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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by mwecomputers In reply to Windows Product Key

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.


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 ( 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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by tintoman In reply to Inventory

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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RE: Windows Product Key

by Jacky Howe In reply to Windows Product Key

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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Thanks for the info

by Matthew G. Davidson In reply to Windows Product Key

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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Cool, I will bookmark this link as it comes in very handy

by ManiacMan In reply to I found some pictures tha ...

Thanks for finding it.

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No Probs

by Jacky Howe In reply to Cool, I will bookmark thi ...

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

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Here's a good link on the differences between Windows Server 2003 versions

by ManiacMan In reply to No Probs

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

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by Jacky Howe In reply to Here's a good link on the ...

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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Thanks. I hope Redmond Magazine publishes it

by ManiacMan In reply to Thanks

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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