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It usually means that the pre-boot, and Windows components are different versions - most often that somehow you've deployed a later pre-boot onto the machine than the Windows files (an attempted downgrade).
So, what version is the pre-boot, and what version are the Windows files?
Yeah, that would make too much sense, wouldn't it? I'm still working on getting my hands on the machine - it currently resides across the country. Pre-boot is 5.2.3. If I had to guess, I'd say he may have somehow picked up 5.1.9. That will be the first thing I check when I get it.
yes - if you dropped the 5.1 files on top of a working 5.2 machine, you'd get this error message. Check the file groups for the machine - maybe someone switched them to a previous version file set?