Thanks for your input-it is appreciated.
I attempted to rename the file as suggested, but it woudn't let me.
I decided to try a full system scan (as opposed to the recommended quick scan) with the Malwarebyte tool, and it found 3 trogan programs that the quick scan did not.
Afterward, I was able to access the MSUpdate page and got all the stuff missing for this system.
I can't say yet whether or not it is running any faster yet, will have to evaluate for a few days. Initial startup seems still to be slow and clicking start>all programs>.... seems still to be horribly slow. I will decide to try a highjack this log post depending how things are in the coming week. Running on the internet seems to normal, as in moving from page to page, the load time is acceptable.
I can't definitely say if changing the filename worked (or in my case, just touching that file since it didn't rename) but it did encourage me to do the full scan, so your input was very helpful!!