The issue turned out to be a situation where a machine that is being used to test various hardware and software components on Vista hadn't been used in a while.
It was installed with no product key as it wasn't expected to be used beyond a couple of weeks.
When the machine was turned on, we received the following message:
This copy of Microsoft Windows is not genuine.The online resolution installed the Genuine Advantage tool which also had an error:
The validation service is unable to determine whether this copy of Windows Vista is Genuine.Of course it isn't, we hadn't inputted a product key when the OS was installed. At least, that was what we figured out as this machine has been sitting for quite a while. It wasn't supposed to be in service anymore as it is one of our Vista test mules.
So, if you get the above errors, then more than likely a product key was not used on the initial installation of the OS and the Activate over the Internet option was unchecked.
You will need to wait for Windows to prompt you for Activation:
As things like the Control Panel will be disabled or very hard to get to. At least in this case, that is what happened. It was tough to get around.
But we did it, and yes ... it was one of those days! ;*)
Microsoft Small Business Specialists