Windows Product Key

By Matthew G. Davidson ·
I would like to know if there is a way to tell what version of Windows XP a product key matches(SP1, SP1a, SP2). I work with a quite a few older HP and Dell systems that need to be restored often and need to know if I can pinpoint what version of XP the product key is for. I want to know what version of XP came pre-installed on the system by just looking at the product key on the Certificate of Authenticity. Any suggestions?

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I re-read your Q

by Jacky Howe In reply to I found some pictures tha ...

It is a bit hard to work out the OS Version without an OS functioning. Anyway you should be able to marry up the OS's to the pic's.

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I hope Redmond Magazine publishes it

by Jacky Howe In reply to I re-read your Q

so do I. I am up for a good read.

Had to move ran out of space.

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Use the computer manufacturer's support site.

by ajaygupta.p In reply to Thanks for the info

Doesn't the COA contain the Windows OS details? I thought it would. You could do another thing too. You could check the model of the computer and then match the computer back to the OS on the manufacturer's website. For example, if you have a Dell 2400C computer, then the OS will have to be Windows XP. You could use the service tag too (if you have it).

(I am guessing that the only conflict you have would be whether you need to install windows 98 or 2000 or xp. I am hoping (for your sake) that you dont have to hassle yourself with the older OS models. )

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New Website

by Matthew G. Davidson In reply to Thanks for the info

I just came across this site, it might be helpful to some!!

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Actually, it's not the service packs that matter but the edition of the OS

by ManiacMan In reply to Windows Product Key

The product key will differ between various editions, such as XP Home, XP Professional, Retail, Open VLM, and OEM. I wish I could point you to a site that lists all sorts of product keys for XP, but in keeping with our ethical standards here, I cannot do so as I'd be promoting piracy. Usually, an OEM install of XP is easily identified on a PC when you right click on My Computer and go to properties. You'll see a vendor logo, such as Dell or HP, and the PC will have some custom applications installed in the Control Panel that's specific to that PC, being that it's from an OEM vendor.

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This software can tell

by zlitocook In reply to Windows Product Key
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No it won't, and there are better products available for free

by ComputerCookie In reply to This software can tell

There are many products of this type that are available.

What he should be doing is to begin a network audit that includes all hardware and software.

Belarc free is OK, but it won't identify hardware that doesn't have the drivers installed. Other software such as PC Wizard and Everest can do this, they can do diagnostics which help diagnose problems with a PC as well.

Also, there are some versions of MS that the COA is issued with a special product key and if you use an image to distribute to a network, the only way that you can view or change the product key is to use the MS tool on their website.

For example,instead of the the COA showing OEM Software, it might show as TEAM:MSSIN. I have also experienced this problem with original distributions for NFP refurbisher licences.

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Belarc free is free

by zlitocook In reply to No it won't, and there ar ...

But you are looking at a good install of MS on the computer. How else would you be able to use the wizard from MS or if the computer is not conected to to the internet.
I just thought of this, you buy a new computer but have no access to to the internet how do you register?

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Activate the product

by ComputerCookie In reply to Belarc free is free

you can then tell the wizard that you want to activate by phone.

You ring the number supply the product key and you get a product registration key.?

Long time since I've done it though.

PC Wizard 2008 is also free and it can also tell you voltages, fan speeds, temperatures etc.

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Simple if You Have COA

by willcomp In reply to Windows Product Key

All you need is the version of XP (Home, Pro, MCE) that is listed on COA. Use an OEM CD of that version and product key on COA. The SP level does not matter.

Note that doing so is not strictly in accordance with EULA (manufacturer CD is required for strict compliance) but most, if not all, repair shops use the same approach out of necessity.

You may have to call MS to validate installation. Sometimes they validate via internet and sometimes they don't. I haven't had to call on one lately though. Used to be a common occurrence.

MS cracked down on OEM product keys to stop trade in COA stickers.

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