Help! I was trying to update my friend's computer and have run into some real trouble. Some of this is from memory since the computer seems to be unusable right now.
I was asked to check her laptop, which is a Dell Vostro 1500 running Windows Vista Home Basic 32-bit. She was getting error messages and couldn't update Windows. She is not tech savvy and I'm sure this is the operating system that the laptop came with.
On startup I got an error message Host process for windows services stopped working.
Windows update was not working. I don't remember the exact message, but nothing happened when I clicked Check for updates. Below was a message about "more free software from (null)" After googling, I checked for the services Background Intelligent Transfer Service and Windows Update. Both had a status of "started."
None of the running processes in task manager seemed suspicious. I download MalwareBytes and BitDefender free. Their scans found nothing so I was hoping malware was not the problem. I removed McAfee Security Center that was expired, Go To Assist, Google Toolbar and restarted.
I downloaded Vista Service Pack 1 (computer -> properties showed no service packs installed) from the Microsoft site and ran the file. It started updating and I had to leave. When i came back, the computer was at the login screen. When I put in the password, I got the popup "An unauthorized change was made to windows. Windows has discovered a change that will result in limited functionality. Use the link below to find out how to fix Windows." I clicked "Learn more online" and let it try to validate if Windows was genuine, but I can't get past the "Windows validation in process" screen with the green circle spinning. I've tried this a couple times with the same result.
I don't know where to go from here. Any help would be appreciated.