Identifying Windows Version, Outside of Windows

This is a discussion on Identifying Windows Version, Outside of Windows within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; I'm trying to programmatically find the version of Windows operating system that has it's primary partition mounted within my Linux ...

  1. #1
    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    Identifying Windows Version, Outside of Windows

    I'm trying to programmatically find the version of Windows operating system that has it's primary partition mounted within my Linux box. Does anyone know how this can be reliably done?

    I was considering reading one of the registry hives, but I don't know how reliable that would be across versions, and I don't know if that would be easy to find out without actually having each version with me. Not to mention, I don't know where I would find it, and hives can get corrupted.

    Right now, I'm liking the idea of reading the boot.ini file. The W2K box I'm on now has
    Code:
    [boot loader]
    timeout=30
    default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect
    and the XP box I used to have looked identical, except for the OS name string. If you're running Vista or 7, it would be great if you could post your boot.ini file for me. I know the string could be changed (I've done it before) without messing anything up, so this could not work, but I'm guessing that 99.99% of people don't.

    Thanks
    A class that doesn't overload all operators just isn't finished yet. -- SmugCeePlusPlusWeenie
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  2. #2
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    One way: KB307394
    And a more appropriate way if the client machine has Vista or above: GetProductInfo()
    Last edited by Mario F.; 12-21-2009 at 05:28 PM.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

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    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mario F. View Post
    One way: KB307394
    And a more appropriate way if the client machine has Vista or above: GetProductInfo()
    How's he supposed to call Windows functions on a Linux machine?
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

  4. #4
    Unregistered User Yarin's Avatar
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    System::Environment::OSVersion and GetProductInfo() are Windows methods.
    I need to figure this out using only the files (or maybe a registry hive), as the primary partition will be mounted somewhere, and my program will be running inside of Linux.

    EDIT: Right. brewbuck's faster.
    Last edited by Yarin; 12-21-2009 at 05:46 PM.
    A class that doesn't overload all operators just isn't finished yet. -- SmugCeePlusPlusWeenie
    A year spent in artificial intelligence is enough to make one believe in God. -- Alan J. Perlis

  5. #5
    (?<!re)tired Mario F.'s Avatar
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    My bad. Didn't read the question properly.
    The programmer’s wife tells him: “Run to the store and pick up a loaf of bread. If they have eggs, get a dozen.”
    The programmer comes home with 12 loaves of bread.


    Originally Posted by brewbuck:
    Reimplementing a large system in another language to get a 25% performance boost is nonsense. It would be cheaper to just get a computer which is 25% faster.

  6. #6
    Internet Superhero
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    Windows 7 and Windows Vista have no boot.ini files:

    Windows Vista startup process - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    How I need a drink, alcoholic in nature, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics.

  7. #7
    and the hat of copycat stevesmithx's Avatar
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    A dumb solution that might/might not work->Call wine on an standalone exe which prints the OS version. ;-)
    ver. But I couldn't find ver.exe anywhere on my system. However, I could find winver.exe(the GUI variant of ver) on vista.
    Good Luck.
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    - Albert Einstein.


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    wine emulates a Windows version. It doesn't use an existing installation.

  9. #9
    and the hat of copycat stevesmithx's Avatar
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    True. But I am talking about running the programs in the mounted OS not the emulated one. I guess this method highly depend on how such programs print the version though. If it's a simple print to the screen then i would expect it to work. Maybe reverse engineering the exeutable might come handy here.
    Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted
    - Albert Einstein.


    No programming language is perfect. There is not even a single best language; there are only languages well suited or perhaps poorly suited for particular purposes.
    - Herbert Mayer

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    Or maybe it just reads a value from registry and print it out. From wine's registry.

  11. #11
    and the hat of copycat stevesmithx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    Or maybe it just reads a value from registry and print it out. From wine's registry.
    That would be nasty but I think that would be the case now that you mention it. I dunno as i am not into windows programming.
    Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted
    - Albert Einstein.


    No programming language is perfect. There is not even a single best language; there are only languages well suited or perhaps poorly suited for particular purposes.
    - Herbert Mayer

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    I have never done any Windows programming . It was just a wild guess.

    It's easy to check, though.

    Attached is my XP Pro SP2's winver (change the extension to exe), try running it?
    Attached Files Attached Files

  13. #13
    and the hat of copycat stevesmithx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyberfish View Post
    I have never done any Windows programming . It was just a wild guess.

    It's easy to check, though.

    Attached is my XP Pro SP2's winver (change the extension to exe), try running it?
    You are correct. It outputs correctly as Vista on my PC. So it must be getting the job done by reading the values from the registry. Silly of me to expect them to write a different program for each version instead of reusing the existing one.
    Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted
    - Albert Einstein.


    No programming language is perfect. There is not even a single best language; there are only languages well suited or perhaps poorly suited for particular purposes.
    - Herbert Mayer

  14. #14
    Woof, woof! zacs7's Avatar
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    Just read the value from the registry (it's fairly easy to parse). That is, once you've found the correct hive.

  15. #15
    Captain Crash brewbuck's Avatar
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    Some facts.

    1. The "ver" command is a part of cmd.exe. It is not a program itself.
    2. "winver" uses GetVersionEx to get the platform version
    3. GetVersionEx calls RtlGetVersion, which is in ntdll.dll
    4. RtlGetVersion accesses a global structure within the ntdll.dll image which contains the platform version info.

    The registry doesn't come into it at all. This is just what I managed to figure out in 15 minutes using IDA Pro.

    Also, version of WHAT? One approach I thought of would be to fingerprint the ntoskrnl.exe file and develop a mapping of fingerprints to major versions. But the OS version is much more than just the kernel version -- it's also going to include which service packs are installed, the patch level of ntdll.dll, and lots of other crap.

    To what accuracy do you need to determine the version? What are you trying to do?

    EDIT: In case it's not clear, based on what I discovered above, running winver.exe from within Wine would just give a Wine version, not the real version. But I had considered Wine, yes...
    Last edited by brewbuck; 12-21-2009 at 11:01 PM.
    Code:
    //try
    //{
    	if (a) do { f( b); } while(1);
    	else   do { f(!b); } while(1);
    //}

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