I'm running Windows XP home edition SP2, and I've always been able to download updates automatically. For the last two or three months that doesn't happen anymore, so I've started trying to go to the Windows Update website (or using the link in Help an Support). In both cases it tells me first that it's checking to see if my computer has the latest version of the Windows Update software installed, mentioning ActiveX controls etc. Somewhere during that checking process it gives an error. "Microsoft Help and Support Center has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience." Or "Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience." (Depending on which app I used to access the update site.) The information about the error is as follows: AppName: helpctr.exe AppVer: 5.1.2600.2180 ModName: wuweb.dll ModVer: 188.8.131.529 Offset: 00018003 It also creates the attached file. I've tried clearing the cache. I've tried using Firefox (it just closes without warning at the point where IE crashes). I've tried accessing the update service about 15 times. No luck. Can someone please tell me what is broken and how I can fix it? Is there a magical place where I can download an executable version of the Windows Update software? Any help will be greatly appreciated!