Noticed that I hadn't been reminded by Microsoft to update for a while, so decided to do a manual check via the "Windows Update" (didn't they change the name to Microsoft Update years back?) icon in the control panel.
Herein, I am met by a red icon with a white cross in it, and offered the opportunity to "search for updates" (note that I am translating from a Swedish Windows 7 setup).
However, when I do so, I am via a pop-up informed that it is "... not possible to search for updates currently, since Windows Update is not running. You may have to reboot."
And, of course, I have.
Other things that didn't work:
1. Googling endlessly for forum threads like this one
2. Using the automated Microsoft Fix software
3. Using a recent large fix-all-update-issues file from Microsoft (which wouldn't even start)
4. Clearing the SoftwareDistribution folder
5. Using several automated .bat-files to various known ostensibly similar issues
The services Event log, Windows Update and Background Intelligent... are all running, and are set as "start automatically".
I would prefer if I did not have to perform a repair install.