Hi thanks for the suggestions, sadly nothing worked.
Let me try and explain a bit better what actually happens.
I visit the Windows Update site and it searches my PC for the updates - of which there are 38 currently to install. So I click "Install Updates" and up comes the download dialog box, it proceeds to try and download the updates but after each one it comes back and says "Failed". There are 2 which are always successfully downloaded, but then on the subsequent install of these updates they return "Failed". The error number is 0x80070003.
If I try and download the updates manually, one by one by number, they download to the desktop no problem. Then I click on the file to open it, it does so and I accept the license agreement - it proceeds to install but then returns "The specified path cannot be found".
Strangely, a couple of updates have actually downloaded when I have used the website, but the same 38 have remained since the first time I visited the update site back in January - they refuse to download!
Microsoft have suggested deleting the softwaredistribution folder from the Windows folder, disabling Cryptography services and Automatic Updates in services.msc, also deleting the CatRoot2 folder from System32 amongst other things but they seemed to suggest the same things over and over again until they lost patience and told me to take it to the place I bought it. Sadly, that place is in a different country to the one I'm in now! I've scoured the web for information but cannot find anything that works.
Incidentally I AM using a genuine version of Windows XP, I regularly clean my system of Malware/Spyware, I also defragment and have an up to date Virus scanner running constantly in the background. So I look after my system so I'm sure there are no viruses or other nasty things in the system that may be causing this problem.
Thanks for your time!