Having a problem installing Windows Updates from the Microsoft web site on your XP machine? Typically they download but when they actually go to install the message you get says “failed”. If so try this :
1. On the machine with issue, locate and stop the service “Automatic Updates” in Services under Administrative Tools from Control Panel.
2. Locate C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution and delete all the contents in this folder but do not delete the folder C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution, just all files and folders underneath it.
3. Return to Services and restart “Automatic Updates”
4. Re-run Microsoft Updates from the web site. You will need to reinstall the Microsoft Update ActiveX control but updates should now download and install.