How can I establish which MSDN ISO an operating system has been installed from? RRS feed

  • Question

  • The main reason I would want to do this is to find the activation key for a given install.  To do this the first thing I must do is to equate the information in the image with one of several ISOs I may have downloaded.

    Here is an example:

    I've just today downloaded and installed the following image:  en_windows_7_ultimate_with_sp1_x86_dvd_u_677460.iso

    The number 677460 obviously means something but I haven't found it on the installed machine, so I have only the description to go on, however I can imagine there are several different build numbers for ISOs with similar descriptions.

    In the registry at HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion there is some information.  In this case it says:

    7601.win7sp1_rtm.101119-1850, something that I find a little misleading, because there is no mention that the above ISO is RTM in the description on MSDN, and there is no mention of build number on the MSDN website, but never mind.

    So, cracking open the ISO itself and taking a look, the build number 7601 appears in sources\cversion.ini, but I've no idea whether this refers to the OS, or the OS+SP+HF combination that's on that DVD image.

    In summary - are build numbers unique to the DVD or just to the version of Windows that happens to be on the DVD?  Is there some other way to correlate installation and the ISO it came from?  I'd like to avoid uncompressing and comparing loads of binaries off the DVD with the installset if possible.

    Sorry for the long post, and thanks in advance for any replies!

    Wednesday, March 25, 2015 3:03 PM

All replies

  • Hey Keely, I'm thinking about a response to you here.  Its been a pretty slammed week so sorry for the continued delay on this system.  I see that you are approaching this problem as connecting version numbers in various places.

    With certain exceptions, MSDN does not provide "MSDN" specific software.  Like the windows doesn't make us our own unique software build (though they do make several unique builds like the VL build, the OEM build, the Retail build, etc.).   What you could say is, unless it has "VL" in the name, the build of windows you get from MSDN is the retail build.

    677460 is an internal tracking number for that file, and its a clue to the MSDN team that we are providing exactly the right build that the windows team has really declared as "final".   when you say "OS+SP+HF" I dont knwo what you mean by HF.    The build numbers should correlate to the version of Windows that happens to be on a DVD.

    So according to this Toms Hardware article:,24008.html the 8.1 RTM build is 9600, and that's the build number you'll find on the version of windows available in MSDN.  The ISO available through MSDN should be the same ISO burned onto a retail DVD.

    Looking forward to your response.


    MSDN and TechNet Subscriptions Support

    Did Microsoft call you out of the blue about your computer? No, they didn't.

    Friday, March 27, 2015 9:11 PM
  • Thanks for the extra information, even if not a way of exactly finding the install ISO for a given install!

    Sorry for the abbreviations.  SP=Service pack HF=Hotfix.

    Tuesday, June 2, 2015 8:15 AM