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Identify Win10 Backup Version

If you’re anything like me, you’ve got backups upon backups for your Windows 10 systems. Sometimes, it’s useful to identify Win10 backup version info — that is, which version and build the backup contains. As long as you can access the files within the backup set, this turns out to be absurdly easy. That information is readily available via File Explorer, as long as you can access the file in the backup named ntoskrnl.exe. By default this file resides in %windir%\System32. Thus, on my PC it’s in C:\Windows\System32.

How to Identify Win10 Backup Version

First mount the backup, or otherwise navigate in to the backup file set. Access the aforementioned file (namely C:\Windows\System32\ntoskrnl.exe, in my case). Right-click on that entry to produce its properties window, then click on the details tab. You should see something like this:

The Build number appears as the last pair of numbers in the “Product version” string.

Getting from Build Number to Version Info

Personally, I work with this stuff so much I immediately recognize that the build number 18362.239 corresponds to the Windows 10 May 2019 Update, aka 1903. For older build numbers, even I might need a refresher. That’s when the table at Microsoft’s Windows 10 Release Information web page comes in handy. As this table snippet shows, you can map from the build numbers to the version pretty easily.

Careful inspection of this table based on the left-hand side of the build number (e.g. 18362) points right to the version in the leftmost column.
[Click image for full-sized view.]

And presto! That’s all there is to it. Easy-peasey, right?

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