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New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

I have an odd situation with regard to two new ASA5515Xs I have just purchased.

One is an ASA-5515-IPS-K9 and one is an ASA-5515-K9

Both units "show version" serial number is different than the chassis serial number.

More specifically, the serial number on the sales order, original box and chassis stickers are all the same - however, if I do a show version or show inv, the serial number is different.

My suspicion is one of two things have happened - either there was some error at the factory, and I am the unlucky recipient of two mislabeled units -or- the show version/inv serial numbers of these new units are not supposed to match the chassis serial numbers, which seems odd but possible.

Can anyone who has one of the new 5515Xs confirm that the chassis serial number sticker DOES match the show version serial number?

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

We have just had 3 of these each showing different Chassis serial numbers to the "show version" !

We have assigned our licenses to the "show version" printout however we are scratching our heads on the gamble of what we should put the Smartnet against :S

Did you get anywhere within Cisco on this and what to do?

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

Actually, I never was able to get a definitive answer on this. I tried TAC and the "Service Support Center" team and really didn't get anywhere; ultimately the TAC recommended that I contact the customer service group who then suggested that I return my two units to the vendor and order new ones!

I am a little nervous that the new ones will have the same problem, especially now that I see you also have the same issue..

One note, I originally did try to take out a Smartnet contract (specifically for IPS Services) and it would not accept the "sh version" serial number as a valid serial number. It would accept the chassis serial number - BUT the eventual IPS License file to activate the license on the ASA needs to match the sh version serial number.

Even if I was able to Smartnet the sh version serial number - I wouldn't have a warm fuzzy feeling. It just seemed like there was a huge possibility for problems in the future should there be any warranty issue or a Smartnet replacement...

I have not received my replacements yet - I will update this thread when I do.

New Member

Was there ever a solution to

Was there ever a solution to this, I have a customer who has this issue but its now 3 years later when we are trying to renew the contracts.

New Member

No solution, other than to

No solution, other than to replace the hardware.

What we ended up doing was giving our SmartNet contractor both the hardware serial and the serial we got from the SHOW VERSION command.

New Member

The serial number for the

The serial number for the chassis can be found if you run show inv.

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

Just for your reference I think this is a software issue that will be fixed in next releases.

Official Cisco reply I got from this was as follows: -

The Saleen’s is not fully UDI compliant yet. So the “show version” command will still show the MB SN#.

The Engineering is still working on releasing a new image that will also show the Chassis SN#.

As far as the licensing, the quack is tied to the MB SN#, and the is why the license is also tied to the

MB SN# for Saleen.

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

Just got my replacement units and as suspected, they have the same issue with the show version not matching.

I guess your response from Cisco also supports this.  

Did your Cisco contact have any instructions on what to do about smartnet?

I know I will have issues with the IPS Services contract if I use the "Chassis" serial number (I actually got a trial IPS Services license for both the chassis and "sh version" serial numbers, works perfect with the "sh version" but the license won't apply using the one created with the chassis serial number...)

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

software licenses need to be registered with software shown serial number, Smartnet needs to be licensed against chassis serial number.

It has taken weeks to resolve but we got there in the end!

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

Also to get the IPS to work you need the smartnet contract as you need the .aip software download that is the IPS image file.

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

Thanks for the for the follow up info! 

Just to be clear – you took the smartnet contract out using the chassis serial number, but then when you went to the IPS services website to request the IPS license, you used the show version serial number and it worked (or did you have to jump through any hoops with them because the contract serial number was different than the show version serial number that you were providing when requesting the license) 

Not that I could do anything different either way, I guess I am just bracing myself for more challenges with the IPS license phase…

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

I would hold fire we are getting update issues due to smartnet on chassis numbers. Will keep you posted

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

Any update on this issue? I have the same failure with 3 new ASA 5515X firewalls.



New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

Well, I was able to get this resolved (finally)

Note, this was after my initial units purchased in April that customer service eventually had me return. Of course the replacements had the same problem, so It took a opening a couple more support cases, now with the belief that this was not a one off production issue, but by design.

The first case was to confirm that I should in fact use the CHASSIS serial number for the Smartnet/IPS Services license and then use the SHOW VERSION serial number for the license.

The problem then is that the automated IPS License request tool ( will not accept the request using the SHOW VERSION serial number, so I had to open another case, this time to get the license issued to the SHOW VERSION serial number.

At first, they were a little confused about the problem - but referencing the first case # and sending them the show version/show inventory/show modules all output seemed to help. There is also an ASA software update that references a bug id: CSCtz56314 - I included this in my support case and this may have helped too.

Finally, the automated tool never worked as they just created the license file and sent it to me.

Now, everything is working fine. Obviously, a little painful, but I assume that's because these units are so new that updated processes/procedures have not made it to everyone who needs them...and eventually this will be ironed out...

