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Dial-a-fix allows Windows Update to succeed

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Some fellow Nerds were discussing the problem of Windows Updates having patches that refused to install, Nerds Todd Myles and Barry Ball suggested Dial-a-fix

I had been having the same issue with an install of Small Business Server 2003, so I decided to try this out. It worked quite well and took very little time. A great utility.

Below are the screen shots showing the blow-by-blow. Read the rest of this entry »


Written by scottledyard

2007, August 15th at 7:19 pm

Posted in Win Srv 2003, WSUS

WSUS Continued

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All updates applied late last night and it’s a new sunny day with the light glimmering through the ice on the trees. So before I head out for a nature walk, lets try this WSUS (is this pronounced “wuss”?) again.

First off, there is no indication that it’s been added by looking through the Admin Tools. Let’s add that MMC 3.0 update label obscurly enough WindowsServer2003-KB907265-x86-ENU.exe Even when you run it, there’s no mention what it’s doing. The KB 907265 article does have this note:

How to enable the new Add/Remove snap-in dialog box
Note The registry settings that are listed in this procedure to enable the new snap-in dialog box are optional. The old snap-in dialog box works fine if the new one is not enabled by using these registry settings.
1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
2. In the left pane, locate and then click the following registry subkey:
3. On the Edit menu, point to New, and then click Key.
4. Type UseNewUI as the new name, and then press ENTER.

Course I had to do the regedit. There is a marked difference. It’s no longer a two step:
Notice that I’ve added the Update Services snap-in. That indeed is a new option since it’s not on redboot69. Seems like you can only add to Console Root. Wait, what’s that Advanced… button?
Ok. I think I will allow changing the parent snap-in. Now you use a snap-in called folder to add a folder. Odd! Still can’t see how you’d add another root node. Nor give “Folder” a new name!:
Aha! After you close this Add dialog, you can rename the folder, the Console and save it as an .msc file. This is an improvement, though there are some snap-ins, like GP Mngmnt, that need a whole screen and don’t lend themselves to being confined. Here’s how I’ve laid out the MMC with some common snap-ins, with the WSUS selected:
Now to add the ReportViewer (which is actually called ReportViewer.exe). Done. Why do I get the feeling they could have used a PDF reader. We’ll see…

Now to try the WSUS. A lot on the screen, I notice at the top about Options.
Holy cow! Do we have OPTIONS!:
You’d think it would be time to crack open the documentation, but wait… The LAST one is the WSUS Server Configuration Wizard which does all of them. Let’s try it…

Okay, I just clicked Next and accepted all defaults and now it’s trying to connect to the Upstream Windows Update server. It’s trying… I’m waiting… I’ll getting a snack… Kinda strange, it doesn’t say it’s done, but the Next button becomes active.

Choosing what products to include was thought-provoking. Not sure what some of these things are. Proceeding to change synchronize every day around 1 am. Then next gives me:
Guess I’ll have to start thinking about these things.

I looked at the synchronize screen and it had one success and then a failure. When I try a manual sync I get an error in 5 seconds. Can’t figure out why. The Step-by-step guide says that any firewall must be open to outbound 80 and 443 which of course is no problem. If I try to ping the listed sites (like or even I get no response (though it’s clear that DNS returns to IP). Apparently MS does not allow pinging as I get a response when I type these into IE.

Turns out this issue was mentioned in the last day or two on the forum I unchecked Office 2007 and clicked to manually sync and voila! Off it went. My disk lights been glowing ever since. Speaking of disk, right now the E:\WSUS folder is at 203MB and gaining a MB every 10 seconds.

The system speed is much slower. sqlserver.exe was using 165MB of memory and wsusservice.exe was using 43MB. (Total is 512MB) and were using a fair number of CPU cycles, too. Trying to change the process priority to below average was not allowed. System Idle Process was typically using ~75% of the cyles.

I wasn’t sure which updates to check since I was concerned that if I checked a classification that I didn’t need to, I’d be downloading gigabytes of junk. One type that I avoided was Update Rollups.
Turns out there is a almost Y2K issue with Daylight Savings Time being change this year. Most systems that accomodate DST hard coded the 1st weekend in April. But legislatures changed it to March. That’s going to screw up a lot of timekeeping devices. What’s this got to do with WSUS? Look at this recent post in from the WSUS blog:

Hi WSUS Admins – Just a reminder, the DST update made available to your WSUS servers today (KB931836) is classified as an update rollup so AU and SMS/ITMU pick it up too. For WSUS that means, you’ll want to make sure either to modify your auto approval rules (if you use them), or remember to approve this update manually.

So, I’ll need to check the Update Rollups (I think my mom used to make those) in order to get them automatically. Note the note in the image above, I can’t change classifications during a sync.

Written by scottledyard

2007, February 14th at 9:50 am

Posted in Win Srv 2003, WSUS

Update on the intranet: WSUS RC 1 setup

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Yes, it’s patch Tuesday and what better time to investigate the yet-to-be-release Windows Server Update Services.
I found a blurb on this in Technet. It didn’t say much, so I went over to MS and turns out you have to apply and go thru a survey to be considered. They considered me worthy and I proceeded to download the code and documentation. When I tried to see the keys, they said there were none. Hmmm.

Trying to install, it says I needed IIS installed. So I did this and restarted. It says I should have MMC 3.0 and Report Viewer Control. I didn’t know there was an update for the former and can’t say I’ve heard about the latter. No suggestions were offered as to how I might obtain these. It seems to be letting me proceed. I looked and found these on the MS site and am downloading them (Patch Tuesday is a real slow time to try and download from MS!)

Next, it wants at least 6GB of space to store updates for client computers. Wouldn’t you know the server I’m setting this up on has the least disk space of them all, but I’ve got 13GB on a volume I can spare. I’ll let it default to E:\WSUS.

Now it want SQL Server installed or needs 2GB to setup an embedded version of SQL Server. I’ll let it do that in E:\WSUS (again, the default.)

NOW it’s getting into the IIS thing. (I was hoping to minimize the screenshots since I’m running the server over Remote Desktop, but was surprised to see that an Alt-PrtSc actually work pretty well.)
I’m leaving this as is for now. It went thru a setup for many minutes and finished successfully. Still when I clicked OK, I got a major error:
Could be it because the other user is doing Win Updates at the same time? I’ll finish those and reboot the server.

Written by scottledyard

2007, February 13th at 10:12 pm

Posted in Win Srv 2003, WSUS

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