I am the senior systems engineer for a major pharmaceutical company. I've been having a problem with several computers (mainly the CEO and President's!) The Windows auto updater is not working. When I go to Windows Update, the "scan for available updates" goes fine, but when it's finished, I click on "Review and install critical updates" and the Internet Explorer crashes every time. Any ideas? I have not found a single thread anywhere that talks about this problem.

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P.S. I have already checked for viruses with AVG 7 Pro, Norton and Stinger. Also I have run Hijackthis, Ad-aware and spybot to no avail.

P.S.S. They both use the latest Sony laptops and take them home with them every night. The only time I have to work on them is during their lunch hour. I don't want to make a big deal out of it but, these computers have never had a single "critical" update installed since they were purchased (4 months ago) and are therefore vulnerable...
There are several workarounds you can try. The first option is to open the C:/Windows/Downloaded Program Files directory and locate the Windows Update Active X Control and remove it by Right Clicking the file and choosing "Remove". Right clicking the files will also give you more information about the file, such as who authored the file, and if the file is corrupt or damaged. After you remove the file, reboot and launch Windows Update. This will install a new ActiveX control, which should resolve your issue. If it does not, consider simply downloading the update files directly from TechNet instead using Windows Update.

This was first published in June 2004

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