If you have had this problem from new it has all the hallmarks of a software program which has been installed by the manufacturer. ( the usual rubbish they install on new machines to temp you to purchase more programs)
It looks like a non functioning machine as a result. I have just installed todays updates without drama so I think it's a your machine issue.
My advice is to reject the machine on the grounds it has never functioned correctly or at the very least get the retalier to fix it for you. This does not sound like an issue with Vista itself.
What make and model is it?