I installed Windows XP SP2 on a Virtual PC drive and ran Windows Update. It wanted to immediately update to SP3 but the update failed so I downloaded SP3 and installed it manually.
Then Windows Update wanted to do 18 more updates but they also failed. The error was:
Problem: A problem on your computer is preventing updates from being downloaded or installed
There was no error code number. I ran across a posting with a solution. I copied these statements into the clipboard and then pasted them into a command prompt window. A bunch of "Succeeded" popups displayed and I OK'd them....