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A few Vista problems

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Hey, everyone,

I've come to realize in my google-ing that there isn't a whole lot to be done for a couple of my type of problems, but I'm hoping you guys can help me out!

Ok, here's the shortlist:

Problem 1: Windows defender takes forever to allow me to run something. One time I waited an hour before the little "Allow" or "Cancel" option popped up

Problem 2: Windows update has this problem:
Code 80070490

Problem 3: I have a few problems stemming from the missing dll called vssapi.dll
Also, I know for a fact that problem 2 is directly related to a missing dll: vssapi.dll. I know this because I have tried one or two "solutions" (they didn't work for the other people, either) by googling problem 2, and when I try to work through them, I get the vssapi.dll is not found error message. This also prevents me from creating or using a restore point, backing up my disk, performing a chkdsk function from the command prompt, etc.

Problem 4
: the display driver in my computer keeps freezing up, so it is constantly failing then restarting, especially on bootup after it gets to the desktop. I usually have to wait ten minutes longer than I should because my screen keeps going to black for a few seconds before coming back.

Problem 5: I really don't care as much about this problem as the others, but...
Firefox can't update:
There were problems checking for, downloading, or installing this update. Firefox could not be updated because:

AUS: Update XML File Malformed (200)

Yes, I do realize that I can probably download the latest updated version, but then when I try to install it, I can check the mail, eat a sandwich, play a game of basketball, take a nap, and feed the dog before Windows Defender will even give me the OPTION of choosing to let me install the dang thing (see previous problem).

Problem 6: HijackThis is jacked up
"For some reason your system denied write access to teh Hosts file. if any hijacked domains are in this file, HijackThis may NOT be able to fix this.
If that happens, you need to edit the file yourself. To do this, click start, run and type:
notepad "C:\Windows\System32\drivers\etc\hosts"
and press Enter. Find the line(s) HijackThis reports and delete them.
Save the file as "hosts." (with quotes), and reboot.

Then, after I got that message, another one popped up:

An unexpected error has occurred at procedure: modMain_CheckOther1Item()
Error #75 - Path/File access error
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