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I am trying to install Windows XP Mode from here: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/virtual-pc/download.aspx (the Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Detection Tool has given me the green for proceeding)

Even though my Windows has been activated a year or so ago, the download button leads me to a splash screen saying "Windows validation required". I am next forced to download a WindowsActivationUpdate.exe which, after downloading some mysterious "update", fails with the error message "Update installation failed, error information 0x80070002" (rough translation from German). I've tried running it both normally and as Administrator.

What could be the problem?

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If you're sure you have a genuine activated copy of the OS, try downloading the Windows Virtual PC and XP Mode installers directly using the links here and here.

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Yes, I am sure -- it's a laptop given to me by my employer, at work we all have been running Windows 7 Pro since almost a year ago. Never had such issues before, and Control Panel -> System says "Windows is activated". I don't know what else I can do to prove to Microsoft I am legit :D Thanks a lot for the links! –  Cristina Oct 2 '12 at 7:15
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