method to figure out windows version on an external connected drive

Posted on 2012-04-11
Last Modified: 2012-04-11
does anyone know of a quick and easy way to identify the installed os version on an external drive that you did not boot from that has a version of windows installed on it.  maybe a file somewhere that indicates the os version.  for example i can look for the users folder and know that the installed version is either vista or 7 and not xp.

Question by:scraby
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 37832780
check for ntoskrnl.exe file in Windows folder\System32\ntoskrnl.exe" right click and select properties
Click on details and you will get to know the details

Assisted Solution

SE-Pneumatic earned 200 total points
ID: 37832817
If you browse to the ntoskrnl.exe file in the windows\System32 folder, right click on it, and choose properties it will bring up the properties dialog box. In this dialog box, click on the Details tab at the top. Once here, look at the details that it gives you. The windows version is in the details view.

v 4 - Windows NT
v 5 - Windows 2000
v 5.1 - XP
v 5.2 - Server 2003
v 6 - Vista & Server 2008
v 6.1 - windows 7 & server 2008 R2

Anything in the version # after the above relates to updates or versions such as x32 vs x64, etc.
LVL 17

Accepted Solution

Anuroopsundd earned 200 total points
ID: 37832840
you will get the version of ntoskrnl.exe and from which we can find what version of windows is said in above post also..

 4 - Windows NT
v 5 - Windows 2000
v 5.1 - XP
v 5.2 - Server 2003
v 6 - Vista & Server 2008
v 6.1 - windows 7 & server 2008 R2
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LVL 44

Assisted Solution

Darr247 earned 100 total points
ID: 37833176
I think you can get those same version numbers from Properties->Details of explorer.exe in the C:\windows subdir, without having to drill down another subdir.

Expert Comment

ID: 37833189
I believe that is correct darr247 but am not 100% on how it works on all versions listed above. Thanks for the additional input.
LVL 50

Expert Comment

ID: 37833993
scraby--Type winver into a command prompt and click Enter.  The result is much prettier than the above methods.  :)

Author Comment

ID: 37834101
thanks Anuroopsundd and SE-Pneumatic, your solutions were spot on.

darr247, i checked explorer.exe and seems that you're right and the version did match the same as the kernel at least for vista (6.0 on explorer.exe) and 7 (6.1 on explorer.exe).

jcimarron, i'm not checking the version of the os that i'm booted into but rather the version of the os that is installed on another drive that i'm troubleshooting that's connected to my workstation via a usb adapter.  thanks anyway

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