I was able to manually download and install most of the previously mentioned automatic downloads.

I am left with 2 that cause the "remove hardware safely" hot plug to disappear from the task bar.

They are
1. Security Update for Windows XP (KB951748)
2. Update for Windows XP (KB951978)

I tried installing them separately and both installations cause the green arrow icon to disappear. Any clues? Do I need these updates?