 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.
    6. Upon completion, the device will reboot and return to the OS verification screen.  Press ctrl+d to continue in developer mode.
  2. Retrieve the serial number:
    1. Connect the device to wifi using the welcome screen and agree to the ToS
    2. Log into the chromebook (if you have forced enrollment enabled you may have to re-enroll first)
    3. once the welcome screen loads, press ctrl+alt+t to open the terminal
    4. type “shell” and press enter
    5. type “sudo bash” and press enter
    6. type “vpd -l” and press enter
    7. Your should see a screen (like the one above) containing the serial number of your chromebook.
  3. Exit developer mode:
    1. Turn the chromebook off
    2. Turn the chromebook on
    3. The OS verification off disclaimer is shown, press spacebar, then press enter
    4. 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.

13 thoughts on “Dell Chromebook 11 Service Tag

  1. Hi,

    I am part of Dell’s social media outreach team. From your blog I take it that you where able to find the physical serial number and update it, is this correct? Is the Chrome book working correctly now, do you require any help with the system?


    • TB – Dell decided to depot this unit. I received the unit back from depot today, and it looks like the “service tag” field was changed to match the tag on the device, but the original “serial number” remains (as seen below). Google dashboard uses the serial number as the field to identify the device.


      So this doesn’t help me at all. I still have a device with a physical tag that doesn’t match what is showing up in the Google dashboard. We received another shipment of 120 units of which 3 units has this exact same problem. You (Dell) elected to replace those units completely instead of trying to fix them. Can we do that for this unit as well? I’ve spent way to much time on this issue at this point.

  2. That is certainly possible. Please shoot me an email with the service tag of the system and I can look into processing the exchange.

  3. Hey great info! thanks for the help! i had a question though – I noticed that your serial number and your service tag information was the same, did you change this? and if so how did you do it?

      • oh i see, only reason i ask is because when i tried to enroll one of the units that i have i couldn’t because the serial number was present. this was causing en error every time i tried to enroll it

  4. Thanks for the information. I just rolled out over 70 Asus Chromeboxes in our school district only to discover the serial numbers on the boxes don’t match the serial number in the Google Admin after enrollment. Major headaches. There’s got to be an easier way but your experience at least gives me some hope. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an extension that would say… Your serial number is..

  5. Hello, I been having the same issue with a few dell chromebooks. That on the physical Tag on the device is different from the S/N I get on the AdminConsole. So the only way to fix this problem is by getting a new refurbished chromebook from Dell?

  6. Great article. I see Dell is using this information as an internal resource for customers. I too also had the same issue with the service tag did not match the motherboard serial number. Dell elected to replace the unit as well.

  7. We just had this issue on one chrome book out of a shipment of 120 from with a new Chromebook 11. The tag on the bottom didn’t match what Google Enterprise pulled so we had a mismatch when doing inventory and sorting to the OU’s. After a wipe we were able to verify with ALT-V prior to enrollment that the serial number the OS thought the device had was not the same as what the service tag printed on the bottom of the device showed. The erroneous serial number Google Enterprise picked up from this device was not one we had. It has been a year since the poster had this issue but Dell’s process is still letting some of these units to go through with a mismatched information.

  8. Hello,

    I Had Recently Replace Motherboard Of My Chromebook ( Dell Chromebook 3120),

    After Replce MBD Its Automatic Goes In Factory Reset And Its Stuck At Detecting Ethernet,

    As Its Have Not Any Lan Port, Its Can Not Detect Any Lan And Stuck On It,

    So I Had Take Help From Google And Install Manually Chrome OS,

    But After Install Chrome OS, I Can Not Do Enrollment On My Chrome Device,

    Please Help Me To Insert Service Tag On Motherboad, When Insert Command vpd-l In devlopershell Its Showing Only mlb_Serial_number = () And PPID = ()

    Please Help Here

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