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Retrieving and Validating Hard Disk Serial Numbers on Mac

Mac M1 motherboard

A Comprehensive Technical Guide to check Hard Disk Serial Numbers on Mac

As a Mac user, understanding how to retrieve and validate the serial numbers of your hard disk or SSD is crucial, especially in the context of Data Destruction and IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) projects. This comprehensive technical guide explores various methods, both through the graphical user interface (GUI) and the Terminal, to empower you with the skills needed for accurate documentation and secure handling of data.

Using the Graphical User Interface (GUI):

1. Accessing System Information:

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the top-left corner of your screen.
  2. Select “About This Mac” from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click on the “System Report” button.
  4. In the left-hand sidebar, choose “Hardware.”
  5. Under “Hardware,” select your storage type (SATA/SATA Express, NVMe).
  6. Locate the serial number under the “Serial Number” column.

Using the Terminal:

1. Retrieving SATA Hard Disk Serial Numbers:

To obtain the serial number of SATA drives, use the system_profiler command. Open your Terminal and enter the following:

system_profiler SPSerialATADataType -detailLevel medium | awk '/Serial/ {print $NF}'

This command provides a detailed output of Serial ATA devices, and the awk command extracts the serial number from the relevant line.

2. Retrieving SATA Drive Serial Numbers (Alternative):

For SATA drives, another option is the ioreg command. Execute the following command:

ioreg -rd1 -w0 -c AppleAHCIDiskDriver | grep Serial

This command queries the I/O Kit registry and filters the output to display lines containing “Serial” for each SATA disk.

3. Retrieving NVMe Drive Serial Numbers:

If you have NVMe drives, use the following command to get the serial number:

ioreg -rd1 -w0 -c IONVMeBlockStorageDevice | grep "Device Characteristics"

This command specifically targets NVMe drives and extracts relevant information, including the serial number.

Mac Command ioreg to get Hard disk S/N
Mac Command (ioreg) to get Hard disk S/N

4. Retrieving Serial Numbers for All Drives:

Open the Terminal:

  • Launch the Terminal application. You can find it in the “Utilities” folder within the “Applications” directory.

Enter the Command:

  • Type the following command and press Enter: diskutil info /

Look for the Serial Number:

  • Scan the information displayed for your hard drive.
  • The “Serial Number” field should contain the relevant information.

Remember that these commands might require administrator privileges, so prepend them with sudo and enter your password when prompted.

Understanding MacBook M1 Series:

It’s crucial to note that MacBook models starting from the M1 series feature a significant change. These all-in-one wonders have embedded SSDs fixed directly onto the motherboard. Interestingly, the physical serial number printed on these embedded SSDs may differ from the serial number output obtained through command prompts. This nuance underscores the importance of employing precise and accurate validation methods, emphasizing the need for both meticulous documentation and an understanding of the unique hardware configurations.

Mac M1 motherboard
Mac M1 motherboard
Mac M1 SSD
Mac M1 SSD
Hard Disk Serial Numbers on Mac M1
Hard Disk Serial Numbers on Mac M1


In this comprehensive guide, we explored multiple methods to retrieve hard disk serial numbers on a Mac, covering both GUI and Terminal approaches. Whether dealing with SATA or NVMe drives, these commands offer valuable insights into your storage devices. Keep in mind that the output may vary based on your macOS version and hardware configuration.

Understanding how to obtain this information is crucial for system maintenance, troubleshooting, and verifying the authenticity of your hardware. Incorporate these commands into your toolbox for effective Mac system administration.

The role of Retrieving and Validating Hard Disk Serial Numbers in Data Destruction and ITAD Projects

In the dynamic landscape of Data Destruction and IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) projects, the need to validate hard disk serial numbers takes on new significance. This guide equips you with diverse methods, highlighting the nuances of MacBook M1 series with embedded SSDs. These insights are crucial for ensuring secure and responsible data handling during ITAD initiatives.

The validation processes detailed in this guide become a cornerstone in the meticulous inventory management essential for ITAD projects. As you adapt the commands to align with your specific environment, remember that these validation steps contribute significantly to the integrity and security of data throughout its lifecycle.

In the realm of ITAD, where devices are prepared for reuse, resale, or disposal, this guide empowers you to navigate the intricacies of embedded SSDs, ensuring accurate documentation and adherence to the highest standards of data security and compliance.

As you embark on your Data Destruction and ITAD journey, embracing the knowledge shared in this guide positions you at the forefront of responsible data management. Happy validating, and may your ITAD endeavors be marked by precision and security!

Happy validating, and best of luck with your ITAD endeavors!



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