Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Possible Duplicate:
How can I determine the installed edition of Windows XP if the OS does not boot up?

Without being able to boot the OS that is.

I was wondering about this for awhile - I get quite a few PC's delivered to me which don't boot and mostly people can tell me what they have but every once in a while they just don't know. Of course customers never keep their CD's where they can find them...

So How do I figure out if they have Home or Professional?

share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Linker3000, Simon Sheehan, Sathya Oct 4 '11 at 14:43

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

The sticker might help – Journeyman Geek Oct 1 '11 at 15:17
And if there's no sticker ? XP happily repairs a Professional install with a Home CD and vice versa. Of course it does more harm than good. – Jimmy Oct 1 '11 at 15:30
@Linker3000 Sorry for the dupe. I searched but might have used different terminology. – Jimmy Oct 4 '11 at 0:54
@Jimmy. No probs - it's more of an observation than a rebuke as linking together similer or identical questions may be helpful to you and future visitors. – Linker3000 Oct 4 '11 at 9:52
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Boot from a Linux Live CD such as Ubuntu, then navigate to


read the ini file in a text editor.

share|improve this answer
I figured out much later that I could have also opened Boot.ini. Although there might be many different OS listed chances are that the first one fits the bill. prodspec.ini was the better solution though. Thank you @Moab – Jimmy Oct 4 '11 at 0:58

IF you can boot with a live CD (or usb stick) (like ubuntu or any other OS that can mount your XP disk), you can have a look in windows directory and usually you will find internet explorer install logs (IE9_main.log or IE8_main.log) or others like windows updates, dxdiag or directX install logs that will have the operating system info they detected in the beginning of their own install.

Of course this is not very automatic and probably not 100% reliable but I think you can work this way while no one come with something better. You may even use the gparted software from the ubuntu menu to repair the disk if needed (after enabling it to write to NTFS partitions).

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .