Problem: Reinstalled windows XP on a workstation and installed Service Pack 3. Tried to use Automatic Updates and Windows Updates after the SP3 install but it kept on failing. I would get an error stating that “the following updates were not installed” and a list of all the updates appears. No matter what you try, the updates would not work. At first, I uninstalled SP3 and updated my system completely and then reinstalled SP3. This, of course, was not acceptable.
Solution: Found a Microsoft knowledge base article (below) that explains the issue and the solution. Don’t be fooled that they say the cause was because of an update or repair. It can also be caused by a clean install. The version I installed was XP with SP1 so I’m not sure if that had anything to do with it.
Update(7.17.08): Tried installing service pack 2 first and then installed service pack 3 and all seemed well. Not the best alternative to the solution above but worth mentioning.