Can't install updates and "Windows Features" dialog box is empty

If you get an error message when you attempt to install updates from the Windows Update web site, and you also find the "Windows Features" dialog box empty when you try to turn Windows features on or off through the Programs and Features applet in Control Panel, you need to check out KB article 931712, which offers a couple of ways to resolve the problem.

The "Windows Features" dialog box is empty in Windows 7 or Windows Vista, or you receive error code "0x80073712" when you try to use Windows Update