I actually had no intention of installing Vista SP1 any time in the near future, but my wife somehow decided that my computer needed to be shutdown all the pending updates needed installed. After the argument I decided to assess the damage.
I didn’t notice anything initially, but after the next reboot (I have a laptop, so it does get rebooted frequently) that day I noticed that Security Center no longer recognized NOD32. Odd. I search and find a numeric of references of NOD32 not having access to WMI. With this being the only current symptom I decide do try and repair the NOD 32 installation.
I download the latest version and try and go to add/remove programs via the run dialog. No window. I try and go to the control panel. The window open and closes. I reboot. The same thing happens after I reboot. I reboot again, this time into safe mode Everything works correctly in safe mode. I reboot. After this reboot I get a security center warning about windows updates. I open the Security Center and try and clear the warning. This is when Vista finally tells me that it thinks my copy is not genuine.
I try to validate my copy of Vista. No such luck. The validation tells me to start the software licensing service. I open services and attempt to start it. It will not start and does not show an error code. I attempt to check the event log. No luck there either. The event log service will not start either. Shit.
Google and I become close friends over the next hour. A dozen attempts and a dozen reboots later I find a forum post on not being able to open the control panel. I go ahead and open a terminal with administrative priveledges and run:
ATTRIB -R C:\WINDOWS\System32 /S /D
I reboot. The applicable services start and I am able to successfully validate. What a great way to spend three hours on a Saturday.