I do indeed have administrator privileges. I checked everything on that list for which you so kindly provided the link, and it all appears to have been done. An earlier document I read indicated that a registry setting could be to blame. I ran the registry check that was suggested, and it said my registry was set correctly.
The rogue part of me wanted to simply install this Beta version of Windows Vista that I have sitting right here; I KNOW IE 7 is on there. But then the sensible part of me took over and said, "Joe, your computer is runningly perfectly without IE7 Beta OR Windows Vista Beta. Wait until the bugs are worked out and install it when the final version is released in..." And that's when the sensible part stopped because he wasn't sure exactly how far back that release date will be pushed.
ANYWAY, if I can't try IE7 Beta, my world will not end. Heck, I use Firefox 95% of the time, anyway, and IE6 does everything it's supposed to do. In fact, one off-topic comment, if you will permit me a small transgression this once: I noticed that Microsoft Update AND Symantec Security Update can now both be run with Firefox. I believe both previously required IE. It's so nice when corporations start playing nicely together!
Thank you, everyone, for your kind suggestions and warm welcomes to the board. I would consider myself one who has above-average knowedge about PCs (and NONE about Macs), but I'm nowhere near the intermediate or expert levels. That's why it's nice to have YOU guys here for my really tough questions, and trust me, there will be more! And of course I will do my part by reading the board and offering any assistance I can wherever I might be able to help.
Happy holiday weekend, everyone, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!!