I needed to know the exact serial number of a failed disk drive in a software RAID set. I used the lshw tool to list out the drives on my system so that I could identify the disk that had failed.
This tool will list the the hardware you are running and a good way to inventory what’s under the hood without opening the box.
lshw is available on most package management systems.
If you use APT (Debian-based Linux: Ubuntu for example), run the following command in terminal: sudo apt-get install lshw
If you use Yum (Red Hat, Fedora, CentOS, Yellow Dog Linux, etc), run the following command in terminal: sudo yum install lshw