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What version do I have?


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#1 gtifeld

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 10:42 AM

I have someone with what appears to be a generic custom-built PC that isn't booting (Keeps prompting to do auto-repair and fails). All the hardware appears to be okay and I think the only thing left for me to do is try and reinstall Windows. Since there is no information on the case, and the owner can't locate any of the paperwork or disks that came with the PC, I don't know which edition of Windows 7 it currently has (32 or 64? Home? Professional? etc.)

 

Is there a way I can determine which edition the PC currently has on the hard drive if it won't boot? Is there a text/ini file on the drive somewhere that might tell me this?

 

I appreciate any input. Thank you in advance.

 

--- Gary



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#2 kokomodrums

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 10:53 AM

To find out if it's a 32 or 64-bit install, just check the hard drive for a C:\Windows\SysWOW64 folder. This indicates a 64-bit install. If that folder is missing, it's a 32-bit install.

 

The license key/version is stored in the registry. Here is an article that explains how to extract the license from the registry, but you will need to hook up the hard drive to a working Windows computer: http://superuser.com/questions/636568/how-do-i-retrieve-a-product-key-from-another-hard-drive
 

There’s different ways to do it, but probably the quickest and easiest way is with Nirsoft’s ProduKey:

  • Download, extract, and run the program (it will show your own key by default)
  • Press F9 to bring up the Select Source dialog
  • Select Load the product keys from external Software Registry hive
  • Browse to the SOFTWARE registry hive. For example, if you have the drive from the other system mounted as drive Z:, then you would probably select Z:\Windows\System32\Config\SOFTWARE
  • Click [OK]
It should read the hive file from the other copy of Windows and display the appropriate product key.

In this screenshot, I ran ProduKey in Windows XP (installed in C:) and then extracted the key from Windows 7 (mounted as T:). Note how it still says C:\Windows since Windows 7 was indeed installed in C:, even though it’s files are currently accessible from T:.
Jr9El.png

 


Edited by kokomodrums, 17 September 2014 - 10:58 AM.

-- Matt


#3 hamluis

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 10:54 AM

Another alternative:  32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/find-out-32-or-64-bit

 

Louis



#4 kokomodrums

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 10:56 AM

Luis, that article explains how to find the version while running Windows, his question is how to find the version when you can't boot into Windows.


-- Matt


#5 SleepyDude

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 11:04 AM

Hi,

 

Luis, that article explains how to find the version while running Windows, his question is how to find the version when you can't boot into Windows.

 

The 32/64 bits part it's easy to find if you can check the folders on the HDD, a 64 bits system will have two folders c:\Program Files\ and c:\Program Files (x86) the 32 bit's OS will have only one c:\Program Files\

 

What I'm curious to know is if you can access the System Recovery Options or not...

 

What you need to do is press F8 immediately after starting the computer to access the following screen:
W7-RE02.jpg
Note: If you don't see the screen with the above options and only a menu with Launch Startup Repair (recommended) press CTRL+ALT+DEL and try again the F8 key.
 
Select Repair Your Computer, if it starts trying to repair try to cancel the process or wait until it finish saying it can't fix the problem
 
You should have access to the following screen:
66b9e3c2-bb67-47bf-802c-b753b54bcc19_48.

 

And from there you can try to start a System Restore.


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#6 gtifeld

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 11:11 AM

Hi Matt. Thank you for your response. I will look it over and try it asap. Thanks again.

 

--- Gary



#7 gtifeld

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 11:26 AM

Hi Sleepydude. Thanks for your response.

 

I had already tried the auto-repair and restore options, but none of them worked. There are no system images for me to even restore it to its factory settings. 

 

I AM able to get the Adv. Boot Options menu with F8. I tried Safe Mode & Last Known Good... Neither worked. I tried "Disable auto restart..." which gives me a BSoD, but no specific info or file names. The only tech. info. it gives me on the bottom is:

 

*** STOP: 0x00000007B (0xFFFFF88000IA98E8, 0xFFFFFFFFC0000034, 0x0000000000000000,0x0000000000000000)

 

Does that tell us anything?

 

--- Gary



#8 SleepyDude

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 11:34 AM

Hi Sleepydude. Thanks for your response.

 

I had already tried the auto-repair and restore options, but none of them worked. There are no system images for me to even restore it to its factory settings. 

 

I AM able to get the Adv. Boot Options menu with F8. I tried Safe Mode & Last Known Good... Neither worked. I tried "Disable auto restart..." which gives me a BSoD, but no specific info or file names. The only tech. info. it gives me on the bottom is:

 

*** STOP: 0x00000007B (0xFFFFF88000IA98E8, 0xFFFFFFFFC0000034, 0x0000000000000000,0x0000000000000000)

 

Does that tell us anything?

 

--- Gary

 

Yes. From Command Prompt run a chkdsk /r on the system partition also check the BIOS, the error could be generated if the Sata mode in BIOS was changed to another option not matching the one used when Windows was installed. Check if the Sata mode is set to AHCI in the BIOS because its the usual option and try the other options available.

 

bios001.jpg


Edited by SleepyDude, 17 September 2014 - 11:54 AM.

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#9 kokomodrums

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 11:48 AM

Keep in mind that if the BSOD is happening because of a hardware issue, reinstalling Windows won't fix the problem (but I assume you already know that!).


-- Matt


#10 gtifeld

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 12:01 PM

Sleepydude!!! That did it! It took me a while to find the setting because it's a freaky BIOS setup, but I finally did. It was set to IDE, so I changed it to ACHI and "Voila". Thank you so much.

 

Matt, yes I did realize that, once I was able to bring up the Adv. Options menu and choose the disable auto restart. I should've tried that option sooner.

 

Thank you all for your input. I learned a lot of valuable information from you all today and I'm most appreciative.

 

Regards,

 

--- Gary



#11 SleepyDude

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 12:28 PM

Good Job. :thumbup2:

 

Sometimes is so simple as that :)


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#12 gtifeld

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 01:18 PM

I'm not sure how it got changed in the first place. I'm wondering if a power surge of some kind might have reset it somehow? I'm just glad it's working now. Thanks again.



#13 SleepyDude

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Posted 17 September 2014 - 01:26 PM

I'm not sure how it got changed in the first place. I'm wondering if a power surge of some kind might have reset it somehow? I'm just glad it's working now. Thanks again.

 

Yes it could happen, sometimes the BIOS does a reset and the default configuration isn't always AHCI.


• Please do not PM me asking for support. Post on the forums instead it will increases the chances of getting help for your problem by one of us.
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