How to get rid of Windows XP Error Code 0x80004005

The following error code 0x80004005 may be generated when installing or activating the Windows XP operating system:

"A problem is preventing Windows from accurately checking the license for this computer. Error Code: 0x80004005"

This error message may also be displayed when upgrading from Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE) to Windows XP Home Edition.

Cause of the Error

Error code 0x80004005 is generated if one or more files required by Windows Product Activation is either missing or damaged. This problem occurs if one or both of the following conditions hold true:

  • An antivirus program or a third-party backup tool is interfering with the Windows XP installation process.
  • A file required by the Windows Product Activation process has been modified manually.

Resolution Methods

You can use one of the following methods to resolve this error message:

Method 1: If the Error Code 0x80004005 is Generated When Upgrading to Windows XP from Windows 98 SE.

Perform in-place Windows XP upgrade using the following steps:

  1. Insert Windows XP installation CD in the drive and then boot your system with it.
  2. Select Install Windows XP on the Welcome to Windows XP page.
  3. Select Upgrade (Recommended) from the Installation Type box on the Welcome to Setup page.
  4. Accept the license agreement and then click Next.
  5. When prompted, provide your valid 25-character product key and then click Next.
  6. Follow the screen instructions to install Windows XP on the system.

Note: You may also uninstall Windows XP and reinstall Windows 98 SE to resolve the error.

Method 2: Repair Windows XP Installation and then Replace the Problem Files

  1. Insert the Windows XP installation CD in the drive and then boot your system with it.
  2. On the Welcome to Windows XP page, press R to start the Recovery Console.
  3. To access your primary operating system installation with Recovery Console Press 1.
  4. Note: This number may differ if you have more than one operating system installed on the computer.

  5. Provide the administrator password when prompted and then press Enter.
  6. Note: If there is no administrator password, just press Enter to continue.

  7. At Recovery Console Command Prompt, type the cd %SystemRoot%\System32 command and then press Enter.
  8. In the System32 directory use the REN FileName.extension FileName.old command to rename the following files:
    • Wpa.dbl
    • Pidgen.dll
    • Actshell.html
    • Licdll.dll
    • Regwizc.dll
    • Licwmi.dll
    • Wpabaln.exe
  9. Type cddrive: and then press Enter to switch to the CD drive.
  10. Next, type cd i386 and then press Enter.
  11. Finally, use the expand command to expand and extract the following files to the system32 folder.
    • expand licwmi.dl_ %systemroot%\system32
    • expand regwizc.dl_ %systemroot%\system32
    • expand licdll.dl_ %systemroot%\system32
    • expand wpabaln.ex_ %systemroot%\system32
    • expand wpa.db_ %systemroot%\system32
    • expand actshell.ht_ %systemroot%\system32
    • copy pidgen.dll %systemroot%\system32
  12. Finally, type Exit and boot your system normally.

Problems such as error code 0x80004005 may also occur due to problems within the registry. This is the reason why experts recommend that you regularly clean your registry and repair any errors within it. You can perform registry maintenance easily with the help of a reliable registry cleaner tool, such as RegServe.