To ignore a device’s serial number

During device testing, we attach many devices that are identical except for the serial numbers. How can I prevent Windows from asking to install a new driver every time a device is attached?

This method causes Windows 2000 and XP to ignore a device's serial number. It's recommended for test environments only.

This registry key controls whether Windows uses or ignores device serial numbers:


It's possible to ignore all serial numbers, though this approach is NOT recommended. To ignore all serial numbers, in the above key, change this value to zero:

GlobalDisableSerNumGen = 1

To ignore the serial number for an individual device, create an entry under the above ...\UsbFlags key. The name must
start with "IgnoreHWSerNum" followed by the vendor and product ID of the device. A value of 1 = disable the serial number.

Example (Vendor ID = 0925h, Product ID = 016Ah):

IgnoreHWSerNum0925016A= 1

Comments (3)

  1. Jon Gozdziewski says:

    This worked fine on our old 32 Bit XP machines, now we install Win 7 64bit

    and its not working. Is there any work around for this?

  2. Almau says:

    Just create Binary Value=01 instead of DWORD(32bit) value

  3. Joe P. says:

    Hey, this is an old page/thread, but it's one of several I found that put me on the wrong track.  Thought I'd offer an update for others coming across this.  Specifically for Windows 7, I found the correct key location actually requires the device's Revision Number, in addition to the VID & PID.

    Must create key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlusbflagsvvvvpppprrrr

    then within that create the REG_BINARY "IgnoreHWSerNum" 01

    You have to choose: ignore either the serial number or the specific USB port; there appears to be no way to do both.  For our use case, a thin client where I'd rather limit to a specific port than have each unique device try to create a printer, this is preferable.


Skip to main content