Hardware Addresses

When you register a machine for use on the network, you are actually registering a hardware address. A hardware address, also known as a MAC address or a physical address, is a unique identifier for a network interface (Ethernet or wireless) card. The hardware address is a 12-digit hexadecimal number (composed of 0-9 and A-F).

If you are accessing the registration system from your new computer, your hardware address should be determined automatically. However, if you are registering a different machine (a computer without a Web browser, a printer, or another special networked device), you will need to manually enter your hardware address. The following instructions should explain how to determine your hardware address. If you need any assistance, contact the CIS Help Desk.

Determining Your Hardware Address

Windows XP, 2000, NT, and Server 2003

  1. From the Start menu, select Run.
  2. Type cmd and click OK.
  3. Type ipconfig /all and press Enter.
  4. Make sure you are looking at the information for the Ethernet adapter and not the dial up, AOL, or WAN adapter. The 12-digit alphanumeric string listed next to Physical Address: is your hardware address. It should not begin with 44-45, nor should it be 00-03-8A-00-00-11. (Note: For wired connections in Windows XP, you may need to plug in the Ethernet cable.)

Windows 95, 98, and Me

  1. From the Start menu, select Run.
  2. Type winipcfg and press Enter.
  3. Make sure you are looking at the information for your Ethernet card. The pull-down menu should show the model of your Ethernet card. It should not say anything about a dial up, PPP, or AOL, adapter. If it does, switch it to your Ethernet card. (If your Ethernet card is not an option, it may not be properly installed.) The 12-digit alphanumeric string displayed next to Adapter Address is your hardware address. It should not begin with 44-45.

DOS (Windows 3.11, Windows for Workgroups)

  1. Run msd.exe.
  2. Select the Network... button.
  3. The number displayed next to Net01 ID: is your hardware address.

Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger) and 10.3 (Panther)

  1. Open System Preferences from the Dock or the Apple menu.
  2. Select Network preferences.
  3. Set the Show: pull-down menu to Built-in Ethernet (or AirPort for wireless).
  4. Select the Ethernet (or AirPort) tab.
  5. The 12-digit alphanumeric string listed next to Ethernet ID (or AirPort ID) is your hardware address.

Mac OS X 10.2 (Jaguar)

  1. Open System Preferences from the Dock or the Apple menu.
  2. Select Network preferences.
  3. Set the Show: pull-down menu to Built-in Ethernet (or AirPort for wireless).
  4. Select the TCP/IP tab.
  5. The 12-digit alphanumeric string listed next to Ethernet Address: at the bottom of the left hand column is your hardware address.

MacOS 8 & 9

  1. From the Apple menu, select Control Panels.
  2. Choose TCP/IP.
  3. Make sure that the Connect via: menu in the TCP/IP control panel is set to Ethernet built-in (or Alternate Ethernet, or Airport). It should not be set to PPP or Apple Talk (MacIP).
  4. Go to the File menu and select Get Info. The 12-digit alphanumeric string listed next to Hardware address: is your hardware address. (Note: For wired connections in, you may need to plug in the Ethernet cable.)

GNU/Linux

  1. From a shell, type /sbin/ifconfig -a.
  2. Make sure you are looking at the appropriate Ethernet device (likely eth0). The hexadecimal number listed next to HWaddr is your hardware address.

Sun Solaris, *BSD, Mac OS X, and NeXTStep

  1. From a shell, type /sbin/ifconfig -a (or perhaps /usr/sbin/ifconfig -a).
  2. Make sure you are looking at the appropriate Ethernet device. The hexadecimal number listed next to ether is your hardware address.

SGI IRIX, Tru64 UNIX, and AIX

  1. From a shell, type /usr/etc/netstat -ia.
  2. The hexadecimal number listed in the Address column is your hardware address.

HP-UX

  1. From a shell, type /usr/sbin/lanscan.
  2. The hexadecimal number listed in the Station Address column is your hardware address.

VMS

  1. If DECnet is running, type MC NCP SHOW KNOWN LINE CHAR.
  2. The hexadecimal number listed next to Hardware address is your hardware address.

Networked Printers

Many networked printers have their hardware address printed on them, often on a sticker on the back near the Ethernet port. Alternately, many printers are capable of printing a configuration/test page with technical information about the printer including the hardware address. The procedure varies with printer brand and model and should be documented in the printer's manual.

On many HP printers, press the Menu button on the printer panel and go to the Information menu and then select Print Configuration. The hardware address should be printed in the JetDirect section and may be labeled as LAN HW Address.

Special Networked Devices

Most special networked devices have their hardware address printed on them. Look for a 12-digit hexadecimal number printed somewhere on the device.