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"Error Code: 0x80070002" error message cites license-checking issue after upgrade on Dell computer

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q310794
When you start Microsoft Windows XP, you may receive the following error message:
A problem is preventing Windows from accurately checking the license for this computer. Error code: 0x80070002.
This issue can occur if one of the following conditions is true:
  • The default security provider in Windows XP has been changed.
  • The system drive letter has changed.
The security provider issue has been reported with Dell computers on which the Dell Assistant software is installed.

NOTE This issue can be caused by any software that changes the default security provider. It is not limited to Dell computers or to the Dell Assistant software.
Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows

To work around this issue, use the appropriate method.

Reset the default security provider in Windows XP

To reset the default security provider in Windows XP, delete the relevant registry keys in the Windows registry. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start the computer. Press the F8 key during startup to start the computer in Safe mode.
  2. Start Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
  3. Delete the following registry keys in the Windows registry:
  4. Quit Registry Editor.
  5. Restart the computer.

Reset the drive letter of the system drive

Use Registry Editor to change the drive letter of the system drive back to its original value. Edit the following registry key to change the value of the system drive:
For additional information and steps detailing the exact procedure to rename the system drive letter, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
223188 How To Restore the System/Boot Drive Letter in Windows
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

Article ID: 310794 - Last Review: 09/23/2011 22:19:00 - Revision: 5.0

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • kbregistry kb3rdparty kbenv kberrmsg kbnofix kbprb KB310794