I have disabled updates on my PC to give me time to sort out a back-up/disk image.
Fortunately, restarting my PC does not seem to have caused problems.
As to the laptop - followed your first link Fruit Bat (thanks for the links), but it does take me to a download for Driverdoc utility, which after loading needs registering at £30 to be able to download drivers. Since I have tried several times with other driver utilities and failed, I am loathe to fork out without guarantee of success. I then tried the second link and downloaded the system & chipset drivers. This seemed to go OK but halfway through the install process it encountered an unknown error and I had to exit. Tried again and the same thing happened. Not sure where to go from here - except buy an Apple laptop!!
What I can't understand is that if my USB drivers are screwed and mouse and pen drives are not recognized, how come my usb WiFi stick works?