Yesterday evening Windows Update crashed telling me 2 updates had failed to install.
After rebooting IE no longer seems to support Javascript or any plugins (Flash, Java, etc. all fail), HTML Help no longer works, popups don't pop up (that's often nice), etc.

Is there any solution to this except reinstalling Windows from scratch?

I'm running Win2K pro, already tried reinstalling IE from the original installer telling it to overwrite everything but that had no effect.

When trying to look at Javascript errors I get "Error 58, unable to load DLL".

If you go to Microsoft's website, they actually have a download called Windows Script 5.8. Simply reinstalling that has solved many an error like this for me.