#1 What is the error message you get that says you cannot install updates?
#2 Is that message the same for both PC?s? If you have shared files between the two machines you may have spread a Virus, Trojan, Worm, etc.. between the two machines.
#3 You say they are both about a year old. Has Windows update ever worked on either machine? If yes when did update stop working and did it happen to both PC?s at or around the same time.
We really need more specifics to help you.
Here is a hint before you post a reply unless you are sure that the answers to the above 3 questions are the same. Run Windows Update on each PC and record the Message ?exactly? the way it reads for both.
Them come back with that and any other info you can think of.
One last thing.. Have you tried to use XP Restore feature?
I have two Sony Vaios. a desktop and a notebook, both just about a year old. The desktop has Windows XP Media Edition, the notebook, Windows XP Home Edition. I cannot get any Windows updates on either computer. The Windows Update page shows all of the critical updates including SP 2 and other Security updates, begins to download, then reports "failed" for each. I am at my wits end because some programs won't run without the updates.
I would appreciate any not-too-technical help you can give me. I am not comfortable going into registry and other system change procedures.