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Why does wsus console show thousands of old updates to be approved?

Posted on 2014-07-16
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Last Modified: 2014-07-25
I have an SBS2011 server that has updates managed from the sbs console. Updates are set to automatically approve to level "High" for Client Updates and the schedule is set install every day and restart if necessary.

This seems to be working fine but if I check in the WSUS console in the To Do it shows thousands of security updates and critical updates waiting to be approved. If I review the updates awaiting approval they show as being superseded with a note to say that before declining superseded updates check that the superseding update is approved first. This is impractical with thousands outstanding.

I have run the server cleanup wizard but that doesn't seem to change the status of these unapproved updates.

There is nothing outstanding on the SBS console for updates.

How can I get WSUS to have nothing showing as outstanding too?
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Question by:Milkybar-kid
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 40200432
You should not be attempting to manage updates from the WSUS Console...only from the SBS Console...with few exceptions.   To run the server clean up tool or if a computer is not in the correct group and you need to move it.   On the rarest of occassions, you might need to go into the console to decline an update already in pending by mistake.  Then overnight it should be removed from pending.

How often are you running the synchronization...I don't recall what the default is, but it's best to run it daily.
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Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40201303
you have to approve them, then run the cleanup wizard
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Author Comment

by:Milkybar-kid
ID: 40204051
I have approved them and run the cleanup wizard but the WSUS directory is now very large 64Gb - It was only 36Gb prior to the approvals. I have run the cleanup wizard. The WSUS folder is continuing to grow as we speak.
I have sorted updates by superseded selected all superseded updates and declined them.
What can I do now to stop the system downloading all of these updates I do not need before it kills the server?
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by:Milkybar-kid
ID: 40204875
I seem to have stemmed the downloads by going to Update Files and Languages under options and switched to "Do not store files locally; computers install from Microsoft Update"

This now seems to have the system hung with a message "Cannot save configuration because the server is still processing a previous configuration change"
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Expert Comment

by:Cris Hanna
ID: 40204930
I strongly encourage you to go here http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/gg680316.aspx  Repair Windows Server Update Services.  This is specific  to SBS 2011   Scroll to the section called How to manually recover WSUS and then scroll to Step 4  and verify all the configurations from that step on.    If you have not already done so, install the SBS 2011 BPA.  Make sure to get it up to 1.5
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Author Comment

by:Milkybar-kid
ID: 40205307
Thank you for the link.
I acknowledge your reference to getting to step 4.
But if I follow it as far as step g
In Options, click Update Files and Languages, and then verify that Store update files locally on this server and Download update files to this server only when updates are approved are selected.

This will reinstate the downloading of the files locally which I did as advised by David Johnson and this started the downloading of what I can only assume are ALL critical and security updates in the Microsoft Update catalogue.

How can I ensure in the first instance that the downloads will stop. Should I consider uninstalling WSUS altogether and make sure all updates are deleted before starting the repair?

I can also not get as far as making those recommended settings because the WSUS console keeps saying "The snap-in is not responding"
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Cris Hanna earned 2000 total points
ID: 40205323
How much RAM in your server
How much free space on your C:\?
You might have to do a complete rip and repair...the instructions are in that document

The whole purpose behind WSUS is to control bandwidth and control what updates are installed and when they are installed.   Downloading the updates to the server is the default and preferred method.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Milkybar-kid
ID: 40219915
The server has, given time, settled down. There is probably not enough RAM in there in truth so I am awaiting delivery of maore memory to increase the RAM to the maximum 32Gb on this SBS2011.
I will then follow your advice and do a full rip and repair following your link Cris.
Thank you for your assistance.
[Note to self:] "Listen to the advice of an SBS MVP when resolving problems on a Small Business Server ;)
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