I installed the 8.0.298.000 update to ZAISS.
After installing the update on a Vista Home Premium SP1 laptop, when WindowsUpdate downloaded and installed the batch of Critical Updates, ZAISS once again reported errors with Antivirus, Antispware and Program updates with the familiar 'unable to contact update server'.
Subsequently, I followed GeorgeV's (guru) procedures to resolve the problem.
I have followed the procedures exactly, but still receive 'unable to contact update server'.
To summarize my four attempts to fix the issue:
1.
Reset ZAISS 8.0.298.000 from the tray icon.
After a reboot, problem still persisted.
2.
Used ZAISS 8 'clean tool' to uninstall, including deleting Internet Logs, etc.
After a reboot, did a reinstall, automatic configuration, full scan,
reboot.
In Safe Mode, did a deep scan wtih no problems found.
Rebooted to Normal Administator-equivalent login.
'Unable to contact update server' error still persisted.
3.
Downloaded a fresh copy of 8.0.298.000 to a new directory.
Download the standalone 'clean tool'.
Unchecked 'load a startup'.
Rebooted, did a clean tool uninstall using the fresh copy of the clean tool, rebooted.
Did a clean install, automatic configuration, rebooted to Safe Mode.
In Safe Mode did a deep scan with no problems found.
Rebooted to Admin-equivalent login.
Problem status unchanged.
4. Finally, followed GeorgeV effective steps procedure, same as Step 3.
Download the suggested CCleaner and did the default Registry Scan and cleanup.
Did the Clean Install of ZAISS 8.0.298.000 with automatic configuration, reboots, etc.
As suggested,
manually added all the Microsoft Programs and Services not automatically discovered by ZA, and confirmed ZA Program Files settings had Green Checks on everything suggested by GeorgeV.
Ensured my Router root IP, ZoneAlarm, ZoneLabs, Microsoft key web sites are in Firewall Trusted Zone.
Did the Safe Mode reboot and Deep Scan, no trouble found.
ZAISS 8 automatic discovery on and Green check still OK.
After confirming ZAISS 8.0.298.000 was exactly configured as suggested, did another reboot.
However, Preference Program Update Check and AV/AS Update Check still give 'unable to contact update server' errors.
ZA and Windows Security Center both report AV/AS signatures are out of date.
Windows Firewall is NOT enabled, but ZAISS 8 IS enabled.
Only other tools on PC are Windows Defender and Google Toolbar.
The 'unable to contact update server' error occurs whether Windows Defender is on or off.
Web connection is 5MBps WPA2 WiFi LAN to 8MBps Linksys Router and Scientific Atlanta Cable Modem, running Internet Explorer 7.
BTW, error occurs even with hardwire ethernet connection to Router.
Let me know if you need additional configuration information or clarification of the troubleshooting procedures I have followed.

Operating System:Windows Vista Home Premium
Software Version:8.0
Product Name:ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite