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How to determine which 32-bit Windows version is being used

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An application may need to perform tasks differently depending on which operating system is running on the computer. This article shows, by example, how to differentiate between Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Window NT 3.51, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0, Microsoft Windows 2000, and Microsoft Windows XP.

The Win32 GetVersionEx function returns information that a program can use to identify the operating system. Among those values are the major and minor revision numbers and a platform identifier. With the introduction of Windows 98, it now takes a more involved logical evaluation to determine which version of Windows is in use. The listing below provides the data needed to evaluate the OSVERSIONINFO structure populated by the GetVersionEx function:
Windows 95Windows 98Windows MeWindows NT 4.0Windows 2000Windows XP
PlatformID 1 1 1 2 2 2
Major Version 4 4 4 4 5 5
Minor Version 0 10 90 0 0 1

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More information

Step-by-step example

  1. Start a new Standard EXE project in Visual Basic. Form1 is created by default.
  2. From the Project menu, add a Standard Module to the project.
  3. Insert the following code into Module1:
          Public Declare Function GetVersionExA Lib "kernel32" _
                   (lpVersionInformation As OSVERSIONINFO) As Integer
                Public Type OSVERSIONINFO
                   dwOSVersionInfoSize As Long
                   dwMajorVersion As Long
                   dwMinorVersion As Long
                   dwBuildNumber As Long
                   dwPlatformId As Long
                   szCSDVersion As String * 128
                End Type
                Public Function getVersion() As String
                   Dim osinfo As OSVERSIONINFO
                   Dim retvalue As Integer
                   osinfo.dwOSVersionInfoSize = 148
                   osinfo.szCSDVersion = Space$(128)
                   retvalue = GetVersionExA(osinfo)
                   With osinfo
                   Select Case .dwPlatformId
                    Case 1
                        Select Case .dwMinorVersion
                            Case 0
                                getVersion = "Windows 95"
                            Case 10
                                getVersion = "Windows 98"
                            Case 90
                                getVersion = "Windows Millennium"
                        End Select
                    Case 2
                        Select Case .dwMajorVersion
                            Case 3
                                getVersion = "Windows NT 3.51"
                            Case 4
                                getVersion = "Windows NT 4.0"
                            Case 5
                                If .dwMinorVersion = 0 Then
                                    getVersion = "Windows 2000"
                                    getVersion = "Windows XP"
                                End If
                        End Select
                    Case Else
                       getVersion = "Failed"
                End Select
                   End With
                End Function
  4. Add the following line of code to the Load event of Form1:
    MsgBox GetVersion()
  5. Run the project, and note that a message box displays the correct Windows version.

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For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
92936 How to get Windows 3.1 version number in VB with GetVersion

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Keywords: kbhowto, KB189249

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Article Info
Article ID : 189249
Revision : 3
Created on : 9/3/2004
Published on : 9/3/2004
Exists online : False
Views : 552