First of all, the following pertains to a Dell Inspiron 1720 laptop running on 32-bit Vista Home Premium, SP2. A couple of weeks ago, it stopped installing Windows Updates at all, and as I write this the number was up to a dozen or more available but not installed, and no matter what I do I can only get a "Code 646 - Windows has experience an unknown error" which tells me absolutely nothing of any value. I've been doing some research, and apparently that code means Windows Update is broken, and needs to be replaced. To that end, I've found the following information on the MS webpage:
1. Article 971058 - How do I reset Windows Update components?
2. Article 949104 - Hot wo obtain the latest version of the Windows Update Agent to help manage updates on a computer
3. Directions titled "Windows Installer 4.5 Redistributable to download Windows Installer
#1 is a tool to effectively clean up and reset WU automatically, with #2 and #3 downloads to reinstall Windows Update and Windows Installer. In #1 it states to use the "default" mode when running the tool, then to use the "aggressive" mode if default does not work. My source told me verbally to simply use "aggressive mode," but now I am curious to know BEFORE I do it what the difference is. What happens in aggressive mode that does not happen in default, and what are the consequences of it afterwards? I am NOT AT ALL COMFORTABLE doing this in the first place, and I DO want to resolve the problem, but I likewise do not want to get myself into a position of deleting files and such and then disabling the laptop and not be able to fix it.
Before I start and go over the edge with this, can someone offer any advice and/or keep me from getting into trouble with it? I am very nervous about doing this.