Windows update failing
So after replacing the C: drive with a cloned copy, everything has been just fine and it is about four months later. I have moved into a new place, set up the machine and used it a lot. What I did not realize is that Windows Update has not been working at all since the drive replacement, and as far as it is concerned, the machine has never been updated. Of course it has been updated to Service Pack 1, but there is no Windows Update database, and it cannot even check for updates. Lots of web research and trying some things, but nothing works. One forum comment is that updating Intel Rapid Storage Technology fixed it for him. So I went to the Intel web site and used their automatic driver update stuff. This updated the chipset drivers, but, it turns out, not Intel RST. Another forum pointed directly to the RST download page, and I did a complete install of the full set of software. Voila, Windows Update now works and there are 58 important updates to install. Incidentally, another thing that did not work is Windows Messenger, but I never tried to use it before, so I didn't know. The RST update also fixed this. Currently running 10.8.0.1003.
Update after a little more web research: OK, so now I know why. When I replaced the C: drive, it was with a bigger (1 TB) drive that has a feature called "advanced formatting," which results in physical sector sizes of 4096 bytes. Of course, I had no idea I was doing this until I read this web page. Installing the latest version of RST fixed the problem because it appears that it includes the only drivers that consistently do the right thing with these new advanced format drives.
Update after update: The whole update is done and things seem ok. It installed kb971033 again, and I uninstalled it again and hid it; this should keep it from installing when I am not looking. See Uninstalling KB971033 for an explanation of KB971033