The "Repair" using the XP CD will take the version back to the version on the CD.
I know you're still hesitating about this, but Service Pack 2 will install all of the updates except for about 5 or 6 that have occured recently. It may also fix your connection issue.
Hope this helps.
An XP Repair on Dec. 24 removed all my Critical Updates from Add/Remove. Is this usual?
Since 1:00 AM today, I have not been able to get on WindowsUpdate to bring everything up-to-date again.