How to determine Windows version from a DOS prompt?

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Sophia, Sep 26, 2005.

  1. Sophia

    Sophia Guest

    I have a computer here and would like to salvage the hard drive, which
    I believe has had its system removed by a defective utility.

    I'd like to use the "sys" command to attempt to replace the system on
    the disk. I know the drive has either Win98 or Win98SE on it, but I
    don't know which. I'm afraid to use the "sys" command until I know
    which it is, since I assume that the two different versions of Windows
    (I have Startup floppies for both) would use different versions of the

    I don't want to put a system out there that will be in conflict with
    the Windows version that is on the drive, since I imagine that will
    add considerably to my grief.

    Is there a way to determine from a DOS prompt which version of Windows
    is on the drive?

    Sophia, Sep 26, 2005
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  2. Type the word 'SET' (no quotes)
    More commands can be viewed here:
    Jericho Swarm, Sep 26, 2005
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  3. Sophia

    Evan Platt Guest

    Yep. ver <enter>.

    Evan Platt, Sep 26, 2005
  4. Sophia

    Sophia Guest

    Thanks for your suggestion, but I don't see anything in the list of
    parameters that DOS scrolls down the screen that tells me what version
    of Windows is loaded on the drive.
    Sophia, Sep 26, 2005
  5. I missed that. :)
    Blinky the Shark, Sep 26, 2005
  6. boot with Window 98 floppy
    type sys c:
    see if it boots up
    if not, del *.* c: (this will delete all files in root directory of c: ,
    not the folders)
    boot with windows 98se floppy and sys c: again
    boot up.

    hope for the best

    theres always fdisk /mbr too......

    have fun
    Swiper The Fox, Sep 27, 2005
  7. Howdy!

    Between 98Gold and 98SE? Check the date stamp of COMMAND.COM - if
    it's SE, the time stamp is 22:22 B)

    Ralph Wade Phillips, Sep 27, 2005
  8. Glad you're not my IT person. No reason to delete files in the root
    directory, especially since you don't know what is there.

    Top (retired), Sep 27, 2005
  9. Sophia

    Barry OGrady Guest

    Barry OGrady, Sep 28, 2005
  10. Sophia


    Mar 12, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Okay, I know this post is old, but saw it while looking for similar information. Very humerous responses and I don't know if the whole post was legit or not, but to respond to the original question:

    I don't know if there's a utility out there that will tell you what version of windows is on the hard drive. I recon, something like partition magic for dos might be up that alley, but in any case, where Windows 98 and 98 SE are concerned, there's not a whole lot of difference except for the support for FAT32, and now I don't even recall if that was an issue.

    Anyway, all that the sys command does is copy a couple of files over to the root, that are standard files to enable you to boot into that OS. If you first run sys from a bootable floppy for 98 and it doesn't work, try again with a floppy for 98 SE. You're not out anything.

    As an example, if it turned out it were an NT 4.0 disk, you could still sys it later with the appropriate files and get it to boot in NT 4.0, if the system files were still there in the appropriate windows directory.

    Just my two cents worth...nice explicitives, btw.
    Morkeleb, Mar 12, 2007
  11. Sophia


    Aug 3, 2011
    Likes Received:
    Hi all,

    Old thread, but I wish to correct you all having stumbled in to this thread.

    If you are in a situation, where you have used a boot floppy/cd to recover a HDD and wish to know what version the OS is, VER wont help you as that isnt a valid command from a bootable console.

    The best way is at the C:> prompt type the following:

    type c:\boot.ini

    That will print the entire contents of the boot.ini file in the command prompt, so you can use this query from outside a booted windows environment. When it prints out the details of the OS, it will tell you all the OS's on every partition.
    wh666-666, Aug 3, 2011
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