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WSUS and Basic Home Computers

Is it possible to use WSUS (Windows Server Update Service) with basic home everday computers? I have looked around and have found suggestions to edit the local registry but the registry entries that have been suggested don't seem to exist on regular computers (ones running Windows XP Home, Media Center, Vista, etc...)

Sorry if the question is vague, I'm not sure how else to explain it at this current moment.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
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AlphaWolf13
Asked:
AlphaWolf13
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3 Solutions
 
kortinaCommented:
WSUS is really designed for domain workstations (WinXP Pro).

You then use Group policy to configure all of the domain computers
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AlphaWolf13Author Commented:
I understand that, but do you know if it's possible to use it for regular workgroup computers instead of domain workstations?
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marsiliesCommented:
You can use WSUS on non-domain computers. You'll need to edit the registry on those PCs directly:
http://www.wsus.info/index.php?showtopic=7542
http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-1035-0.html?forumID=101&threadID=306762&messageID=3055273&tag=content;leftCol

However, the WSUS server needs to be running on a server version of Windows, so Windows Server 2000, 2003, or 2008:
http://www.wsus.info/index.php?showtopic=7374&view=findpost&p=29062

Here's an article on installing WSUS onto Windows Home Server:
http://usingwindowshomeserver.com/2009/03/06/extending-windows-home-server-with-wsus-updated/
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PeteJThomasCommented:
I haven't looked at the links so I may just be repeating what's already above, but I believe all that's really necessary for machines that don't have gpedit.msc (like XP home), you need to edit the following keys:

HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU - You need a DWORD key in there called: "UseWUServer" with a value of 1.

Then edit the keys:

HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate - REG_SZ Key in here called WUServer, value should be http://<WSUSServerName> (where you substitute that for the actual server name).

And again for HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate - Reg_SZ key called WUStatusServer with the same value as the previous key.

That basically tells the computer to use a WSUS server in the first place (the first key mentioned), and then specifies which server to use.

You will also need to be able to resolve the server by name to use the above method, so just create a hosts file entry with the WSUS server name and it's IP address.

I see no reason why that shouldn't work!

Pete
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Donald StewartNetwork AdministratorCommented:
From technet
Configure Automatic Updates in a NonActive Directory Environment
 
The registry keys all mentioned above dont exist until you create them, they are policy keys normally created by Local or Group policy.
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AlphaWolf13Author Commented:
I have been playing around with this all morning, I'm still working on the first few responses, but when I have more of an update I'll let you know.



P.S. I am very unfamiliar with WSUS so I'm learning that as I go along too!!
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PeteJThomasCommented:
No problem at all, if you have any questions along the way, feel free to ask and I'm sure one of us will be around to answer! :)

Pete
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Donald StewartNetwork AdministratorCommented:
Here's a great Step by Step WSUS guide to help you along
 
http://blogs.microsoft.co.il/blogs/yanivf/archive/2007/09/23/install-wsus-3-0-step-by-step.aspx 
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AlphaWolf13Author Commented:
I'm hoping I have this set up correctly. Attached is my reg file to update local registries.

I don't see anything really happening on the system when I use the command

"wuauclt.exe /detectnow"
or
"wuauclt.exe /resetauthorization /detectnow"


Under the WSUS console menu, it seems to detect the computer, and realize it needs update. But it doesn't apply them. What I have just did was go to update that have "failed or are needed" and approved them all then synchronized with microsoft server. Is it that WSUS won't download the updates till it detects a computer that needs the updates?
Wsus-Update.reg
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PeteJThomasCommented:
One key file you should refer to for additional troubleshooting information, is C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log - This log file will contain ALL the info on what the AU client is doing when it attempts to update.

So, to give us a nice clear picture of what the client is doing, please do the following:

Stop the WU (windows update) service.
Rename the file C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log to something like C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log.old.
Start the WU service.
Run the command "wuauclt /detectnow"
Wait 60 seconds, then post that log file.

This should cause a new log to be created, that will contain only the relevant information from the most recent update attempt, and thus should allow us to review exactly what this client is doing very easily, and hopefully identify where it's going wrong.

HTH

Pete
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Donald StewartNetwork AdministratorCommented:
Take a look at the approval process.

check the health of your server using the command wsusutil checkhealth

it's located in c:\program files\update services\tools folder

The results will be in your eventvwr under application source wsus

You can verify client settings with the clientdiag tool<<<run on clients
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AlphaWolf13Author Commented:
Here's the log for the test computer that I'm trying to update. I did a quick look on there, and it looks as if it's properly detecting the computer, but not scheduling the updates till 6pm?

Tell me what you think.



Also, I checked wsus with the "Wsusutil checkhealth" and it states that WSUS is working correctly,
I also did the ClientDiag tool and it verified it's working/detecting wsus correctly. So it seems (just a guess) that the automatic updates are detecting the updates, but not installing them/downloading them till a specific time. Whether WSUS is set up that way, or the computer itself I'm not sure.


Also, might be unrelated but while running the management console, whenever I try to look at updates, the server node crashes... I think I might try and reinstall WSUS to see if that clears it up.




Also, thank you for your help guys, sorry it's taking so long for this!!!

WindowsUpdate.log
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Donald StewartNetwork AdministratorCommented:
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AlphaWolf13Author Commented:
Yep, have all the pre-requisites. It just started the crashing issue recently.

I'm trying a fresh install again to see if that fixes that. I also made some changes to the WSUS reg fix file to see if that changes a few things.
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AlphaWolf13Author Commented:
Alright, I managed to get it to stop crashing. The MMC file for WSUS must have gotten corrupt. I deleted the entry for it under my profile and now the Update window is working properly again.


When I get everything set back up I'll post an update.
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AlphaWolf13Author Commented:
Alright, another update. I got everything set back up, and one of the issues I had run into was that the clients weren't detecting any updates through WSUS... Though WSUS said both clients needed roughly 100 updates...

So it took me about an hour to figure out that WSUS was in the process of downloading them, but I thought that occurred during "synchronization" which I was mistaken.

So I'm letting it sit for the night, and once the updates are all downloaded I'll throw another update. Though it seems like my issues are most likely resolved...


I will assign points once I verify everything is working. Thanks guys!
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Donald StewartNetwork AdministratorCommented:
Here's a good place for most WSUS question/answers


http://www.wsuswiki.com/WSUSServerFAQ
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AlphaWolf13Author Commented:
A combination of responses helped me correctly get WSUS working. Thank you all for the help!!!
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AlphaWolf13Author Commented:
Alright, thanks to everyone that helped. I verified today that it's working properly!!!!



Woot, now on to the next task =D
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Donald StewartNetwork AdministratorCommented:
You're welcome
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