I think I have found a solution on the internet, I will sum it up shortly because the description wasn't that accurate, my description will be more accurate with additional information about what I think might have happened, but first a little story what I wanted to do today: Today I wanted to try and install Service Pack 3 for Windows XP dutch version (NL). This was not possible because Windows Automatic Updates was required by the Microsoft website to be able to download it and windows automatic updates is malfunctioning, so that became a short attempt. Then I decided to look into the matter/problem some more... I came across what seems to be a solution, the solution is: First stop windows automatic updates. (Via Control Panel/ Administrative Tools/Services) (ConfiguratieScherm/Systeembeheer/Services) Then open Windows Explorer/My Computer/This Computer and open the following folder: CWindows Inside that folder is another yellow folder called: SoftwareDistribution. Rename this folder to for example SoftwareDistribution(Old). (right click to get pop up menu with has the rename option). Then start windows automatic updates again. Then go to windowsupdate.microsoft.com or simply update.microsoft.com It will now simply redownload the web controls for automatic updates I think... and it will make a new folder called SoftwareDistribution. This folder should then only be 5.81 MB big or so... The strange thing is that the old folder was 600 MB ?! Furthermore the windows update site says that hundreds of patches were not/never installed ?!? Is it maybe confused... because the old history is now gone (via the old folder rename) or were they never installed because of maybe some stupid anti virus product or some other problem ? For now I guess windows update is simply confused and the patches were installed. So far so good. I will now attempt to skip over these 100's of patches and instead install service pack 3 which seems a smart thing to do... the 100's of patches are for sp2 only probably... and that's old... installing those patches could conflict with sp3 very maybe... So first sp3 and then i'll attempt another update to get the latest patches for sp3. And hopefully then this computer will start to work better again, hopefully flash 10.x will install... and hopefully the computer can then be considered "saved" and secure/updating again and running smoothly again. This have to re-install everything would be way too much work for my taste ! including the backup and restoring of stuff bleh Could take days to do such a thing... Therefore hopefully this sp3 will do the trick and keep ths computer running for a while (I also contacted microsoft support... but I probably won't be needing that... oh well...) I'll return with another post to let you know how it went... Bye, Skybuck.