The thread includes an email from Microsoft technical support with three possible fixes.
One of them, involving re-registering DLLs, was my fallback if the first suggestion didn't work.
A brief search turned up forum postings at from others with this problem.
We have posted about it at following link: I have received a few mails mentioning a strange problem which occurs while installing SP3 in Windows XP. Advertisements Share this article: Facebook | Twitter | Google | Linked In | Reddit Posted in: Troubleshooting, Windows XP About the author: Vishal Gupta (also known as VG) has been awarded with Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) award.
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.