hi i have an bad copy of windows installed over a good copy how can i get access to the control panel as i cant get past authentication of windows??
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  1. You will likely need to reinstall your "good" copy of Windows, preferably a FULL install to a formatted drive to insure no part of the "bad" copy remains.
  2. The authentication of Windows 7 (This is the XP category, btw) refers to the user not activating their copy of Windows 7 with Microsoft or it is possible your version is a Candidate Starter version which though has a serial number, it is still only trial and lasts for only about six months to which you have to uninstall and buy a new full version copy.

    you shold do a back up of your datafiles then insert your OS disk and do a full format and install. You do eed to activate within 45 days otherwise you get the same notification.

    Also, there is an update from microsoft that checks your version against their "fraud/pirate" list that will cause the "Authentication Notice", if your version is not genuine (and activated legally).!

    reference to kb971033
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Configuration Control Panel Authentication Windows XP