Reinstall WSUS on SBS

I figured I would create a post on WSUS (Windows Server Update Services) and SBS (Small Business Server).  More specifically I want to talk about the most common issue I see with my customers. The WSUS database grows to a very large size causing a number of symptoms.

  1. The WSUS console disconnects.
  2. The SBS console shows Update status as not available.
  3. The updates tab in the SBS console shows “An error occured while retrieving updates information” for all four update categories.
  4. Clients are not able to connect to WSUS and/or are not updating.

According to the research I have done Microsoft does not limit resources or the size of the WSUS database.  However in practice I have seen that when the SUSDB exceeds 10GB issues start to crop up.  I have found the easiest and fastest fix is to remove and reinstall WSUS.  Below are the steps for SBS 2011*:

  1. Remove WSUS.
    • Go to Control Panel then Programs and Features.
    • Highlight Windows Server Update Service 3.0 SP2 and choose Uninstall.
    • Check all three boxes to remove the database, logs and downloaded updates.
    • Complete the uninstall wizard.
    • If the uninstall fails, see this article.
  2. Reinstall WSUS.
    • Open an administrative command prompt
    • Change directories to C:\Program Files\Windows Small Business Server\Bin\CMPNENTS\WSUS_SP2
    • The install will take anywhere from 2-10 minutes depending on hardware.  To verify the install is complete look for an event ID 1042 in the application event log.  If the install crashes, just rerun the above command again.
  3. Perform the SBS customizations.
    • Click Start, click Administrative Tools, and then click Microsoft Windows Server Update Services
    • In Update Services, expand the name of the server, and then click Options.
    • Click Products and Classifications, and then on the Products tab, verify that all check boxes are selected.
    • In the Products and Classifications dialog box, click the Classifications tab, and then check the following boxes:
      • Critical Updates
      • Definition Updates
      • Security Updates
      • Service Packs
      • Update Rollups
    • In Options, click Update Files and Languages, click the Update Languages tab, choose the option Download updates only in these languages, and then verify that English is selected.
    • In Options, click Synchronization Schedule, click Synchronize automatically, and then, in First synchronization, change the time to 10:00:00 P.M.  Click OK.
    • In Update Services, expand Computers, click All Computers, and then in Actions, click Add Computer Group.  Add the following computer groups:
      • Update Service Excluded Computers
      • Update Services Client Computers
      • Update Services Server Computers
  4. Update WSUS so that it will work with Windows 8 and higher clients.
    • Download the Microsoft update KB2734608.
    • Install the update.
    • Reboot the server.  The server must be rebooted before the first synchronization with Microsoft update servers.  If it is not, then WSUS and clients may require additional steps to repair.



* For the SBS 2008 the steps are the same, but WSUS 3.0 SP2 will need to be downloaded from the Microsoft site.  You can find it here.  Make sure and download the x64 version.

** Now is a great time to move the WSUS database and content repository to another drive.  It will be more difficult to move the WSUS DB later.  To move the location, change the C:\WSUS to another drive.  For example D:\WSUS.  Make sure and change both instances.




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