WSUS Cleanup Issue

I have a number of SBS servers which are running low on disk space.  The primary culprit is the WSUS content folder.  I have run the WSUS cleanup wizard on 5 servers recently and NEVER got a successful completion.  On every server, I received a database error.  On some, I left it running for days.

In all cases, I recognize that I probably should have been running the wizard more frequently,  Is there any way to clean up the database and content directory when the wizard won't work?  

Is disabling WSUS and then deleting the content an option?  Most of the servers support a relatively small number of clients.  Automating the update process is not significant.  My primary motivation is to free up space, but I do not want to make my SBS environment unstable.
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Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
Yes you can disable WSUS and then delete the content

•Under Options - Update Files and Languages, Remove the check box for download Express Installation files (This is optional recommendation depending on your environment).
•In the Options - Products and Classifications, select only the needed products.
•On WSUS console- decline all approved updated which were either installed or not applicable.
•Delete the WsusContent Folder.
•Navigate to the C:/program files/updates services/tools on the WSUS server
•Run WSUSutil.exe Reset

Also once you get it back up running run a script to automatically clean I run it once a week see the script below

I use a batch file

both work if you want the batch method let me know

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David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:

This is a common problem. If its the first time you've ran the cleanup then it often doesn't complete the first few times.  This is normally because of the size.  Once it fails, restart the 'Windows Update' Service and re-run the cleanup.  Do each cleanup option one at a time.

If you edit the WSUS Settings as suggested above you will break the link between WSUS and the SBS Console...
jspazianoctoAuthor Commented:
Thanks to both for your responses.  I am currently attempting to run the cleanup wizard again, doing one task at a time.  The first task (deleting unused updates) has been running for almost a day.  Is there any way to see if any activity is taking place?  There is no activity on the progress bar.

Also, would breaking the link between SBS console and WSUS affect the stability of SBS?
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David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:

I tend to presume that it's doing something. I've had a server stuck looking like it's doing nothing for days before. It eventually either finishes or crashes.  Also, the first option is normally the longest to complete.

Altering the WSUS config via the WSUS console won't affect the actual running of SBS. It will just mean that you will have to do all of the future WSUS changes from that console and not via the SBS console.

I.e you won't be able to accept new updates via the SBS console etc.
jspazianoctoAuthor Commented:
Sorry to be a bother here, but I have left the cleanup wizard running for a couple of days now and there does appear to be very slow progress.  Unfortunately, I noticed that overnight disk space has dropped from 50 GB to 20 GB.  I'm assuming that this is being caused by the cleanup, as nothing else is running that should take up space that quickly.

I wound up cancelling the update, as I cannot afford to run out of space on this production server.  

if it is the cleanup causing the free space issue, is there a way to recover my lost space?  I will be replacing the server in the next week, but would like to keep running until then.

Thanks as always for the great assistance.
Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:
If your not worried about the DNS console then my method will clear the fb faster

If you need the sbs console but what I understand is that you are replacing these servers so why worry about sbs console
But if you are then uninstall wsus restart server the reinstall wsus

How many computers you have on the network

They all will need to run wuauclt /resetauthorization /detect now

Then restart the windows update service this will add the computers back to wsus
jspazianoctoAuthor Commented:
There are only 15 computers on the network.  Given the fact that we will be replacing the server as soon as the new one arrives and abandoning SBS, I am not terribly concerned about the console.  I am also comfortable doing updates manually for a couple of weeks.  However, it is critical that I keep Exchange running for the next two weeks.

As a further example of my frustration with the WSUS Cleanup wizard, I cancelled the task two hours ago, but still have not seen it close.  

I do realize that I probably created the problem by not doing regular cleanups.

if my intention is to not re-enable WSUS on this server, can I just take the simple step of copying the content to an external drive or possibly simply deleting the content?

Again, I GREATLY appreciate the assistance of both of the responders here.
David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
Hello again,

Have a look at the below link relating to other methods of reclaiming disk space in SBS:

This runs through other tasks that you can do to safely clean logs etc.  Some of the log files in SBS can grow to be massive.

In the SBS Console there is an option to move the WSUS Content to another drive - If you have another partition that has free disk space then this may be the quickest way to resolve this.
(Open the SBS Console> Click the Backup and Server Storage Tab> Click Server Storage Sub Tab> Click Move Windows Update Repository Data wizard from the right hand side)

I do feel your pain in relation to the WSUS Cleanup - I've found it to be tedious..
jspazianoctoAuthor Commented:
Thanks again for the assistance.  I actually moved the repository a while ago from the C drive to the E drive and did some of the other recommended cleanup work from that blog.  My log files, Exchange data, SQL data, etc. are now on E, which is almost full.

Unfortunately, I do not have another drive with free space on that server.  Can I move the content to a network share or does it need to reside on the server?

I copied the content to an external drive last night and disabled the Windows Update service.  I just need to get through a week or two until their new server arrives.
David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
How much free space do you have on the drives now?
Thomas GrassiSystems AdministratorCommented:

No WSUS does not support network shares

But you can get yourself a external usb drive and mount that on the server move the content folder to there

I would run the cleanup process more frequently also
jspazianoctoAuthor Commented:
I have 21 GB free on the E drive.  18 GB free on C drive.  WSUS content folder is 155 GB.
David AtkinTechnical DirectorCommented:
If you're no longer using WSUS then delete the content folder.  Make sure the services are stopped first.

You will have to reconfigure group policy to get your clients to download from Windows updates, otherwise you'll get an error when they try and check the update server.
jspazianoctoAuthor Commented:
I would like to thank again David and Thomas for being willing to work with me on this issue.  Great feedback and do appreciate having someone in my corner.

Thanks again to both of you.

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