Well that was a pleasant surprise! I had a problem with my PDF creator on the main PC – it worked fine on all the other PCs on the network, but not the one I use the most. Every time I tried to create a pdf file, it threw up 'cannot load options' error message. Reinstalling it didn't seem to help.
A quick search round the 'net revealed that it was a common problem – something to do with the 'XML Parser' (even I don't know what that means!!) and I needed to download the following file and run it.
The good news was that it solved the problem instantly. The BETTER news was that (maybe) coincidentally, it also cleared up my three-year-old problem of the PC not being able to download windows updates (pretty important!); live messenger not working and live sync refusing to install.
Err, I think that's what they call a 'result'!