Implementing WSUS without AD

Posted on 2006-11-27
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2009-04-28

I have been tasked with implementing WSUS in an environment where I will not have access to AD.  Since I cannot rely on GPO, is there another way to add multiple workstations to WSUS (script maybe) without configuring each workstation manually?

Thanks in advance,

Question by:iptrader
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 18022227
Edit the registry as per: http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsServer/en/library/b23562a8-1a97-45c0-833e-084cd463d0371033.mspx?mfr=true


Manipulate registry settings on the SUS client computer
If all else has failed, you can attempt to manually manipulate registry settings to get the client computer to self-update to the WSUS client.

 To manually manipulate registry settings on the SUS client computer
 1.  Click Start, and then click Run.
2.  In the Open box, type regedit and then click OK.
3.  In Registry Editor, navigate to the WindowsUpdate key by expanding the following:


If the WindowsUpdate key does not exist, do the following:
4.  On the menu, click Edit, point to New, and then click Key.
5.  Type WindowsUpdate as the name for the new key.
6.  Double-click the WUServer setting, type the URL to your WSUS server, and then press ENTER.

If the WUServer setting does not exist, do the following:

On the menu, click Edit, point to New, and then click String Value.
7.  Type WUServer as the setting name.
8.  Double-click the WUStatusServer setting, type the URL to your WSUS server, and then press ENTER.

If the WUStatusServer setting does not exist, do the following:

On the menu, click Edit, point to New, and then click String Value.
9.  Type WUStatusServer as the setting name.
10.  Navigate to the following:


If the AU key does not exist, do the following:

On the menu, click Edit, point to New, and then click Key.
11.  Type AU as the name for the new key.
12.  Verify that the UseWUServer setting has a value of 1 (0x1).If it does not, modify it by double-clicking the setting and then changing the value.

If the UseWUServer setting does not exist, do the following:

On the menu, click Edit, point to New, and then click DWORD Value.
13.  Type UseWUServer for the setting name.
14.  Navigate to the following:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\Auto Update
15.  Enable and configure Automatic Updates through Control Panel:

Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Automatic Updates.
16.  In the Automatic Updates dialog box, specify download and installation options, and then click OK. Make sure that Turn off Automatic Updates is not selected.
17.  Ensure that the AUState setting has a value of 2 (0x2). If it does not, modify it by double-clicking and changing the value.
18.  If the LastWaitTimeout setting exists, delete it.
19.  If the DetectionStartTime setting exists, delete it.
20.  At the command prompt, type the following, and then press ENTER to stop the Automatic Updates service:

net stop wuauserv
21.  At the command prompt, type the following, and then press ENTER to restart the Automatic Updates service:

net start wuauserv
22.  Wait approximately 6 to 10 minutes for the self-update to occur.

Then do a backup of the registry key and roll out the other clients (double click on .reg file created)

Expert Comment

ID: 18022318
MS Technet Article Describing Registry Entries for non-AD enviroments:


As far as getting these applied to multiple computers, I suppose the syntax in a vbs script would be this:


'begin script
Dim objShell
On error resume next
' Registry key
strRegLoc = "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate"
strKey = "AUOptions" 'key you'll be creating
strValue = "3" 'value within new key
'write new key and value
Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
objShell.RegWrite strRegLoc & strKey, 1, "REG_DWORD"
objShell.RegWrite strRegLoc & strKey,_
strValueLocal, "REG_DWORD"
'end script

I haven't been able to test this out so apologies if it doesn't work....But that would be something similar to what you are going to use.

Expert Comment

ID: 18022403
If you're not worried about loosing information currently in GP on each client, there is still a easy way to do it with GP.  On a Windows client, setup the policies you would like to implement.  All of this configuration is kept in copy the C:\%systemroot%\system32\Group Policy.  If every client PC is running the same OS, you can write a batch script to execute at logon.  If they're not, you'll likely have to do it manually creating a "master" Group Policy folder for each OS.  You would copy the Group Policy folder to the system32 folder, overwriting the existing one.  In XP run 'gpupdate /force' from the command prompt, Windows 2000 will require a reboot (or manually apply the policy).  After this you run 'wuauclt /detectnow' to for Automatic Updates to force a detection cycle and have the client report to the WSUS server.

This is how I implemented WSUS in my NT environment.  I didn't do it by script, but had the help desk run around for a few days instead.  The "master" group polocy folder minimized the number of errors they could make.
Get real performance insights from real users

Key features:
- Total Pages Views and Load times
- Top Pages Viewed and Load Times
- Real Time Site Page Build Performance
- Users’ Browser and Platform Performance
- Geographic User Breakdown
- And more

LVL 51

Accepted Solution

Netman66 earned 2000 total points
ID: 18023105
Throw this into a .reg file.  Run it on your workstations.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

"WUServer"="http://FQDN of WSUS server"
"WUStatusServer"="http://FQDN of WSUS server"


Change these lines to your WSUS server:

"WUServer"="http://FQDN of WSUS server"
"WUStatusServer"="http://FQDN of WSUS server"


Author Comment

ID: 18041119
Netman, your solution worked well.  Thanks for your help!


LVL 51

Expert Comment

ID: 18042463

We used our primary WSUS server for many non-domain connected PCs - we found this quick and dirty reg hack worked pretty nicely too.  It takes the work out of it.



Featured Post

Free learning courses: Active Directory Deep Dive

Get a firm grasp on your IT environment when you learn Active Directory best practices with Veeam! Watch all, or choose any amount, of this three-part webinar series to improve your skills. From the basics to virtualization and backup, we got you covered.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

The HP utility "HP Lights-Out Online Configuration Utility for Windows Server 2003/2008" could be of great use when it comes to remotely configure a HP servers ILO WITHOUT rebooting the server. We would only need to create and run scripts using thi…
Organizations create, modify, and maintain huge amounts of data to help their businesses earn money and generally function.  Typically every network user within an organization has a bit of disk space to store in process items and personal files.   …
In this video we outline the Physical Segments view of NetCrunch network monitor. By following this brief how-to video, you will be able to learn how NetCrunch visualizes your network, how granular is the information collected, as well as where to f…
If you’ve ever visited a web page and noticed a cool font that you really liked the look of, but couldn’t figure out which font it was so that you could use it for your own work, then this video is for you! In this Micro Tutorial, you'll learn yo…
Suggested Courses

777 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question