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My sister claims that Windows Update disabled her daughter's PC.

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When Microsoft Updates does a validation and it cannot be validated, the updated validation can render the OS unusable. What has probably happened is somebody has installed Windows XP with the same disk that they used to install Windows on your sister's machine and as soon as they did, it essentially voided all previous installations done with that disk. To solve this problem, you will either have to get that disk and reinstall or buy another copy of XP. Sorry, but that's my opinion for whatever it's worth