Hi all

My summer job is working in a PC repair shop and we have just had a lady drop her laptop off and the hard drive is screwed. We just went to re-install the OS when we realized that we don’t know whether it is XP Home or Pro. We cannot access the HDD and the license sticker is so faded that you can only just read the key.
So my question is can you tell whether a key is for home or pro just by the key format?

Many thanks


I don't think there's a way to differentiate the version of Windows based on the Product Key. However, could you elaborate what you mean when you say

We cannot access the HDD


If the OS is installed, you could just get to the Windows Advanced Options menu by tapping on F8 when the system boots. That would list the flavor of Windows installed.

If you have a copy of both Pro and home can't you insert the CD and click on repair at boot up. If it is the wrong CD it should say shouldn't it?

I would suspect it to be home if it is a home user.

Thanks alot, we managed to get hold of the owner he said it was XP home but we dont know what SP we tried sp3, sp2 we are now trying sp1
The hard drive is gone, dead, the BIOS doesnt see, we slaved it and managed to see that it was xp just as the owner phoned back.
Cheers Guys

SP shouldn't matter as you are doing a fresh install!

My guess is they weren't trying to do a fresh install, but a recovery install (thus the need to know XP version details).

If you need to recover vital disk data, have you tried a Knoppix live disk to boot off and transfer data? Then at least a fresh install on a working disk the next step :)

All done, it wasn't home or pro but media Center. We looked at the label and compared it to other labels we have and a media center one looked similar so we tried it and it worked fine. Thanks guys