I came across an interesting situation recently. The System Admin team were planning to rebuild the Server which had a SQL Server 2000 instance. The DBA Team had gathered all the information related to SQL Server. Finally wanted to confirm the Edition of SQL Server but by that time, the serivces were taken down and the backup team started backing up all the drives.
Since the SQL services could not be started again to verify the edition, we had to look for some other alternative. What better place than the Registry? Irrespective of the version of SQL Server, this information is saved in the registry. Only the location changes for various versions. The path in the registry is as follows.
We were looking for the Edition of a SQL 2000 default instance and I got the information which looked liked this.