Windows XP has many more versions than most people realize, its not just home and pro. Each of the well known types (home & pro) have 3 basic sub types, here are instructions and references on how to identify what you have and what it means.

The program “ProduKey“. It’s a freeware utility made by a company called NirSoft and can be found at: The program works on almost all versions of Windows including 64 bit, but be sure that you use the 64 bit version on a 64 bit system, also be sure if using the ‘save’ button in this program that you have the proper key selected or else you could end up saving the wrong information such as a Microsoft Office key.

The term “Product ID” refers to a code generated during your Windows installation and can be found using the tool ProduKey, “Product ID” is not to be confused with “Product Key”, “Product Key” being what would sometimes be referred to as your Serial Number

The Term “Microsoft Product Code” or “MPC” refers to the first 5 digit portion of the product id, It identifies the version of Windows that was originally installed. This includes things such as Home or Pro, English or otherwise, Service Pack, upgrade and sometimes volume license (VLC).

The term “Channel ID” is the 3 digit portion of the product id used to identify what type of licensing is used, such as retail, oem or vlc

Basic Channel ID Reference

270 – Generally known as VLC, this is from key that purchased in bulk such as what a large company might need when installing Windows on hundreds or even thousands of computers.
000 – Referred to as retail, this would be a key that came with a Windows cd purchased in a store in retail packaging and can include upgrade CDs as well. The key for this wont be stuck on the side or bottom of the machine but rather to the packaging from the cd.
OEM – A key that was sold bundled with a computer such as Windows that came with a computer from Dell or HP. You can often find these IDs on the windows product label on the side of a PC. But they wont always match the key that ProduKey finds, this is because the manufacturer uses a specialized generic key to mass install windows on these machine and the key on the side represents the copy you Legally own. I’m not perfectly clear on this matter but I’ve had success using both the key on the side of the machine and the key already used in Windows but on different occasions.

When recovering the Product ID from a Windows system you might see a Chanel ID other then the ones listed above, these 3 digit IDs can translate into one of the above using this reference:

006 = OEM?
007 = 000
009 = OEM?
011 = 000
013 = 000
083 = 000?
296 = 000?
335 = 000
640 to 652 = 270
699 = 000?
770 = 000

More information and a reference on MPCs can be found at:

Identify Your Product ID, MPC & Product Key From…

Windows XP CD (PID & MPC Only):

1.Insert the XP CD, browse to and open a file called “setupp.ini”  located at “CDROM:\I386\setupp.ini”

2. the last 3 digits of the bottom number should be 270, 000 or OEM this is the Channel ID , the first 5 digits represent the MPC.

Working Operating System:

1. Run ProduKey on the system in question, you should instantly see the product id and product key

2. In the product ID you will see 3 isolated numbers/letters, this is your Channel ID, the first 5 digits represent the MPC.

Non-Working Operating System:

1. Using you’re preferred method, recover the folder “SYSTEM-DRIVE:\Windows\System32\Config” to a functional computer.

2. On the functional computer run ProduKey.

3. Once open, click “File > Select Source”

4. Choose “Load the product keys from external software registry hive”

5. Press browse and navigate to and select the file “SOFTWARE” that you recovered in the “config” folder, press ok.

6. Press Ok and you should see the product ID and product key a moment later.

7. In the product ID you will see 3 isolated numbers/letters, this is your Channel ID, the first 5 digits represent the MPC.