Windows XP/download block


QUESTION: Microsoft update is turned on but it refuses to download updates.  I have gone to to try to download and gone around in myriad circles trying everything.  I did a major system restore a few days ago which may have something to do with it.  Trying to download service pack 2 or 3 I get the ridiculous message that internet explorer 8 has blocked the download for 'security reasons'  How idiotic is that when I am on the Microsoft site?  I have turned off the Avast security and the microsoft firewall to overcome this but that doesn't work.Is Microsoft so hungry they are refusing to support explorer 8 so I will buy one of the newer ones?  I have also been experiencing a refusal to shutdown in a reasonable time.  I can do it with task manager but it takes it's time.

ANSWER: Clem, sounds like your Windows XP OS requires verification by Microsoft. Go to the Microsoft website: for instructions. After verification, you should be able to download updates to Windows XP - which Microsoft continues to support.

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QUESTION: microsoft activation support is worthless.  I went there and per the advice went to programs accessories, system tools and there is no "activate windows"  talked to HP in India and they referred me to a 49.95 special who was going to access my computer to do it. It would seem all Microsoft and HP care about is selling new stuff.As a side issue isn't it cute HP and no doubt others have prevented adding ink to their lovely expensive cartridges with some sort of built in counter???%^&*(() Is there any hope to resolve this or do I have to throw away this perfectly good computer and buy a new one to satisfy HP and Microsoft?

Clem, refilled HP ink cartridges with counters can be used on your computer. See the page:
for instructions.
This page says that: An HP ink cartridge can easily be refilled to cut down on costs, but the obstacle is getting the HP printer to recognize it. The ink cartridge needs to be reset so the HP printer can recognize it as full. When the HP ink cartridge is properly reset, you can continue to use it to print. One method is to cover the cartridge contacts, because these are used to gauge the ink levels. Another method uses several empty cartridges. Both allow you to refill the cartridge to save money.

Try manually downloading and installing Windows XP SP3:
This page says that: If you have problems obtaining the service pack from Windows Update, you can download SP3 as a standalone installation package from the Microsoft Download Center website, and then install SP3 manually.

TIP: Google searches are sometimes useful in finding information on computer topics.

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Carl Johnson


I can answer most questions concerning Windows XP. I am very interested in helping others to keep their older computers running since they can perform well if properly maintained. I am not a software or systems expert but usually can help with program applications problems also.


I am an experienced computer user and an IBM retiree who specialized in computer hardware design and manufacture.

Bachelor and Masters degrees in electrical engineering.

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