Tuesday, 10 September 2002

How Can You Tell What Your Windows XP CD Really Is?

I'm often asked this question of

i have a windows xp cd but how do i tell what the disk is?
or, I know its xp professional or xp home but what service pack is it?

Maybe your looking to Slipstream it, or just Identify the right type of product key or oem for it and here are some clues to Identify a Windows XP Product Source (by hand & eyes)

To Identify The Windows XP Service Pack Level?
Sadly the readme doesn't give any information regarding the disks "Service Pack Level"
But you can Browse the disk root and look for the .SP? file.

Windows XP Home (with NO service pack) Example

Note This Lacks An SP File
 Windows XP Home (with service pack 1) Example

This Contains An SP File
 Windows XP Home (with service pack 2) Example

This Contains An SP File
As you can see, the disks with a service pack built in contain an SP file as its extension and the number marks its SP level.

It is rumoured that if you have ALL the SP files in the root of the install disk that an SP3 disk can be used to recover an SP0, SP1, SP1a, SP2 and SP3 machines initial installation. I have yet to have to test this theory as i fix them without having to wipe them, but i would assume its in relation to the setup.exe having access to ALL those files.

So your disk will either have a file Ending in .SP1, .SP2 .SP3 or it wont have any file with a .SP*

Note you probably wont have ALL the files our images show, but you hopefully will have at least 1 specific one we circle in at least 1 image (if not, go to control panel, folder options, view) and turn On show hidden files and turn Off hide extensions for known file types and then  re-browse the Root of the Disc again to make sure your seeing all the files.

How Do I Define Between Xp Home and Xp Professional ?

This will require browsing a little deeper into the disks i386 folder and looking for 2 specific files right next to each other
(Windows XP Home) doesn't come with taskkill.exe OR tasklist.exe

Remember though, as we are browsing an UN-installed source!
we are looking for   taskkill.ex_  and  tasklist.ex_
Until setup expands files, their extensions often end in an underscore _

How Do I Define Between OEM or VLK ?

If you have taskkill.ex_ then your certainly running a version of Professional at its core, But the dressing around this could not simply just be XP Professional or XP Corporate, It could also be Windows XP Media Centre 2002 or Windows XP Media Centre 2005, often known as MCE Edition IF it consists of 2 CD's or a Single DVD.

If you have located both taskkill.ex_ and tasklist.ex_   in the disc/iso  i386 folder

 then the next thing to look for is to see if it has OEM information here

Open that  .INI file  "with notepad" and you'll see something similar to this PID


 If it says OEM, then Corporate comes off the list (as that is VLK, not OEM)
In turn this source also contains the four OEM files and possibly branding information & decals.

How Do I No If My XP Professional OEM Is Really Just MCE

If its a Single CD, then its actually just windows XP Professional (oem)
What happens is, if you install XP Professional "using a media centre product key" then after windows is installed it asks you for CD 2 which features the MCE content.

SO, if you only have one CD, you'd have to use a Pro OEM or Pro Retail / Sticker key
IF its a DVD (and you know the source is clean) as in, its to big for a CD but clean, then its the full MCE.    by clean.. I mean.. no NFO files, driver packs, no links to sites, no WAG cracks and serial text files. Just an xp source that is two big for a single  700MB CD and you have a DVD or ISO over 800mb of data.

Now you should be able to work out just what a back up x86 XP Disc really is under the hood

How to tell what version an x64 Windows XP Disk Is?
pretty much the same only your looking in the AMD64 folder rather than the i386, also remember x64 XP had NO service pack 3... Nor can you get an SP0 disk, x64 First Release was SP1a really

Be it x86 or x64, if its an OEM disc it'll also contain these files 4 OEM files regardless of any other branding OEM's folders...

the FOUR files within the i386 folder (on OEM discs) you can change these 4 files for the specific OEM machine it'll be installed on.


when Expanded (not renamed, must be expanded by a command prompt)
they are  .cat   .sig  .bin and .dat
which can be scanned by various bios and oem tools to even identify the manufacture.

expand example (AKA Decompress)

expand d:\i386\OEMBIOS.CA_ c:\BiosTest\SetOne /y
expand d:\i386\OEMBIOS.SI_ c:\BiosTest\SetOne /y
expand d:\i386\OEMBIOS.DA_ c:\BiosTest\SetOne /y
expand d:\i386\OEMBIOS.BI_ c:\BiosTest\SetOne /y  


