Microsoft's first suggestion was to download version 3 of the Windows Update "Agent" (file Windows Update Agent30-x86.exe) to the root of the C disk, then run it with Start - Run and the following command: C:\Windows Update Agent30-x86/wuforce The installation was quick and painless. The link to this stand-alone version of the Windows Update agent may change over time.A technician at Microsoft suggested getting the software from here.
Scott Dunn from Windows Secrets covered re-registering Windows Update DLLs last September in Stealth Windows update prevents XP repair.
Finally, let me repeat a warning about upgrading to Internet Explorer 7.
A brief search turned up forum postings at from others with this problem.
This thread, XP SP3 Preventing any other Windows Update Installs, started almost 3 months ago.
This fix is also offered here, for a similar Windows Update problem. There's no way for me to know how widespread this problem is.
If you've had problems with Windows Update after installing Windows XP SP3 leave a comment below.When you first install IE7, you get a known buggy version.After rebooting, run Windows Update immediately to get the patch shown below Update July 27, 2008: After installing XP SP3 and all the subsequent patches on three more computers, my best guess is that the problem has to do with the type of license for Windows.The error message simply referred to "a problem on your computer".In addition, a review of the update history (click on "Review your update history" in the left side gray stripe) showed no failures at all.While consumers are conditioned to call their hardware manufacturer for technical support, Microsoft offers free support for Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, IE7 and Windows Update.