My son's XP Home Pc has suddenly stopped booting beyond the user accounts screen. When he tries to login, he gets the message "A problem is preventing Windows from accurately checking the license for this computer: error code:0x80004005".
The PC was bought off ebay just over six months ago and came with XP Home on board but no supporting OS discs.
I've tried to boot in Safe Mode but when I click on the Administrator account, the PC just reboots so I can't even get in to run the various Microsoft validation checks. If it turns out that I need to purchase a license then I'll do that but I can't get in to even do that !
My son has various files he needs to keep so I'm keen not to re-install anything (I have an XP disc from my own PC) but how do I achieve anything if I can't get past the user account screen ?
Does the PC have a Microsoft sticker on the base unit. If so this will have the license key on it and can be used to reinstall windows using your XP disc, providing that yours is a retail version and not OEM. If there is no sticker, he may have to purchase another copy of XP so that he has a legitimate license key to use during installation. Is he a student? If so there as highly discounted offers for Microsoft software available.
As you are on here it looks like you have access to a 2nd PC. If so, and easy solution is to buy a USB HDD cradle (about £15 from web systems, for example).
Pull the HDD with the defective OS from your son's PC and plug it into the cradle attached to your PC.
As the HDD is now a passive slave you should be able to directly access the files and folders and save waht you need to your PC.
Once rescued, you can reformat the drive and put a clean install on there. Remember to find the OS licence code before formatting. The XP disc and licence you have for your own PC will probably allow you to intall this on your son's PC as well, but that would be stealing.