Is the system's time, date and year set correctly ?
What is the edition of windows and what service pack level ?
Error 80072EFF is related to Update server closing the connection.
Mosty likely, the computer may be infected with ROOTKITS.
Try to run TDSSKILLER to find any rootkits.
Download and run from here
Also, suggest that you scan your computer using MalwareBytes' to remove any traces that may still be present.
MalwareBytes Anti-Malware (MBAM)
This worked for “ windows can't check for downloads..”
The free version of
MBAM is an on-demand scanner and offer no ' real-time ' protection. Keep installed and use it as '
second-opinion ' scanner.
0x80072EFF = ERROR_INTERNET_CONNECTION_Reset
you may encounter temporary connection-related errors when you use windows update
microsoft update to install updates:
A general fix, *IF* there's no *malware* issue, would be to reset the updating components: how do I reset windows update components?
the most effective way to employ the above Fixit is to download, *save* it, configure the system to clean boot, then run microsoft Fixit 50202.msi, and first choose the default mode. restart.
See if the system can update now. If no joy, run it again with the system connected to the internet, in the aggressive mode. restart.
See if the system can update now.
Then UNdo the clean boot steps and see if it can search for updates in normal windows mode.
How to configure windows XP to start in a clean boot state
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