Some Random DISC ID's
Some of these are the ISO name and Disc Label

x86 {32bit Versions}
x14-92386.iso = GRTMHKFPP_EN Home K (SP3) x86 EN-US Retail / OEM Pid=76477000
x14-92388.iso = GRTMHKNFPP_EN Home KN (SP3) x86 EN-US Retail / OEM Pid=76477000
x14-92393.iso = GRTMHRMFPP_EN Home N (SP3) x86 EN-US Retail / OEM Pid=76477000
x14-_OEM_.iso = GRTMHOEM_EN Home (SP3) x86 EN-US OEM Pid=76477OEM
x14-92413.iso = GRTMHFPP_EN Home (SP3) x86 EN-US Retail / OEM Pid=76477000
x14-92430.iso = GRTMPKFPP_EN PRO K (SP3) x86 EN-US Retail / OEM Pid=76487000
x14-92432.iso = GRTMPKNFPP_EN PRO KN SP3) x86 EN-US Retail / OEM Pid=76487000
x14-78118.iso = GRTMPRMVOL_EN PRO N (SP3) x86 EN-US VLK Pid=76487270
x14-92445.iso = GRTMPRMFPP_EN PRO N (SP3) x86 EN-US Retail / OEM Pid=76487000
x14-73974.iso = GRTMPVOL_EN PRO (SP3) x86 EN-US VLK Pid=76487270
x14-_OEM.iso = GRTMPOEM_EN PRO (SP3) x86 EN-US OEM Pid=76487OEM
x14-80428.iso = GRTMPFPP_EN PRO (SP3) x86 EN-US Retail / OEM Pid=76487000
x14-74003.iso = GRTMPVOL_PL PRO (SP3) x86 PL-PL  VLK Pid=????
DELL_XP_HOME_SP3_20080911.iso x86 EN-US OEM / Branded Pid=76477OEM
DELL_XP_HOME_SP3_20090829.iso x86 EN-US OEM / Branded Pid=76477OEM
DELL_XP_PRO_SP3_20080819.iso x86 EN-US OEM / Branded Pid=76487OEM
DELL_XP_PRO_SP3_20090819.iso EN-US OEM / Branded Pid=76487OEM
MRMPFPP_EN.iso Media Center Edition 2005 and XP Tablet CD1 EN-US Retail Pid=76487000
MRMSD2_EN.iso Media Center Edition 2005 and XP Tablet CD2 EN-US Retail
MRMPINT_EN.iso MCE 2005 and XP Tablet CD1 and 2  EN-US Retail Pid=76487000
XPSP2.9IN1.EN.iso = Home, PRO, CORP, MCE EN-US Retail / OEM / VLK Pid=???????
XPSP3.9IN1.EN.iso = Home, PRO, CORP, MCE EN-US Retail / OEM / VLK Pid=???????

x64 {64bit Versions}
ARMPXVOL_EN.iso = XP PRO x64 (no service pack)  EN-US VLK Pid=76588270
CRMPXVOL_EN.iso = XP PPRO x64 (SP2)  EN-US VLK Pid=76588270
CRMPXFPP_EN.iso = XP PRO x64 (SP2) EN-US Retail / OEM Pid=76588000
CRMPXOEM_EN.iso = XP PPRO x64 (SP2)  EN-US OEM Pid=76588OEM
DELL_X64_X64_SP2.iso XP PRO x64 (SP2)  EN-US OEM / Branded Pid=76588OEM
Windows XP Serial Number Basics

Will x86 (32bit) Serial Numbers / Product Keys work on x64 (64bit) = NO
 only vista, 7, 8, 8.1 & 10 product keys span across architectures

Will a basic SP0 serial work on an SP2 Disk?, Normally NO, you see SP0 was entitled to SP1 and SP1a,  but  SP2 brought many new features (although an SP0 Install can often upgrade to SP2 and sometimes SP3 via windows update) Some actual SP0 keys wont allow SP3 or MP11.  An SP2 key seams the most useful because it'll work on SP2 & SP3 discs and some folks prefer SP2 for DRM manipulation.

Will my SP0, SP1, SP1a, SP2 or SP3 key work on a disk if i slip stream it?
If your source disk is what your key is for then yes, IE, You can slip an SP0 all the way to SP3 and use your SP0 key.. you Can Not use an SP2 or SP3 key just because you turned an sp0, sp1 or sp1a cd into sp2 or sp3..

Post Last Updated April 8th 2014

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