I recently had to get the serial number of a user’s laptop while the user was away from their desk. Unfortunately the serial number was on a label in the battery compartment.
So I used WMIC to find it out instead!
Using the command wmic bios get serialnumber. I was able to obtain the serial number without shutting the machine down and removing the battery.
The image below shows the output of both wmic bios list brief and wmic bios list full.
Microsoft Technet has some good documentation on WMIC here.