How to identify Windows version?

Is there a way, by looking at the file structure or files on a Windows XP disk to identify what version it is?  There are so many different version of Windows XP and so many different activation key types to go with (and likewise with Vista) how do you know if this is a: Student/Teacher version, Retail, OEM, Home Edition, Vender Proprietary or otherwise.  I am asking this on the basis that there is not any identifying marking on the face of the CD.
Beach_BoyAsked:
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Ryan_KemptCommented:
Click Start, and then click Run. In the Open box, type winver.exe, and then click OK. The version will be displayed in the About Windows box.
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ArtellosCommented:
He means the Windows XP Disk not the actual windows version.
I'm affraid I personally don't know the awnser to this question.
However i'll start a search for the awnser and report it if i find it :) (Unless someone beat me to it ;))
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Ryan_KemptCommented:
It should mention it in winver.exe I would think ( http://www.wellesley.edu/Computing/ResNet/images/winver.jpg ); it mentions whether or not it's Home, Professional, etc... for sure.

If you want to know if it's OEM click Start, goto Control Panel, click on Performance and Maintenance, and then click System. Under Registered to, if the characters OEM are in the Product ID number, it's obviously OEM.
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ArtellosCommented:
Read: "Without installing the windows version on the disk, how do you figure out which version it is?" :)
It would be a pain installing 5 diffrent disks just to figure out their versions.

Regards,
Olrik
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Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
I can feel reasonably safe saying there is no known way - I had an SBS system that I needed to track down the Key on but couldn't and Microsoft could only track it down by the CD Part Number.  
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ArtellosCommented:
Ok, Just like i thought then.
Well as leew said you can always contact microsoft.

Regards,
Olrik
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SunBowCommented:
> It should mention it in winver

That was my first thought, but simpler is that it mentions it during the boot process, no need for a command after installed.

But to figure out what a CD is - can be problematic since there are so many versions and images delivered with computers.  The simplest approach is, that if it is a certified Microsoft created disk then all you have to do is read the disk itself, it will tell you plain and simple.

If it is an OEM disk, the odds are highly favorable that it is the XP home edition, unless you just purchsased it this week, for they are more often coming with a Vista build off the shelf - but the CD of even OEM will have written on it whether it is XP or another. If edition other than XP home you'll be given the real disk made by Microsoft and it will be labelled.

If this is a backup image of a system then there is no answer since a system can be loaded with several operating systems, and all of them will be on the image. The obvious thing to do then, is when making copies, write on the CD what the contents are, just like the vendors do.
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SunBowCommented:
> there is not any identifying marking on the face of the CD.

That means it may not even have operating system files without use of imagination.
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Beach_BoyAuthor Commented:
The winver file on the disk is an .exe file and can't be ran FROM the disk as a 'stand alone' file unless Windows has been installed already. It appears that the census is that there isn't any known way to identify what version a CD is from the file structure short of installing it or calling Microsoft.  Although, calling Microsoft and actually talking to someone is like calling and talking to the President - and thats if you call the right 'department' to begin with.

Thanks for the feed back.
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yanivyonCommented:
You can get some Information from the PRODSPEC.INI in the I386 folder

but still no information about corporate edition (this should be one)
[SMS Inventory Identification]
Version=1.0
 
[Product Specification]
Product=Windows XP Professional
 
Version=5.0
Localization=German
ServicePackNumber=0
BitVersion=40 
[Version]
DriverVer=07/01/2001,5.1.2600.0

Open in new window

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yanivyonCommented:
http://wiki.djlizard.net/Product_IDs
to compare your PID from the SETUPP.INI file in I386
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faranraoCommented:
Hello
I think its very simply install windows then there are many way to check.
Without installation you can find but its hard and in every version they make security changes.
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