I recently replaced my old workstation with a new Dell Precision Workstation 330 Pentium 4 system preinstalled with Windows 2000 Professional, and now I'm experiencing some odd problems with the Microsoft Windows Update feature.

After I initially booted the machine and configured the system for network access, I updated the system's version of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) to IE 5.5. After I rebooted and logged on with my network-based account and roaming profile, I tried to run Windows Update. But when I got to the Product Updates section, I received a message that a problem existed and that I couldn't view the list of updates because I'm not an administrator or because my Internet zone security settings are too restrictive (e.g., higher than the Medium setting). I double-checked these settings and clicked Try Again over and over, to no avail. Is my Windows Update feature permanently broken?

I've run into this problem before, and it's usually resolvable. The problem happens because your network-based roaming profile indicates that you've run Windows Update before and have already downloaded the ActiveX control that the site uses. Because you're logged on to a new machine on which the control doesn't exist, Windows Update gets confused and fails.

To resolve the problem, log on with the machine's local administrator account and run Windows Update. The feature should prompt you to download and install the required ActiveX control. Click OK to download the control to your new machine. Now, you should be able to use your regular domain-based user account to log on, and Windows Update should work properly. (For more tips about using Windows Update, see "Daily Answers," Winter 2000.)