With Windows XP support being withdrawn in April 2014 you would think that everyone would be switching to Windows 7. However, we have many customers still using XP quite happily and are not going to upgrade until absolutely necessary. So we still have to do fresh installs of XP in the event of hard disk failure. If you do a fresh install of Windows XP with SP3 then Microsoft Updates will not work. Whether this is a deliberate ploy by Microsoft is unknown. To fix this you need to manually install Internet Explorer 8 and these patches: KB2888505 KB2898785 You may also need to install WindowsUpdateAgent30-x86-7.6.7600.256.257.exe KB942288 I had to search for the KB number and download - don't go to Microsoft sites as they just say it is available at Windows Update! It works for me!