After some reading, I elected to look at the disk ACHI controller drivers. My MB is an old ASUS P7P55 series. I was current on the drivers from ASUS but went to the Intel site for drivers compatible with my chipset. Windows balked at my selection but, after installing the Intel version, I have been able to get Windows Update to function. This has something to do with Intel "iastor.sys", I believe. Further testing will be needed to see if one issue is fixed but if more have been created.
Here's an odd one. I've recently cloned my mechanical hard drive to a Crucial SSD using Acronis True Image 2016. Since that time, I cannot use Windows Update and get an error that the service is not running. As far as I can tell, I need two services. One is Background Intelligent Transfer service and the other is Windows Update service. Both are configured for delayed start. I have Windows Update configured to check automatically but not download or install. If I go to Control Panel/Windows Update, I'm greeted by a red X warning me to always the latest updates. When I attempt to check manually, I'm told the services aren't running. Now comes the kicker. If I clone the SSD back to a mechanical drive, Windows Update functions normally without intervention. I can download and install any updates, reboot as needed, and all is well. If I take that newly updated mechanical drive and clone it back to the SSD, Windows update returns to failure state. I do have KB982018 installed which was an enhancement for advanced format disks such as SSDs...or so I understand.
So, for now, the workaround appears to be to first clone the SSD to a mechanical drive, perform any needed updates, and clone it back. Before I take the drastic steps offered by other sites, has anyone here encountered this issue and have suggestions on how to fix it? TIA