SUMMARY: Serial numbers

From: Carolyn Mayr <>
Date: Wed Jun 25 2003 - 11:47:45 EDT
Thank you for your help.  I received a number of replies from:

Justin Stringfellow <js70062@ms-egmp02-01.UK.Sun.COM>
Rivera, Angel R <>
Hichael Morton <>
Walter Heukels <>
David vanLeeuwen <>
Rich Kulawiec <>
Tony Irvine <>
Kevin Dawley <>

Everyone gave me information about the serial numbers but it was summarized
well by Tony Irvine:

   Sun Serial numbers work like this:


   Y = Last didget of year so 2000 in your case
   WW = Week of manufacture 00-52
   M = Place of manufacture code. I do not have a list.
   SSSS = 4 didget hex serial number 0000-FFFF.

   So your drive was the 4466th(decimal) peice of equiment manufactured at
   A during the first week of 2000.

Jason Santos also provided information from the Sun Field Engineer handbook
It would have been nice if Sun could have referred me to this information
when I called.  I wouldn't have sent a message to sunmanagers.

   The Sun Field Engineer handbook has a section on decoding serial
   numbers.  Yours breaks down to:

   Year : 2000
   Week :    1
   Plant: Beaverton, Oregon
   Build: 1172

   I Think Sun has the FE handbook online now at
So my observation that this is not a new drive is correct.  It was from
a 3rd party reseller who underbid Sun and obviously did not provide the
new equipment as requested.  Our contract office is contacting them for a
new drive.  Rich Kulawiec pointed out that it could be a new drive in an old 
enclosure (good suggestion!).  But upon closer look, the outside enclosure
was worn and the tape heads are worn too so the entire unit is old.

Justin Stringfellow pointed out some good information about Suns tracking 
of serial numbers:

   Our contracts are based on the system serial number as far as I'm aware -
   you take out a contract on a machine and /all/ the bits that are attached
   to it, I think.

   Anyway, if the hardware is serviced by a 3rd party company such as a
   reseller we just won't have that information, because they don't necessarily
   feed it back to us. We do track all replacement parts that go through our
   logistics/spares systems by serial number, but for parts that have been 
   through the hands of resellers, it's tricky.

Thanks again everyone!  Caveat emptor!

>Date: Wed, 25 Jun 2003 09:37:10 -0400 (EDT)
>From: Carolyn Mayr <>
>Subject: Serial numbers
>Is there a way to determine this history or manufacture date of Sun
>equipment based on the serial number?  I have a DDS-3 Unipack external
>tape drive (serial #001A1172/part 559-2107-01) and it is supposed to
>be a new, out-of-the-box tape drive.  It looks obviously worn.  I 
>called Sun tech support and they told me they have no way to track
>serial numbers of tape drives.  That serial # looks very old to me as
>my oldest DDS-3 drives start with 124.  Any clues?

Carolyn A. Mayr (UNIX System Administrator)  Voice: (410) 293-6808 (sec-6800)
Computer Science Department, DivMath&Sci     Email:     
572 Holloway Road, Chauvenet Hall, Stop 9F   FAX:   (410) 293-2686
U.S. Naval Academy                           WWW:
Annapolis, MD  21402-5002                    USNA:  (410) 293-1000
sunmanagers mailing list
Received on Wed Jun 25 11:51:09 2003

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.8 : Thu Mar 03 2016 - 06:43:15 EST