Monday, 7 May 2007

SBS 2K3 R2 - WSUS 3.0 install experience with some caveats

I took to installing WSUS 3.0 on the SBS 2K3 R2 Premium server that was having the most problems with client updates.

First, one has to make sure to install KB 927891 You receive an access violation error when you try to install an update from Windows Update or from Microsoft Update after you apply hotfix package KB916089a on all of your XP WSUS clients.

Windows XP KB927891 download link (Note, validation required before download).

Note, you may experience the following error:

You do not have permission to update Windows XP.
You will need to be signed into the workstations as the domain admin, even if your user has local admin rights.

Once all of your XP clients are up to date, download the WSUS 3.0 files.

If you are using the R2 integrated version of WSUS 2.0 you will need to leave the settings in their stock form in order for WSUS 3.0 to utilize the R2 integrated features. Essentially, there is no difference in the WSUS setting requirements between versions for R2 integration.

Download the WSUS Server 3.0 files here. Note the separate files for 32 bit and 64 bit architectures.

Microsoft has a dedicated document for installing WSUS 3.0 on the various flavours of SBS: Installing Microsoft Windows Server Update Services 3.0 on Windows Small Business Server 2003 (Page link to download Word document).

Give the above document a read to make sure there are no specific caveats for your relevant server setups.

As always, there may be caveats for installing or upgrading any software product.

From the Microsoft TechNet WSUS: Deployment site on 2.0 to 3.0 upgrades:

Before upgrading from WSUS 2.0 to WSUS 3.0

You should make sure that your WSUS 2.0 installation is in good working order before upgrading.
  1. Check for recent errors in the event logs, problems with synchronization between downstream servers and upstream servers, or problems with clients not reporting. Make sure that these issues have been resolved before continuing.
  2. You may want to run DBCC CHECKDB to ensure that the WSUS database is correctly indexed. For more information about CHECKDB, see DBCC CHECKDB (
  3. Back up the WSUS database.
Um, note that the link in number two above points to a search of Not too sure why that is the case? Just in case, I ran the search on DBCC CHECKDB.

Results of a search for "DBCC CHECKDB" from the above search.

After the download had completed, I ran the install. It ran without errors and required a reboot. Once the server came back up and running, things were seemingly OK.

An observation or two about the SBS 2K3 R2 WSUS 3.0 post install/uprade environment:
  • The Reports & Monitoring page and Update Services pages both would no longer come up instantly.
  • The new WSUS db instance (original MSDE is converted to SQL 2K5 internal) runs one core at 100% when bringing up the Update Services page
  • The time to bring up the Update Services page is quite long - expect a long wait on older servers.
  • The new WSUS db instance takes up a large chunk of memory.
  • We received an MMC error on our first trip into the Server Management Console (only happened once):

The box we installed WSUS 3.0 on is an upper end Pentium D based server. My thought is, given the running of one core at 100% until the Update Services page comes up, older systems will be laboured to run WSUS 3.0. One may receive complaints from clients that things are dogging quite bad on the network if one is managing WSUS during business hours.

To tame the memory issue one needs to run through the osql commands for the SQL2K5 instance WSUS 3.0 creates (from the command line - assume Enter after each line):
  1. osql -E -S mysbsserver\Microsoft##SSEE
  2. sp_configure 'show advanced options',1
  3. reconfigure with override
  4. go
  5. sp_configure 'max server memory',128
  6. reconfigure with override
  7. go
  8. quit.
I like to have the Task Manager on the server showing the running processes sorted by memory used when I run the above commands. The SQL instance will literally drop memory before your eyes if it is already using more than your intended maximum memory setting.

The amount of memory set to the WSUS db instance is arbitrary. Most of our SBS servers have a minimum of 3 GB installed, with the newer ones running 4 GB. Anything less than 3 GB would probably mean a need to curtail memory usage to 96 MB, or even 72 MB depending on server speed and actual physical memory installed. The above 128 MB would be for servers running 2 GB to 3 GB of RAM.

As always, it is important to assess the impact that the changes made by installing WSUS 3.0 will have on our client's particular SBS infrastructure beforehand! And, your mileage will very. :D

The WSUS 3.0 Microsoft Site.

Microsoft TechNet WSUS 3.0 Deployment Introduction.

Previous blog posts on this subject: Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

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