Was advised to turn off updates. Did so. Everything still works, at least for now.
Ishmael, you can ask a friend to copy latest Windows 7 Ultimate x86 (or x64) to bootable USB via Rufus. Your amateur tech-savvy friends should understand.
Painlessly update or repair offline using said portable USB stick containing Win7 operating system (OS). The USB backup OS will one day come in handy.
You can even upgrade to Windows 10 Pro with USB containing Win10 if you so fancy.
As dolphin mentioned, it is advised not to disable important cumulative/security updates. Featured/optional updates can be ignored.
If it ain't bust don't fix it