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After "Factory Resetting" my tablet I realized that the serial Number was changed (it is now a weird number 0123456789ABCDEF).

Edit March 17 2019

This is the number that shows when I do adb devices. As far as I know this is the serial number and not the Android ID.

End Edit

Why did this happen? How do I go about returning it to its original SN? How do I prevent it from happening again?

I have seen some options of changing the SN number but I'm reluctant to try them since the programs they use doesn't look like official (safe) programs.

2 Answers 2

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Your serial # is provided by the Linux Gadget driver. Depending on your kernel version it's either in

  • /config/usb_gadget/g1/strings/0x40*/serialnumber

    or

  • /sys/class/android_usb/android0/iSerial

Since you're rooted, you can easily change the number by writing to this "file" - which is really just a parameter that the driver will digest and export accordingly.

While you're at it, there are other cool strings there, like Manufacturer and Product , which you can mess with, and similar "files" containing USB identification, and controlling the device persona (Mass storage, MTP, PTP, etc)

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  • The second option is on my device but the file is named iSerial
    – Sruly
    Jun 9, 2020 at 22:33
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I assume you are talking about the "Android ID". This Android ID is a 15 or 16 characters long ID exactly like the example in your question.

The Android ID is not device specific and is stored in the user data section. It is a random number, usually generated the device boots the first time. This also applies to the first time the device is booted after a factory reset because the factory reset has deleted all user data including the old Android ID.

Why did this happen?

You did a factory reset.

How do I go about returning it to its original SN?

The Android ID can not be changed on a regular non-rooted device. With root permissions it is easy, as it is stored in an SQLite database file on your system. - assuming you know the old Android ID. See also this question: How to back up my current Android ID?.

How do I prevent it from happening again?

Do not perform a factory reset.

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  • You can change the Android ID using adb. adb shell settings put secure android_id "YOUR_ID". Content command can also be used for this. BTW, I am quite certain OP is talking about ro.serialno (which you get to see when running adb devices on a USB connected Android to PC). OP is using an MTK device, and given their earlier question about the same device I am assuming OP flashed the firmware. I once flashed the firmware of an MTK device and ended up with the same serial number. It doesn't hurts, just looks weird. :)
    – Firelord
    Mar 16, 2019 at 2:08
  • I am talking about the number that shows when I run adb devices. I have done a factory reset on this device as well as other devices and never had a problem with this serial number changing. @Firelord Is there a way to repair this number to its original number? I do know the original number and my device is rooted. I would prefer to be able to do it on the device itself if at all possible.
    – Sruly
    Mar 17, 2019 at 9:54

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