Identify Your Windows Vista/2008 Operating System Version and Architecture in 2 Steps

by Daniel Petri - March 17, 2009

In order to successfully install Hyper-V on a Windows Server 2008 server, you must meet the required system and hardware prerequisites. One of these is to have a hardware that’s capable of running 64-bit operating systems, and to actually install a 64-bit version of Windows Server 2008 on it. Another prerequisite is to have the correct build of Windows Server 2008, as there are some builds that are either “without Hyper-V”, or are of a type that does not support Hyper-V at all (such as the Web edition).

In a previous article, “Installing Hyper-V on Windows Server 2008”, I've detailed the complete list of requirements for installing Hyper-V.

It’s safe to assume that if you’re in the business of installing servers, you’re also supposed to “know” what you’re doing… but there are some cases where one needs to know what type of operating system is installed on the server/PC/laptop, for example, in case you were not the person that has initially installed the machine. In that case you'd better make sure it supports Hyper-V and that is has the appropriate license to operate it, before starting to install the role.

To find out what kind of Windows Server product is currently installed follow these steps:

In the Start menu, either click on the Command Prompt shortcut, or, if not present, type “cmd” and press Enter.

In the command prompt window type the following command and press Enter:

wmic OS get OperatingSystemSKU

The number that is returned corresponds with Microsoft's list of SKU numbers for Windows Server:

  • 7 = Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition (full installation)
  • 8 = Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition (full installation
  • 10 = Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition (full installation)
  • 12 = Windows Server 2008 Datacenter Edition (core installation)
  • 13 = Windows Server 2008 Standard Edition (core installation)
  • 14 = Windows Server 2008 Enterprise Edition (core installation)
  • 42 = Hyper-V Server 2008

Only the above version numbers will work with Hyper-V. If any other number is returned, this means that you should not try to install Hyper-V on this server, as it will not work on it.

If we’re at it, you should also check the architecture of the server installation as well.

To find the architecture of your OS, follow these steps:

In the Start menu, either click on the Command Prompt shortcut, or, if not present, type “cmd” and press Enter.

In the command prompt window type the following command and press Enter:

wmic OS get OSArchitecture

The architecture should be 64-bit in order to be able to install Hyper-V.

Links:

Additional Microsoft product info codes and their meanings are available here.

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