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The WSUS support thread

Discussion in 'General Software' started by qubit, Sep 8, 2011.

  1. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    This thread is for all things WSUS (Windows Server Update Services). Discussion, installation questions, problems all go here.

    What is WSUS? It's basically a big file cache for all your Windows/Microsoft updates, so all your updates are only ever downloaded over the internet once. Instead of getting your updates directly from Microsoft whenever you reinstall your operating system, you point Windows to your local WSUS server instead. This makes downloading the multi-gigabytes of updates way faster using your internal network and also saves your internet bandwidth, which is often metered and limited.

    Note that it requires Windows Server to run. I recommend running the latest Server 2008 R2 for performance, stability and security, if you can. This is a 64-bit only OS. And yes, the server can update from it's own WSUS server too. :cool:

    I've got links to a few resources below and I'll be adding more goodness to this post and the next one, as people make useful contributions to this thread.

    Some WSUS resources to get you started:

    The manual: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd939796(WS.10).aspx

    WSUS home: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/wsus/default.aspx

    WSUS forum: http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-CA/winserverwsus/threads

    WSUS wiki: www.wsuswiki.com


    POINTING WINDOWS TO THE WSUS SERVER

    Note that this procedure is all you have to do on Vista and 7. XP requires a little extra and the whole update process isn't as transparent or efficient.

    - Click the Orb at the bottom left of the desktop aka 'Start' button
    - In the search field enter GPEDIT.MSC
    - In the Local Group Policy Editor (LGPE) console that appears, navigate to: Computer configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Update
    - Double click the Specify Intranet Microsoft update service location Group Policy setting. Note that Not Configured is showing in the State column

    [​IMG]


    - The dialog box opens. Note that the Not Configured radio button is selected

    [​IMG]


    - Enter the server details, by clicking the Enabled radio button and entering the same details in both Options fields. The server's name is the standard Windows name. My server is called afterburner :)

    [​IMG]


    - Click OK. The main LGPE window now looks like below. Note that Enabled is now showing in the State column.

    [​IMG]

    - Close the LGPE window

    - Open the Windows Update window. It should now show You receive updates: Managed by your system administrator

    [​IMG]

    Now, whenever you check for updates, Windows will access your WSUS server instead of looking over the internet to Microsoft's servers.
    If you want to change it back at an time, simply change the Group Policy setting back to Not Configured.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  2. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Reserved for content updates.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
  3. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    At work we use Altiris Agent to push updates and applications but this would work very well for someone that has a small business and uses alot of microsoft products
    Crunching for Team TPU
  4. Bot

    Bot

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    nice, this is a nice service and very useful for anyone with a small network at home or a small office/ home office.
  5. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    Wouldn't it be a bit expensive to use Windows Server at home or with a small office? It's very expensive.
  6. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    It would be, but I got my Server OS using a TechNet subscription for around £200, which makes it awesome value. I can actually use the top Datacentre version of the latest Server 2008 R2 which normally costs thousands!

    Note that you can't use TechNet products in a commercial production environment. Other than that, it's a full retail product with a perpetual licence.

    EDIT

    Here's all the products available with a TechNet subscription:

    http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/downloads/default.aspx
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2011
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  7. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    yeah i've got server 2003/2008R1 from my old technet as well, so this is interesting.


    can it be run in a VMware? i'm thinking that could be useful.
  8. Bot

    Bot

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    my point, same here.
    i actually SBS 2011 installed, let's run exchange and sharepoint on one box :) wsus is integrated
  9. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Yes indeed it can, because Windows Server will run under VMware and WSUS is just a role that can be installed from the server's control panel.
  10. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    interesting... i must play around with this.
  11. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    could someone recommend a *portable* VM i can use for this? thinking it'd be fantastic to slap it on an external HDD, VM it up and use it save a shitton of time when i'm updating half a dozen systems at once
  12. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Sorry to sound like a n00b, but what's a "portable" VM? :confused:
  13. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    meaning if i have it on a USB hard drive, i can move that drive to any machine i want and the VM will start.
  14. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Ah, a bootable one - very handy. I reckon you can, as it doesn't run on top of another operating system, but I don't know first hand, since I've never used it. I tried looking at the VMware website below, but there's a helluva lot on there, so there's gonna be some wading to do to find the right product and the info.

    www.vmware.com
  15. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    no i dont mean bootable, i mean a virtual machine i can run from any host OS.

    be it a netbook, clients machine, or my own server - i just want to be able to carry around those cached updates.
  16. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    In that case you'll want the free version, M. I'm sorry, but as I'm not familiar with the product you'll just have to trawl through that website. They do a bewildering array of products and services, but it shouldn't be too hard to find the free version. Or perhaps google: that search engine has an uncanny ability at finding what you want. :)
    Mussels says thanks.
  17. Bot

    Bot

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    in Hyper-V you can import and export VM's but moving them is a bit tricky especially if you use snapshots. I doubt it will work as you intend it or at least there won't be an easy way
  18. sy5tem

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    i guess you can install vmware workstation on the first insall machine make a small windows 2008 install with wsus and all needed update .. then use vmware players i think its called on the others machine ... " http://www.vmware.com/products/player/ "


    btw today im going to do just that .. because we want to test it first before investing to much money on hardware , im going to use vmware workstation and install windows 2008 + wsus...
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  19. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    let me know how it goes and any problems you run into, i dont have much spare time to mess around with it myself just yet
  20. sy5tem

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    understood , will do :p
  21. sy5tem

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    well i installed WSUS on a virtual machine on my home pc for testing ... pretty strait forward only thing is that the SQL server goes crazy on memory while synchronizing and updating ... mine went up to 8GB i don't know if it does this on first time only ? will see with usage...
    i installed 2008 on 1 VHD and i install all the update on another VHD that i can resize if needed, for now WSUS is telling me that it as downloaded 80MB of 69GB "on install i choose ALL windows flavour .."
  22. tritron New Member

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    I am runing two server 2008R2, exchange 2010. So this will come in handy. How do you push updates to all pc at home ?
  23. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Just set each one up like in the procedure I describe in my OP. :)
  24. sy5tem

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    update on my install, i ad everything working inside a VM with 2 disk , when i moved it to the local vm machine WSUS would not work anymore , something do to with database error, sadly have not found a way to tell WSUS where the database is ....
    on the new machine its still in the root of d:\ this as not changed so i don't know why WSUS can't connect to his database :(
  25. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    I'll see if I can look at my setup later and help you out. :) It should be possible to go into the WSUS configuration panel and change the database that it connects to. I can't remember off the top of my head.

    In the meantime, you might want to look at the Microsoft manual that I pointed to in my OP, for a faster resolution.

    EDIT: I looked at the WSUS configuration (Options) window, but there doesn't seem to be a way of changing the database connection there. It might be a case of having to reinstall it each time, or doing it a different way. More digging is going to be required. :)
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011

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