Questions

Windows Product Key

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Windows Product Key

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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    mwecomputers

    Do you already have a inventory tool for your network that would actually give you what is installed on said machines deployed as well as give you a hardware breakdown too?

    If not, you might want to take a look at Spiceworks. Spiceworks has the everyday IT features you need:

    * Automatic PC and software inventory and IT asset reporting to simplify your job.
    * Network monitoring and troubleshooting to keep things running smoothly.
    * An IT help desk for your company that's easy to use and the fastest-growing IT community.

    URL: http://www.spiceworks.com

    NOTE: The only platforms that can't be inventoried are XP Home and Vista Home Basic or Premium releases. Spiceworks uses the Windows WMI interface to pull the data and have it saved locally for reporting needs.

    ---

    Another application you can use is called Belarc Advisor (www.belarc.com). The only limit with it, however, is that it has to be run per machine to actually see the product key used, what it's current version is, etc.

    -- Michael

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    tintoman

    Click start > Run > type msinfo32 and enter
    msinfo32 will tell you the installed version and build number of windows.
    The COA should tell you which version the license is for, and if you want to know if the license key matches the COA you can use jellybean or something to find out the license number.

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    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    1. Click Start, and then click Run.
    2. In the Open box, type winver.exe, and then click OK. The version number is displayed in the About Windows box

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    0 Votes

    The reason I ask this question is because the sytems that come to me are always non-functional. These systems need to be restored with the correct versions of Windows and donated. I need an easy way to tell exactly what version of Windows was originally installed. The only operating system information is the COA and product code on the case.

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    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    I new there had to be a reference somewhere. Just a matter of finding it.

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    0 Votes
    ManiacMan

    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsserver/evaluate/features/compare.mspx

    This will answer any questions in regards to supported RAM and disk space

    It comes in very handy

    Here's one that lists every command in XP

    http://www.ss64.com/nt/index.html

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    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    It saves a lot of time looking for information like this. Over the years I have accumulated a lot of links. I think it might be time to go through them and get them sorted into meaningful categories and remove the ones that aren't valid anymore.

    Good Luck with your publication.

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    0 Votes
    ManiacMan

    It's funny and dramatical in a techie kind of way. If it does get published, I'm sure you'll enjoy reading about it. It would be titled "When what should have been a simple project was anything but" and chronicles a past consulting assignment in which I was sent to Bermuda to install the data side of the LAN. It gets interesting, but you'll have to see it in Redmond Magazine, as I don't want to give it away just yet.

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    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    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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    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

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

    Had to move ran out of space.

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    0 Votes
    ajaygupta.p

    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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    0 Votes

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

    http://www.technibble.com/tools/windowsid/

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    0 Votes
    ManiacMan

    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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    0 Votes
    zlitocook

    You every thing about a computer.
    http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

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    0 Votes
    ComputerCookie

    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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    0 Votes
    zlitocook

    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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    0 Votes
    ComputerCookie

    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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    0 Votes
    willcomp

    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.

  • +
    0 Votes
    mwecomputers

    Do you already have a inventory tool for your network that would actually give you what is installed on said machines deployed as well as give you a hardware breakdown too?

    If not, you might want to take a look at Spiceworks. Spiceworks has the everyday IT features you need:

    * Automatic PC and software inventory and IT asset reporting to simplify your job.
    * Network monitoring and troubleshooting to keep things running smoothly.
    * An IT help desk for your company that's easy to use and the fastest-growing IT community.

    URL: http://www.spiceworks.com

    NOTE: The only platforms that can't be inventoried are XP Home and Vista Home Basic or Premium releases. Spiceworks uses the Windows WMI interface to pull the data and have it saved locally for reporting needs.

    ---

    Another application you can use is called Belarc Advisor (www.belarc.com). The only limit with it, however, is that it has to be run per machine to actually see the product key used, what it's current version is, etc.

    -- Michael

    +
    0 Votes
    tintoman

    Click start > Run > type msinfo32 and enter
    msinfo32 will tell you the installed version and build number of windows.
    The COA should tell you which version the license is for, and if you want to know if the license key matches the COA you can use jellybean or something to find out the license number.

    +
    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    1. Click Start, and then click Run.
    2. In the Open box, type winver.exe, and then click OK. The version number is displayed in the About Windows box

    +
    0 Votes

    The reason I ask this question is because the sytems that come to me are always non-functional. These systems need to be restored with the correct versions of Windows and donated. I need an easy way to tell exactly what version of Windows was originally installed. The only operating system information is the COA and product code on the case.

    +
    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    I new there had to be a reference somewhere. Just a matter of finding it.

    +
    0 Votes
    ManiacMan

    http://www.microsoft.com/technet/windowsserver/evaluate/features/compare.mspx

    This will answer any questions in regards to supported RAM and disk space

    It comes in very handy

    Here's one that lists every command in XP

    http://www.ss64.com/nt/index.html

    +
    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    It saves a lot of time looking for information like this. Over the years I have accumulated a lot of links. I think it might be time to go through them and get them sorted into meaningful categories and remove the ones that aren't valid anymore.

    Good Luck with your publication.

    +
    0 Votes
    ManiacMan

    It's funny and dramatical in a techie kind of way. If it does get published, I'm sure you'll enjoy reading about it. It would be titled "When what should have been a simple project was anything but" and chronicles a past consulting assignment in which I was sent to Bermuda to install the data side of the LAN. It gets interesting, but you'll have to see it in Redmond Magazine, as I don't want to give it away just yet.

    +
    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

    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.

    +
    0 Votes
    Jacky Howe

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

    Had to move ran out of space.

    +
    0 Votes
    ajaygupta.p

    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. )

    +
    0 Votes

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

    http://www.technibble.com/tools/windowsid/

    +
    0 Votes
    ManiacMan

    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.

    +
    0 Votes
    zlitocook

    You every thing about a computer.
    http://www.belarc.com/free_download.html

    +
    0 Votes
    ComputerCookie

    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.

    +
    0 Votes
    zlitocook

    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?

    +
    0 Votes
    ComputerCookie

    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.

    +
    0 Votes
    willcomp

    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.