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Determining XP version, no sticker, no CD

techtipsWhen I’m not writing comics or watching terrible films I also work as an IT consultant. Here’s a few things I’ve learned over the last 17 years.

Problem:

You need to reload or repair a system’s Windows XP installation, but the system has no Windows key on the box, and no CD was provided. You’ve pulled the Key out of the registry using something like Keyfinder or ERD, but don’t know the version of windows you are reinstalling , OEM, Retail or Volume because even if Windows XP Installer accepts the product key you type in before installation commences it doesn’t mean you’re golden. After installation is done you still have to activate Windows. Then (and only then) will some product keys be recognized as invalid. So it’s possible (as I discovered) to waste a whole bunch of time doing an upgrade only to discover you have to back the upgrade out and redo it with the proper retail version disk for your retail product key(or an OEM version with your OEM product key).

Solution:

Boot into windows/safe mode and open up general properties (right click on My Computer and select properties). When you go to System Properties,you will see a set of numbers mentioned under “Registered to”
They will look similar to this:
76487-024-5236883-XXXXX

The first set of numbers will correspond to this list :
MPC list – English locale
55274 : XP Pro generic OEM
55276 : XP Pro (upgrade)
55276 : XP Home (?) †
55277 : XP Home generic OEM
55285 : XP Pro †
55661 : XP Pro (retail)
76475 : XP Home (upgrade) (?)
76477 : XP Home Royalty OEM ‡
76481 : XP Pro Dell OEM
76487 : XP Media Center Edition 2005
76487 : XP Pro Royalty OEM ‡
76487 : XP Pro SP2 (retail)
76487 : XP Pro SP3 (OEM)
76487 : XP Pro volume license (with ‘640’ channel ID)
76500 : XP MCE 2005 (which is XP Pro with no domain capability)
76588 : XP Pro x64 OEM

The second set of numbers, the one with three digits will correspond to this list:

000 : Other (includes some retail, upgrade and evaluation versions) (includes (some?) MSDNAA discs)
006 : MS or Partner promotions
007 : FIXME : Retail
009 : Not for resale – bundle
011 : Upgrade (XP Home?)
013 : Upgrade (XP Pro)
071 : FIXME : Unknown.
083 : Windows Genuine Advantage
OEM : OEM (This does not specify royalty or normal OEM)
270 : Volume License
296 : MSDN
308/347 : Microsoft Action Pack subscription
335 : Retail
640 through 652 : Volume License (usually generated via 270 CID in setupp.ini)
699 : Volume Windows XP Tablet Edition
770 : Retail (at least according to WGA Diagnostic)

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