When you boot up, can you search for smss.exe, and report back where all
locations of the file are?
As you described the steps to reaching your problem, it smells more like an
infection (carried over from your XP machine) than a botched upgrade.
A while back, there was a trojan that distributed a fake smss.exe file that
acted as a backdoor. It runs at startup.
from the HKLM\software\microsoft\windows\currentversion\run in the registry
(I'm not at my test machine so could someone else verify if this is still
the same location in Vista for the autoruns?)
From XP, you could check by going to Start>Run>Msconfig and click on the
startup tab....if smss.exe showed up here...it's the bad one.
The real smss.exe gets invoked from system processes. and it controls the
starting of winlogon and crsmss.
"Kolin Tregaskes" <kolngNOSPAMPLEASE@tregaskes.co.uk> wrote in message
> I've been able to get logged in (after disabling UAP to authenticate
> Vista - do I need to enable this now?). I find everytime I log in that
> the Windows Wireless Service is not running. So I go to manage network
> connections, right-click and select diagnose on the connection set-up for
> my wireless router (which I had to set-up manually). Once I have started
> the Wireless Service, when I select to activate Vista it tells me that a
> change has occurred in my license and I need to restart. This happens
> every time. If I try and activate Vista before I start up the Wireless
> Service then it tries to connect without an error, but then, of course, I
> have to start it up and then get the license error (so basically stuck in
> a loop). I also receive a license error: 0XC004D401.
> I cannot update Windows Update either. RealPlayer and ZoneAlarm don't run
> or work and I canot update Windows Defender.
> And I eventually receive an error telling me smss.exe has stopped and been
> Any ideas?