How Do I Get a Flash Drive Serial Number?

USBDeview can help map the origin of a virus on your network and deduce which computers need disinfection.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

A long serial number inscribed on a device as small as a USB thumb drive would be microscopic, but you can put away your reading glasses because that's not usually where it's found.

A few USB device serial numbers might be found in the device's Properties. Go to Windows Explorer and right-click on the USB drive and select "Properties." In the "Details" tab, several properties are listed in a drop-down list, but "Serial Number" is often not one of them.

The surest way to track down that serial number is to use a utility called USBDeview, a handy tool to find information about USB devices both currently and previously connected to your PC.

Step 1

Click the download link and then open the downloaded file.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Insert your flash drive into your USB port. In your browser, go to NirSoft's website to download USBDeview. Download links for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions are at the bottom of the page. Click on the appropriate version for your system to download and open it.

Step 2

Double-click the "USBDeview" application file and select "Run."
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Double-click on the USBDeview file with the "Application" descriptor and click "Run" in the dialog box. You do not need to extract the files; just run the executable file. This utility does not need to be installed. It stands alone as an executable file to do the job you need.

Step 3

Double-click on your device.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Find your USB device in the list and double click on it to open its Properties window. Note that the list also includes previously-connected devices, with the Connected column indicating which devices are currently connected.

Step 4

Find the serial number in the fifth field down in the first column.
Image Credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Find the serial number in the fifth field down in the first column.

Tip

USBDeview's primary purpose is not to just detect serial numbers. You can use this utility to uninstall previous devices, to enable and disable USB devices and to eject your currently connected drive. You can imagine the full implications of this power when you consider USBDeview can be used remotely by a network administrator.

USBDeview actually pulls this information from the registry. You can access the same information from the registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Enum\USBSTOR. However, the process is tedious and USBDeview provides a more elegant presentation of the information.

USBDeview is available in 28 additional languages, besides English.

Warning

If you want to remotely disable or enable a drive connected to a 64-bit machine, you must be using the 64-bit version of USBDeview.

USBDeview might experience hang-ups when USB devices with faulty drivers are connected. You can resolve this by deselecting "Retrieve USB Power/Version Information" under Options.

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