It is odd. I am beginning to think that Windows Update is fairly defective.
I install a clean Windows 7. Not cracked (this time). I connect it to the internet and just hammer the "check for updates" button.
It dutifully downloads a load of old crap and tried to install it.
20 were successful.
5 failed (2 were due to not owning an extended support license so I am ignoring them).
Now I am wondering why a clean copy of Windows with zero third party software would fail on 3 important updates. I also wonder what sort of non-deterministic, half installed state some of those updates left my system in.
Completely unfit for purpose. And Windows 7 has been around for many years now. More than enough time to make things work.