Windows Update Failing on New Dell Server 2012 R2

I have starting transitioning customers from older Server 2003 servers to new Dell Server 2012 R2 boxes.  I am now on the 2nd server installation and am having a very frustrating time getting the Windows Update process to do anything other than waste my time.  It takes approximately 15 minutes to get a list of the updates for the new server - that's not so bad.  However, when I try to download and install the updates the update process simply does not work.  The Windows Update window simply says that is is downloading updates (about 1.4 GB total) but NEVER goes past 0% (even overnight).  I've been trying to Google this problem but I don't believe I've hit on the magic answer.

I've always had good results with Experts Exchange assistance and am hoping that someone has run across this problem and has a definitive cure so I can get these updates done and then continue with the server configuration.

Ben Askew
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Mohammed KhawajaManager - Infrastructure:  Information TechnologyCommented:
Try this:

net stop wuauserv
net stop bits
cd \windows
ren softwaredistribution softwaredistribution1
net start bits
net start wuauserv
iba10753Author Commented:
Thanks, Mohammed.  I will arrive back onsite tomorrow morning and will try your suggestion.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
In addition, look also at the Windows Update Troubleshooter site.

It may come up with a fixit for your server.

Also try the Windows Update Readiness tool.
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Cliff GaliherCommented:
15 minutes to scan for updates on 2012 R2 is pretty darn long.  I'd strongly suspect a networking issue or even a server hardware issue.  When a scan takes that long, it isn't unreasonable to believe that the actual download will take exponentially longer.

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DonNetwork AdministratorCommented:
I would create a WSUS offline Usb/DVD and use that to get new server installs up to date. It's much easier and faster.
iba10753Author Commented:
Ordinarily, if this was my only network to administer I'd probably do that.  However, as a one-man shop with over 40 customers I just don't have the hours to work with.

iba10753Author Commented:
Well, folks, mea culpa.  I was using a DNS address that was somehow not good enough to handle the Windows Update process.  I had not set up the DNS role on this new server yet so I was using one of the DNS servers on the network and it just wasn't working properly.  As soon as I reconfigured the NIC properties with the DNS servers from our internet provider.....everything worked perfectly.  If I had the time, I would change things back and try to figure out why the other local DNS server (with proper forwarders) was keeping the WU process from working.

Although I'm awarding Solution status to Cliff Galiher because he brought up his notion that it might be networking or hardware issues, I wanted to thank everyone for their input.  Seeing all the other hopeful suggestions at least kept me from getting really frustrated overnight.

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Windows Server 2012

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