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Unless interrupted by the user, this "validation" process never stops and the available updates are never presented and therefore cannot be selected and downloaded.
Admittedly XP has been always my "experimental" OS and I had used it many times. The problem that we are having with my friends XP "re=install" is somewhat different in that it has only been used (installed) two times before."A plot by Microsoft to p*$$ off XP-users", I thought.The answer in both cases was to ensure auto-update/auto install was turned on, then leave the PC online for a few hours.This was back when the computer manufacturers provided the Windows installation disk(s) with the sale of their computers and, after Vista's release, they were dumping them on the resale market.When Vista "flopped", there were a lot of Vista users, such as my friend, who purchased an XP installation disk and went back to XP on their computers.