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Microsoft's Microsoft Update fails to install

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Microsoft's Microsoft Update fails to install

steveh
Whenever I work on a client's system I install three security programs (ZoneAlarm, Avira Antivir & Windows Defender.) Then I run all the critical, appropriate optional and driver updates for whichever MS O/S is running. Often I have to install Microsoft Update option, upgrading from the Windows Update routine, so that all MS products are updated. Today, on an existing client's new laptop, which he's had for a few months before I had a chance to get my hands on it, I tried to install Microsoft Update but it failed with an IE fatal error 0x0500298 (I'm recalling that from memory so the error number may not be correct.) It seemed to occur when the ActiveX was trying to install because that IE popup/dropdown asking to install the ActiveX control would appear and immediately the fatal error message asking to debug or cancel would also appear. If I tried to debug the program would hang then just report the web page couldn''t be found. When I subsequently tried to run a Google search and an MS KB search on whatever the error number was, nothing was found. I reset all the IE 8 settings to the original ones for IE 8 and ran all of the Windows Updates then tried installing Microsoft Update again - all to no avail. The same event occurred. Does anyone know what might be going on?

Thanks in advance for any help.