Unable to find computer by searching for its Serial Number
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Unable to find computer by searching for its Serial Number


Article ID: 161236


Updated On:


CMDB Solution


When searching for a computer by its Serial Number, it cannot be found. It may or may not have been previously able to be found.




Depending on the cause, this issue has several solutions. Review the following information to learn more about how Serial Numbers work and what to expect when searching for them.

About Serial Numbers

There are several areas where Serial Numbers are tracked at, which may or may not be the same value. These include: 

  • CMDB Solution, found in Resource Manager > View > Inventory > Data Classes > CMDB Data Classes > Serial Number > Serial Number. This is the Serial Number data class found on the create/edit page of a computer. In the database, this is found at Inv_Serial_Number.[Serial Number].
  • Inventory Solution, found in Resource Manager > View > Inventory > Data Classes > Inventory > Hardware > Computer System > Identifying Number. This is the Serial Number data class that is collected by an Inventory Solution hardware policy, which can later by synced to the CMDB Solution Serial Number by running the Inventory to Asset Synchronization task. In the database, this is found at Inv_HW_Computer_System.[Identifying Number].
  • Core Platform, found in Resource Manager > View > Inventory > Data Classes > Inventory > Basic Inventory > AeX AC Identification > Hardware Serial Number, which may also be referenced by BIOS Serial Number. Also, there is the HW Chassis Serial Number in the same table, but this is not commonly thought of as the computer's Serial Number. In the database, this is found at Inv_AeX_AC_Identification.[Hardware Serial Number].

Where Serial Numbers can be searched for at

Because there are different data classes that contain Serial Numbers, the user must understand which one they want to search for. Searching for the wrong type will result in no matches found. The following areas in the Symantec Management Console can be used to search for Serial Numbers, but are limited to a specific Serial Number data class:

  • Home > Service and Asset Management > Manage Configuration Items (which is the same area as Manage > Assets > Manage Configuration Items). This searches exclusively for the CMDB Solution Serial Number.

  • Manage > Computers (the Enhanced View, a.k.a., Activity Center). This can be configured to search for the CMDB Solution Serial Number or Core Platform Serial Number but not the Inventory Solution Number. By default, neither of these are able to be searched for; the user must manually add these as part of the filter search criteria.


How to troubleshoot being unable to find a Serial Number

When searching for a Serial Number and it isn't found, check the following to troubleshoot this:

  • Is the Serial Number assigned to a computer? This can be checked by reviewing the Serial Number data classes for a computer as described above in the first section or by running the attached SQL script "Display all computer Serial Number data classes.txt" in Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio.
  • If it is found that the Serial Number is assigned to a computer, is the user searching in the appropriate area for it? For example, searching for an Inventory Solution or Core Platform Serial Number in Manage Configuration Items will not work, unless (Inventory Solution's Serial Number) this has been synced to the CMDB Solution Serial Number first.

How to troubleshoot "missing' Serial Numbers

If it is found that a Serial Number simply isn't available for any computer or are found on the wrong computer, the next set of questions are, where did it go, was it ever there to begin with? The following information provides some areas to troubleshoot this:

  • How are Serial Numbers normally populated? Review the processes that bring these into the Symantec Management Platform. For example:

    • Core Platform Serial Numbers are brought in by the Symantec Management Agent. Is this checking in successfully? If not, the Agent would need to have troubleshooting performed for a specific client that's not reporting in.
    • Inventory Solution Serial Numbers are brought in by the Inventory Solution hardware policy, which by default, is not set to run. This also requires that the client has an Inventory plug-in installed. Ensure that both are set up, by reviewing Manage > Policies >  Discovery and Inventory > Inventory > Collect Full Inventory and Settings > Agents/Plug-ins > All Agents/Plug-ins > Discovery and Inventory > Windows/UNIX/Linux/Mac > Inventory Plug-in Install, respectively.
    • CMDB Solution Serial Numbers can be populated manually, by a Data Connector import rule, by Asset Management Solution's purchase orders or by a Barcode Solution sync; there are many areas here that would need to be checked, depending on how these may be populated for a user's environment. Also, by default, CMDB Solution does not use the Inventory Solution Serial Number. This Inventory to Asset Synchronization task must be scheduled to run to perform this. For more information about this task, refer to the following article:

      How does the CMDB task "Inventory to Asset Synchronization" work?
  • Are there "staging" computer records present? When a computer record is created by CMDB Solution, Data Connector, Asset Management Solution or Barcode Solution, these do not point to any real computer on the network yet and are "unmanaged" records. Later, when the actual computer checks into the Symantec Management Platform server from the Symantec Management Agent, it creates a second "managed" record. The managed record may include the Serial Number (from Core Platform and/or Inventory Solution). The user, however, may expect the Serial Number to automatically be part of the staging record, which it will not unless a computer merge is ran. This will then combine these two record types into a single record, where searching for the Serial Number will succeed. Conversely, if computers were merged incorrectly, this may then result in the "loss" of the merged record's Serial Number. For more information about merges and staging records, refer to the following article:

    How to troubleshoot duplicate assets
  • If there are issues with inventory or the computer names are being reused or hardware is being reused (reimaged), this can also result in the "loss" of Serial Numbers, or have them appear on the "wrong" computer. For more information about this, refer to the following articles:

    Computer's Manufacturer, Model, Serial Number or System Number are incorrect or missing

    Random assets suddenly disappear from the Symantec Management Platform Console