I was referred to the Vista forum by 'nasdaq' from the malware forum. After working with the PC, he stated that the system contains no malware that is preventing updates.
I'm working on a Vista 32-bit PC which won't accept any updates. Windows Updates appear to be stuck - any updates are rolled back with the error of them "not being configured properly".
I tried running the Windows Update troubleshooter and it immediately popped up an error "Troubleshooting cannot continue because an error has occurred". Next, I followed the instructions to disable startup programs & services (clean boot) and then install the update - it failed with an error code of 80070BC9. So far, searching for fixes for that error code have led to failed attempts.
When I try to install SP1 manually, I get a message that "the installation cannot proceed until your computer is restarted". After I restart and try to install SP1 again, I get the same restart message (ie: loop). I've tried to do a 'sfc /scannow' at the cmd prompt in various places, but it basically states there "is a system repair pending which requires a reboot to complete" (ie: another loop).
I also ran the update readiness tool and that did complete without errors, but the outcomes above still apply.