Serial number of deregistered Kindle
November 11, 2017 12:17 PM   Subscribe

My much-beloved Kindle is broken. I need the serial number to have it repaired. However, I never registered it, so I can't see the device in my account. The packaging has long since been discarded. How screwed am I?

The Kindle was a gift from my now-deceased father, so a) it has sentimental value and b) there is no way to check his purchase history to verify the device information.

Please, please hope me.
posted by easy, lucky, free to Technology (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have a kindle but it's very common for the serial number for electronics to be on the device somewhere. A common spot with phones, for example, is under the battery, if the battery is removable. On old kindles it was under the rear cover. If you know about when the device was made, or the model number, you can possibly google how to find it.
posted by RustyBrooks at 1:14 PM on November 11, 2017

How is it broken? Does it turn on at all? Is the screen broken?

Do you know which model or what type of Kindle it is? Does it have a black-and-white e-ink screen, or a color LCD screen?

If it turns on and you can read and tap things on the screen, you can find the serial number under "Device Info" in the settings screens.

If it turns on but the screen is broken, this tool might be able to display the serial number, depending on what type of Kindle you have.
posted by mbrubeck at 1:17 PM on November 11, 2017

Response by poster: It is a Kindle Paperwhite.

It turns on but the screen displays "Your Kindle needs repair" and directs me to contact Amazon. Amazon customer service has not been able to help without a serial number.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 1:29 PM on November 11, 2017

On preview, this is the same tool mbrubeck links to.
posted by Obscure Reference at 2:03 PM on November 11, 2017

Response by poster: The Kindle Diagnostic Tool would do what I need, but it appears not to work for devices released after 2011.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 2:07 PM on November 11, 2017

Are you looking under Content and Devices? (Not Apps and Devices) My paperwhite serial number is listed there.
posted by Knowyournuts at 2:11 PM on November 11, 2017

Response by poster: "Content and Devices" where?

(Sorry for threadsitting and for generally being dense!)
posted by easy, lucky, free at 2:27 PM on November 11, 2017

Go to Your Content and Devices, click on the "Your Devices" tab, then click the button in the "Actions" column next to your Kindle, if it appears in the list of devices.
posted by mbrubeck at 2:57 PM on November 11, 2017

Response by poster: Unfortunately, the Kindle is not registered, so it does not appear on the list of devices.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 2:59 PM on November 11, 2017

Best answer: This doesn't quite answer your question, but you might be able to fix it yourself (if you haven't tried this already). This answer on StackExchange suggests a method of getting the Kindle to do a factory reset on itself. Essentially, you plug your Kindle into your computer, restart the Kindle, put a file named DO_FACTORY_RESTORE on it, and restart the Kindle again to get it to do a factory reset. It's a little more involved than that, but that's the gist of it.
posted by retypepassword at 5:35 PM on November 11, 2017

Helpfully, the serial number a Kindle announces to the host computer when you plug it in over usb appears to be the same as the Serial number reported in the 'Device Info' section of the Kindle Settings screen.

If I plug my Paperwhite into my laptop & issue a lsusb -v command as root, then the serial number of my Kindle is reported (amongst lots of other data):
Bus 001 Device 009: ID 1949:0004 Lab126, Inc. Amazon Kindle 3/4/Paperwhite
Device Descriptor:
  bLength                18
  bDescriptorType         1
  bcdUSB               2.00
  bDeviceClass            0 (Defined at Interface level)
  bDeviceSubClass         0 
  bDeviceProtocol         0 
  bMaxPacketSize0        64
  idVendor           0x1949 Lab126, Inc.
  idProduct          0x0004 Amazon Kindle 3/4/Paperwhite
  bcdDevice            1.00
  iManufacturer           1 Amazon
  iProduct                2 Amazon Kindle
  iSerial                 3 B0D4**********V
  bNumConfigurations      1
(I’ve starred most of it out for obvious reasons.)

If you plug your Kindle into a Windows laptop you’ll probably find the same data somewhere deep inside the devices control panel. Or else use USBDeView from NirSoft. You’ll know you’ve got the right one when you see a 16 character serial number which starts B0 or 90 if the list on MobileRead is complete.
posted by pharm at 1:58 AM on November 13, 2017

NB. Failed to point out that the above command only works because my laptop is running Linux. You’ll have to go spelunking in the device manager (under windows) or the system profiler (under OSX) if you’re not me :)
posted by pharm at 2:07 AM on November 13, 2017

Mac OS X Sierra:

About This Mac -> System Report -> USB
posted by chazlarson at 8:36 AM on November 15, 2017

That feeling when you answer someone’s heartfelt plea for help & then they never respond :)

Have you tried my solution e,l,f? Did it work?
posted by pharm at 3:01 AM on November 18, 2017

Response by poster: Sorry for my lack of response!

retypepassword's solution worked. Thank you all!
posted by easy, lucky, free at 11:40 AM on November 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

posted by pharm at 12:45 PM on November 20, 2017

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