|"Problem sorted. The issue was with another missing driver file - ipsec.sys."|
So you fixed the problem of not having an internet connection on the subject computer ?
If so, we're glad to hear you solved the problem !
"No idea why sfc didn't pick up that this was missing ..."
SFC /SCANNOW checks for missing or corrupted "essential" system files, and replaces the ones it finds are missing or corrupted . What it considers to be "essential" Microsoft doesn't specify.
It certainly does NOT check for all system files that came with whatever version of XP, without any Windows SP updates, or with Windows SPx updates.
I have used SFC /SCANNOW many times, and usually using it does NOT fix the problem I was having in XP.
When you use it in 2000 or XP, there is no log file you can look at after SFC has run, but there is one when you run it in Vista and Windows 7.
ipsec.sys file information
"File ipsec.sys is a trustworthy file from Microsoft."
Apparently, sometimes ipsec.sys has been infected by malware.
Trojan Horse Agent_r.BCA
If an anti-malware program detects that a file is infected but it can't remove the infection from a file such that the original file is restored to what it should be, it either deletes the file, or it moves it to a "virus vault" or similar. If Windows doesn't automatically replace it after Restarting Windows (which it can do for a small number of files), then that file is no longer in Windows
Do you still have this problem ?
" I've also just noticed that I cannot open the Management Console - wanted to see if all services were running - and I get a 'sorry for the inconvenience' message..."
If yes, which console ?
Computer Management ?
Administrative Tools ?
Did you notice that AFTER you had installed the SP3 updates, but not BEFORE you had installed them ?
One of the most frequent reasons for having problems AFTER having installed SP3 updates is this....
NOTE that sometimes the resident module(s) of anti-malware programs - a part that runs all the time scanning for suspicious activity - will interfere with the proper installation of third party software, or major Microsoft updates that cannot be installed automatically by Automatic Update, the software will not install properly, and you may get no indication of that at all while installing the software.
To avoid that possibility, you should always DISABLE the resident module(s) of anti-malware programs, BEFORE you install third party software (software other than most Microsoft Updates, etc., that did not come with Windows ), especially when it's a major or complicated software package.
E.g. if you are using the free or paid version of AVG, you should disable the Resident Shield in AVG's 's settings in Windows (in AVG 2012 that's done under the title AntiVirus). In Norton (Symantec) products, there may be several things you need to disable, or set so they don't load for a specific short amount of time.
If you don't know how to do that, tell us which anti-malware software you are using.
When you are sure the software has installed correctly, re-enable the resident module(s).
How to disable your security applications
If you DID NOT do that, un-install the SP3 updates (if you left the files intact that are necessary to be able to do that, you will be able to un-install them in Add or Remove Programs), disable your resident modules, and install the SP3 updates again.
It's a good idea to un-install IE 7 or 8 BEFORE you install the SP3 updates, and then install IE 8 AFTER you have installed them. If something goes wrong with IE 7 or 8 that requires that it must be un-installed, you will NOT be able to do that after the SP3 updates have been installed, if IE 7 or 8 was still installed when you installed the SP3 updates.
Running a Repair installation of Windows procedure, for XP, often called a Repair install, will NOT delete the data that you have added to the same partition Windows itself was installed on
Running it has fixed a lot more problems for me than running SFC /SCANNOW has, however, running it can't fix all problems either.
It's worth trying running it because it takes less time to run the Setup originally did. You will know, usually in less than a hour, whether running it has fixed your problem
See response 10:
Scroll down to:
"- If that doesn't help, you can try running a Repair installation of Windows"
Also - if you have the mboard's bios Setup set to have the SATA drive controllers in SATA or AHCI (or SATA RAID) mode....
See this (the same applies for the Repair installation or Windows procedure).....
Installing XP and SATA drive controllers, SATA drives; the SATA drive controller bios settings.
See response 2: