There are less than honest storefronts that install the XP OS (for free?) and don't give the owner the CD, the CD-KEY and COA (Certificate Of Authenticity).
Your comment about returning to the store and auto updates is telling. These installs often disable autoupdate because the checks from microsoft will show the OS is pirated.
When I try to install the Security Updates from Windows Update, I get failed beside everyone of them. My "Automatic Updates" screen is greyed out as well. I cannot turn it on. I have tried to fix it using solutions on sites such as yours but with no success.
I was told to run sfc /scannow and when I ran it it said "Files that are required for Windows to run properly must be copied to the DLL cache. Insert your Windows XP Home Edition Service Pack 2 CD now". I ordered it from Microsoft and re-ran sfc /scannow.
When I put the CD in it says "The CD you provided is the wrong CD. Please insert the Windows Home Edition Service Pack 2 CD into your CD ROM.
It gave me the option of re-installing SP 2 which I tried to do but it says "Installing SP2 - extracting files to Directory : a4b65e1392a70866a3353672df" then "Can't find file I386/update/update.exe"
Is it possible that I am missing this file and that is why the Security Updates are failing and my Automatic Updates screen is greyed out? I can't run "regedit.exe" either so it may be missing.
Do I have to go back to where I bought the computer and get the Operating System re-installed or do you knoe of some other solution.
Any help would be appreciated. Thanks