Good luck!

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

I too spent a VERY long time getting this sorted (a few weeks at least)

I agree with kstarnes.

Smartnet you must register to Hardware serial number

IPS and any licenses like 3DES, etc register to software serial number (so they install)

Lastly get Cisco to add the software serial number as a secondary serial number on the account of the hardware one.

Hope you get a resolution quicker than us kstarnes and myself!

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

hi - does anyone know if the new software for this, the 9.0.1 release corrected this issue?  I agree with you all about internal SN for licensing and external for Smartnet though.  Thanks, let me know! 

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

The Problem is fixed in version 8.6(1)2

Best Regards


New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

Thanks - you have an image I can use to upgrade?  I dont have a contract out on this unit.  One would think theyd allow you a free download of the image since this one was obviously flawed.

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

The smartnet contract will give you the ability to upgrade the image. Quite frankly, if you are not planning on getting smartnet/IPS services coverage then I wouldn’t be concerned, as this problem was related to applying a license file to the ASA that is issued with a smartnet contract.

I believe in some cases Cisco will provide an updated software image without a contract to address certain security issues; I’m not sure that this issue would qualify, but opening a TAC case would tell you for sure.

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

I can confirm that the issue still exists on v9.1.2 of the ASA.

I argued and argued with the poor Cisco Support guy for at least 30minutes that I had the right serial number, months ago. Come to find out the serial on the outside of the box is what the SmartNet is registered to...I would like to apoligize the the support guy...wish I had his name still.

New Member

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

I have same problem in 8.6(1)2

My activation key is for Chassis (FGL...) and not working with SN in software (FCH...)

ciscoasa# sh inventory

Name: "Chassis", DESCR: "ASA 5515-X with SW, 6 GE Data, 1 GE Mgmt, AC"

PID: ASA5515           , VID: V01     , SN: FGL16XXXXXX

ciscoasa# show version

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance Software Version 8.6(1)2

Device Manager Version 6.6(1)

Compiled on Fri 01-Jun-12 02:16 by builders

System image file is "disk0:/asa861-2-smp-k8.bin"

Config file at boot was "startup-config"


ciscoasa# sh activation-key

Serial Number:  FCH16XXXXXX

Re: ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

I can confirm the same issue is present on the 5525X and software version 9.1(1).  We issued the activation keys using the chassis serial numbers since the licensing tool wouldn't accept the "show version" ones, but the keys won't apply on the ASAs.  I suspect they'll have to manually regenerate the activation keys for the "show version" serial number.  I currently have a TAC case open.

dc-asa5525-vpngw-0-132# show ver

Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance Software Version 9.1(1)

Device Manager Version 7.1(1)52


Hardware:   ASA5525, 8192 MB RAM, CPU Lynnfield 2394 MHz, 1 CPU (4 cores)

            ASA: 4096 MB RAM, 1 CPU (1 core)


Serial Number: FCHXXXXXXXX

dc-asa5525-vpngw-0-132# show inv

Name: "Chassis", DESCR: "ASA 5525-X with SW, 8 GE Data, 1 GE Mgmt, AC"

PID: ASA5525           , VID: V01     , SN: FGLXXXXXXXX

dc-asa5525-vpngw-0-132# activation-key 0xXXXXXXXX 0xXXXXXXXX 0xXXXXXXXX 0xXXXXXXXX 0xXXX$

Validating activation key. This may take a few minutes...

not supported yet.

ERROR: The requested activation key was not saved because it is not

valid for this system.

As a side note, the fix in the above referenced bug ID, CSCtz56314, changed the "show inventory" command to show the chassis serial number.  Previously both "show version" and "show inventory" showed the PCB serial number.  (Source:

ASA5500-X シリーズ製品 シリアル番号の確認に関する留意点 / / Japanese)

However, the activation keys still need to be issued against the PCB serial number and it appears that you need to open a case with Cisco Global Licensing Operations since the licensing tool still doesn't support the PCB serial number.

Hall of Fame Super Silver

ASA 5515X Serial Number Issues

Yes - had the same issue here this week with a couple pair of brand new 5515-X with IPS licenses.

Adding to the confusion is that the licensing portal won't generate license files using ANY of the serial numbers (show inventory or show version on either the ASA base unit of from within a session to the IPS module.)

The Smartnet at least was tied to the base unit chassis serial number (from show inventory if you don't happen to be standing in fron of it) and that allowed me to open a TAC case. The helpful lady at the TAC who called me back within an hour knew all about the issue and was able to generate the licenses. For the -X series she needed the serial number of both the ASA and the IPS to generate an IPS license. She sent those out and they worked fine.

hi marvin,i've ran into the

hi marvin,

i've ran into the same problem. good thing i haven't activated the context license using the chassis SN.

could you confirm that chassis serial number is used for smartnet and show version serial number is for feature licensing?

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