Category Archives: windows

Getting Windows build number

Normally you can just use “winver” (or “ver” in command prompt) to get the version number but it doesn’t always return the build number.

You can find the build number in the registry; use the following command in cmd:

reg query "HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersion" | findstr BuildLabEx

Windows ISO version checking

If you want to see which version of Windows is contained in an ISO image, mount the image and run the following command in an elevated cmd/powershell window:

dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:A:sourcesboot.wim

Be sure to change A: to the correct drive letter where the image is mounted.  Also, combined x86/x64 ISO images will need to include the architecture before “sources”.

dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:A:x86sourcesboot.wim
dism /Get-WimInfo /WimFile:A:x64sourcesboot.wim

Windows Server activation via KMS

Nothing is more fun that finding out a production server has not been activating via KMS like it was supposed to be doing.  Imagine my surprise logging in and seeing a “Windows is not activated” message.  Re-entering the correct kms setup didn’t solve it; in fact, it didn’t even send a KMS message to the server.

It turns out the server was in MAK licensing mode.  I found that out by running the command “slmgr /dlv” in an elevated command prompt and seeing VOLUME_MAK in the description.

Continue reading Windows Server activation via KMS

Windows: Add to the Send To menu

To quickly add new destinations to the Send To menu, simply type shell:sendto in the Location Bar in Windows Explorer.  It will show you the existing destinations, and you can add new destinations by simply dragging new destinations into this window.Wonder what else is available via this shell feature?  Check this website.

Disable PC Speaker beeps

I normally do not have Windows Sounds enabled; after a while, they become a little annoying. But a greater annoyance is the PC Speaker; when sounds are turned off, you’ll often hear beeps coming from your PC. Here is how you can disable them in XP/Vista/2003/2008 using the Command Prompt (Run->cmd):

Temporary: net stop beep
Permanent: sc config beep start= disabled

Note the space between start= and disabled.

Mapping volumes to logical drive names

I had a problem on my work computer where System Restore kept complaining about a lack of available disk space, no drive on my machine had less than 70GB free. System Event Log entries gave me a volume number but no way of knowing which logical drive letter it was referring to.

The best way to map these numbers is to search through the registry using RegEdit for the text inside the Volume{long string here} brackets. It will take you to the key HKLMSYSTEMMountedDevices, where you can match the “long string here” text to the mounted drive.

It turns out that it was my C: drive, which had a whopping 74GB free. The problem is that my drives are rather large, and it looks like Windows only checks the C drive to see if you have enough free space. I disabled SR on my data drives; we’ll see if that fixes the problem.