I created a new VM today using VirtualBox. It was a fresh bare bones XP install with all service packs, upgrades, and all optional software from Windows Update installed.
The Solid Works 2008-2009 Student Design Kit kept responding with "Can't find applicable resource DLL.". I even received a similar message if I drilled down and tried to run the english .msi install file directly.
Of course without knowing which DLL it's a bit difficult to add/replace/repair it. After an all too long Google session I finally found the answer on a Mac forum. Evidently this problem is only common on fresh clean XP machines.
The solution is easy though, just install the newest Microsoft .NET Framework and C++ redistributables.
Google can find them, just be warned that MS isn't very good at telling that you're on an old download page. I tried version .NET 3.0 before I realized 3.5 was the newest and went hunting for it.