I need to find out what Windows and Service Pack system is currently running. All I have is ftp access, it means I cannot run any the software.

Is there a way to determine what version of Windows, Service Pack, and what Language is installed on a system?

  • pull the entire registry SAM? Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 4:19
  • It's protected. Windows doesn't let to copy it.
    – Dranik
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 4:25
  • There are programs that will use the packets from the network of the machine to fingerprint the OS. It will not be as details as you want, but it's something.
    – schroeder
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 4:43
  • What kind of access do you have to the filesystem? Can you search the whole c:\system directory?
    – schroeder
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 4:43
  • "nmap -O" will give you some details.
    – N. Greene
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 14:46

2 Answers 2


Based on https://superuser.com/questions/363018/how-do-i-tell-what-version-and-edition-of-windows-is-on-the-filesystem you can find the Windows Version and Service pack in C:\Windows\System32\license.rtf for Windows 7. For Windows XP the information is in C:\Windows\System32\eula.txt. For Windows 10 licenses.rtf does not contain the version. Instead it contains the EULA code, which you can use to find the version online.

I tested this on XP SP3, 7, 7 SP1, and 10 and found that this works for each OS.

The current language pack is a little more tricky. You can find what appears to be the currently available languages in C:\Windows\System32. The folders are in the format of xx-XX (xx = language, XX = country). For example en-US is English-United States, es-MX is Spanish-Mexico.

The packs that have been used are copied to C:\Windows.

To test this I switched my Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 10 Pro machines over to es-MX and, once I rebooted the computer, found that the es-MX folder was created in C:\Windows. Unfortunately the en-US was still there making the current language ambiguous. However you should be able to use the combination of active packs and the names of Documents, Photos, Music ect. to get the current language.

I was unable to test this in XP as I could not risk bricking my last running example of XP.


If you have complete and total ftp access to the system, and can browse to even something like C:\Windows\System32, you could see if you can find a file called:


If you can, and can GET that file, you can grab it and cat it out. (Or use cmd command type on Windows, or open it with a text editor). There should be some human readable strings in there, such as:

[email protected]

That version string should help you out, you can ask Google to find an exact match, the general rule for OS family versions can be found here:


In this case, that string refers to version: Microsoft Windows Server 2003, 5.2.3790.1830 (srv03_sp1_rtm.050324-1447)

Google found that information at this site: https://thecollectionbook.info/windows/server-2003/629

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