I've been trying to sort out a laptop for a friend.
The box has been run for some time with no malware protection of any kind.
From the update list in "Add/Remove Programs" it appears that Windows XP
Media Edition has not been updated since December 2009.
Installed and ran MBAM and AVG9 free which have removed lots of malware.
LimeWire is installed and was set to start at Windows start
I presumed it was responsible for almost continual activity seen on the
network connection which is via a wired cable router.
That has been disabled though Lime Wire remains installed
Things 'seem' OK except that it will not do XP updates.
Connecting to update via the Security Center "Check for the latest updates
from Windows Update" produces the message "Internet Explorer cannot display
Trying to get updates via most other routes produces the same message.
Clicking on "Diagnose Connection Problems" shows no connection problem.
On the Microsoft UK site clicking on the "Security & Updates" tab, then
"Microsoft Update" links to a page that checks for latest updating software.
That produces a message " The website has encountered a problem and cannot
display the page you are trying to view"
FAQs and Find Solutions shows nothing relevant.
Windows Update Newsgroup link open a new window and produces the "Internet
Explorer cannot display the webpage" message.
Other web sites can be reach with no apparent problem.
I've uninstalled and re-installed IE8. to no avail.
What next please?