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Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Error When Trying to Install WSUS on Server 2008

Due to one of our server's operating system corrupting on us, we had to rebuild it with a fresh install of Windows Server 2008 R2. This server amongst other things ran Windows Server Update Services for our entire network.

We got everything reinstalled and working fine from scratch until it came to installing WSUS.

Everytime we tried to install the "Windows Server Update Services" role it would fail almost immediately with the following error.

"The update could not be found. Either the update is not applicable to this computer or the update no longer exists. Verify that the update still exists and is applicable to this computer from your WSUS server or Windows Update."

We found that the only way to fix this was to delete the following registry key and then restart the "Windows Update Service."

We exported a backup and then deleted this registry key using Regedit:


It seems that the registry key for WSUS was already on the server, (not sure why, remember this was a fresh install of windows, NOT a repair.) When WSUS was installing it needed to pull down the latest version from windows updates. Because this registry key was there it was looking at itself for the updates, thinking it was already a WSUS server... Screwy eh! Anyway deleting this key forced Windows to look to Microsoft for the files it needed and after that all was good.

NOTE: We kept the database files (SUSDB.mdf and SUSDB_log.ldf) for the old configuration which were located in the \WSUS\UpdateServicesDbFiles\ directory. Once WSUS was successfully installed we cancelled the configuration wizard without completing it, closed WSUS and replaced the new database files with the old ones.

To do this we had to stop the following services:
  • Windows Internal Database Service
  • Update Services
  • Windows Update
  • WSusCertServer (Not started as I had not run the Wizard.)
If these services were running then the database would be in use and would block us from overwriting the files.

Once all this was done, our entire WSUS configuration was back as before and we just ran a manual synchronization to ensure everything was running smoothly.

Don't forget you will need to install Microsoft Report Viewer Redistributable 2008 to view the reports in WSUS.

Jobs a gooden!


I did find afterwards that Windows update KB940518 must be installed to make the Windows Server Update Services role available in the first place. Particularly on Windows Server 2008 R1. If you have not yet got a WSUS server in your environment then Windows Update should sort this out for you.


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