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Determine WinXP edition / serial from HDD?


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Hi guys,

I am in the process of repairing someone's PC (it BSODs before Windows gets properly started).

It has arrived without the license sticker (though I can see an outline of where it used to be on the case).

I need to run a repair install of the OS.

Is there a way to determine which version of XP (Pro/Home OEM/Retail) is installed by looking at files on the hard drive?

Many thanks,

<Edit />

As soon as I posted I realised that I can get the edition (Pro/Home) via the boot.ini file.

It is an XP Home PC.

How do I get the (OEM/Pro) and serial number (Installation Key) back?

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IcemanND has written something that will find your serial for you:


Brilliant, but I am accessing the system via Hiren's Boot CD.

How can I retrieve the necessary info?

Many, many, many thanks...

You could make up bootable XP floppy and use Simple KeyFinder

A Simple C++ Program written to work in Windows Command Prompt
just copy it to bootable floppy disk.
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Brilliant, but I am accessing the system via Hiren's Boot CD.

I suggest you will probably find discussion around IcemanND's post, and not Hiren's - most of the software on a Hiren's boot CD are free, but it does contain some very obvious non-free software you need to own if you are going to use it legally - so even if you're using one of the (very good) freeware tools, you've still got a lot of non-legal stuff there. We generally frown on discussion of anything containing such software (even if not in use), and Hiren's is a pretty big target. Since you're new here, I don't expect you to be up on what goes on here, but I have to warn you about rule 1.a.

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