I was given an old (old!) laptop to rebuild – Dell Latitude D630 – and short of putting Linux on it XP was the only way to go. I dusted off an ancient XP Pro SP 3 disc and got to work. Lo and behold after install I could not get it to run updates (“the website has encountered a problem”). Hitting the site produced an error every time. I downloaded and installed IE 8 to no avail. I downloaded what one site claimed was the latest Windows Update package and it also produced an error. I ran a variety of Microsoft’s “Fix-its,” none of which found any problems.
What I wound up doing is turning on Automatic Updates and then forcing a detection via a command prompt with:
This allowed it to pull enough to update the, er, Updater and get me over the hump. It still wouldn’t pull updates from the site (rather than erroring it spun forever), so I headed to the MS fixit site:
And chose Windows, Install or Upgrade Software or Hardware, and Windows Update and then downloaded and ran the first Fix-it in the list (“Fix the problem with Microsoft Windows Update that is not working”). This repaired 2 problems and allowed updates to begin working.
Kind of ridiculous, no?