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wuauclt.exe endless restart message

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Old 04-05-2008
 

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wuauclt.exe endless restart message
New Compaq laptop AMD Turion 64 2gb ram.
Upon bootup a small icon appears to the lower right. If you click it, it pops up and says :Restart your computer to install important updates. Windows cannot update important files etc etc.
When you restart the computer the stupid thing is there again. If you stop the service in task manager, it reappears within seconds. If you try to go to windows update, it blocks the connection and says "Restart your computer to install important updates. Endless loop with no way out. If you turn off Automatic Updates it makes no difference.
Is this some sort of virus that has hijacked the wuauclt file? Neither Norton Endpoint or Windows Defender indicate a syware/virus.
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