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What Win ver COA do I have?


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I recently purchased a used laptop with WinXP Pro installed and no install CD.

There are XP install CDs for sale w/o a COA that I would like to purchase for this laptop.

I do know that the product key must match the version (oem, upgrade, etc) of the install disc.

Is there a way to determine what version of Win the product key is for if it does not expressly state it?

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I think you bought a key (maybe few years ago), but you got to know what key you paid for.

If you know there is no problem to lean a genuine XPCD that matches your key.

A useful keyword for your search is PID.

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g-force is right to start you on the PID route, because there is no garauntee that the Windows on the notebook is the one it came with. Your COA sticker on the notebook itself might be enough for you to find out, but at least you have other things to learn about.

If you are able to boot into the OS, you can tell if its the originally loaded OS by looking at the Properties of My Computer. OEM/System Builder companies are required to include their name, product name, company logo and/or support information on that screen.

The first thing you need to do is figure out the shape of the sticker. If it is a rectangle, then we're talking about OEM pre-loaded software, whereas the best bet is to acquire a recovery CD. If it is a weird bulbous looking sticker, you should be able to use OEM/DSP install CD. If there is a sticker on the notebook, its not likely a retail copy, but as noted before, there is no garauntee its the same version it was loaded with.

Here is a pictoral guide to the different types of COA stickers:


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