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WSUS folder occupying too much space

sglee
sglee asked
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Last Modified: 2020-10-11
WSUS FolderUpdate ServiceHi,

 I noticed that my server hard drive was running out of space and I learned that my WSUS folder was occupying 446GB (please see the screenshot).
 Recently I "approved" all the updates in" Critical and Security" updates section in Update Services (please see the screenshot) and  I figured that "approving" action caused this situation.
How can I remove some old stuff? or can I move the folder to an external USB hard drive?

Thanks.
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Commented:
Options@Coolie Sheppard
"In Options, you can set it to delete unapproved, failed and older updates." ---> Are you referring to "Server Cleanup Wizard"?
Coolie SheppardSystems Engineer
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Commented:
Yes, the server cleanup wizard is what I'm referring to

Author

Commented:
Windows Update in ServicesI will consider other options, but I need to stop this ballooning folder size.
Can I stop "Windows Update" in Services to stop this folder from growing for now?
Coolie SheppardSystems Engineer
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Commented:
That would stop windows update from pulling directly for that server, however, you'll need to stop the WSUS service so it won't pull down from MIcrosoft.

If its a VM, just disable the NIC and logon to the console.

If you stop the WSUS service though, you won't be able to run the cleanup.
Coolie SheppardSystems Engineer
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Commented:
Also, are you able to add more space to the drive and expand it out?  That will help you momentarily.

Author

Commented:
@Coolie Sheppard
WSUS is running on SBS2011 which is a virtual machine. So If I stop the service, it will stop downloading from Microsoft?

Author

Commented:
@Coolie Sheppard
"Also, are you able to add more space to the drive and expand it out?  " --> No, but I can add an 4TB 3.0 external USB hard drive.
Coolie SheppardSystems Engineer
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Commented:
If you stop the WSUS service, it will stop downloading but you'll lose access to the console.

If you stop the Windows Update service, I don't think it will stop WSUS from downloading from Microsoft but it will stop updates intended for the server from being installed/downloaded.

Author

Commented:
"If you stop the Windows Update service, I don't think it will stop WSUS from downloading from Microsoft but it will stop updates intended for the server from being installed/downloaded." --> I need to do something then.
It is eating up space fast and will run out of space on the hard drive on the server in the next hour or so.
David Johnson, CDSimple Geek from the '70s
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Commented:
what I do is go to the updates tab, show all except for declined and ANY
now I add the supercedence tab and sort on that item
Anything that is superseded I decline I also search for Language and decline all Language Packs

Author

Commented:
WsusContent FolderThis is the folder that is growing as we speak.
Can I delete them all? That way I will buy some time.
Coolie SheppardSystems Engineer
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Commented:
Deleting any folders in use will ultimately break something.  Try removing the default gateway from your NIC so you can still have access to the server but it can't get out and will stop downloading.

Then reboot the VM to make sure all the downloads stop.

Then when it comes back up, run the server cleanup

Author

Commented:
If I remove default gateway from network properties of SBS2011 NIC, can users still access the shared folders from SBS2011 server?
Coolie SheppardSystems Engineer
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Commented:
If they are on the same network then yes.

Commented:
You could expand your current drive or plug a USB drive in and move WSUS content to the USB drive then make any changes you want to do.

Author

Commented:
It finally stopped. I removed DNS IP address.
Now I have time ...
As i understand it, "Server Cleanup Wizard" would take days to do its job?
Coolie SheppardSystems Engineer
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Commented:
Not days.  It'll take awhile though.  Maybe a couple hours.  Keep your eye on the folder and see if you start getting space back

Author

Commented:
@Coolie Sheppard
OK. I will start running the wizard now and report back if I see the progress. Currently it has 47.6GB Free space on the hard drive.

Author

Commented:
I am going with these options first.
Cleanup Wizard

Author

Commented:
Wizard CompletedWizard completed and now I have 55.9GB free.

Author

Commented:
Wizard OptionsNow I am running wizard again, this time, with first two options selected:(1) Unused updates and update revisions and (2) Computers not contacting the server.

Author

Commented:
"Unused updates and update revisions" did not work.
I like to pursue "moving folder" option.
Since this is a virtual machine, I can't attach an external USB hard drive to it. Therefore, I like to move it to a shared folder off another computer on the network like "\\UpdatePC\WSUS" or "\\192.168.1.150\WSUS".
Is it possible?
Coolie SheppardSystems Engineer
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Commented:
If you're going to start downloading updates to a shared folder on the network, just know that it will be going over the network when pulling down updates so it can affect the network performance.  You can change the location by following this:

https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/sus/2008/05/19/wsus-how-to-change-the-location-where-wsus-stores-updates-locally/

Also, since its a VM, if you have available space in the CSV, can you not just expand out the WSUS disk and then in the VM expand out the disk there as well?

If its a dynamic drive you can do it on the fly.

Author

Commented:
@Coolie Sheppard
"If you're going to start downloading updates to a shared folder on the network, just know that it will be going over the network when pulling down updates so it can affect the network performance. " --> I understand. That is the reason I will do it over the weekend.

If I could, I like to move this function to another Windows Server 2012R2 computer that has a plenty of hard drive storage space.
The only problem is that this SBS2011 is a domain controller and I don't know how to move this function to another server.
Coolie SheppardSystems Engineer
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Commented:
If you're wanting to move WSUS to another server, just rebuild it from scratch.  The GPO you have in place for WSUS clients to get their updates from is more than likely using a static IP address.  Just change the group policy to use the different IP address once you get WSUS setup.  Just make sure that the clients are all done doing their installs then you could rebuild and change it.  You can uninstall WSUS from the DC and get all that hard drive space back.

Author

Commented:
Computers in Windows Update ServiceAnther question:
Currently Windows Update Service is running on SBS2011 and I see every single member server and windows 10 computers on the network.
How can I get rid of "Windows Update Service" role from SBS2011 and change the policy so that every single member server and windows 10 computers on the network contacts Microsoft server to download whatever updates available every day?
There are less than 20 computers on the network and it is not worth taking this kind of headache particularly when each computer can  download updates directly from Microsoft.

Author

Commented:
I found this article on Google and it looks good. I am going to try it over the weekend.
http://sangnak.com/disable-wsus-on-sbs-2008-or-2011/

Author

Commented:
I went thru the steps (described in the following link) to disable WSUS function in SBS2011 and rebooted it.

http://sangnak.com/disable-wsus-on-sbs-2008-or-2011/

How do I know if the changes made works or not from both SBS2011 and domain joined workstation computer?
David Johnson, CDSimple Geek from the '70s
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Distinguished Expert 2019

Commented:
if you go to control panel/windows update or settings/windows update and if you don't see get updates from microsoft update and you do get a definition update then you are now using microsoft update and not wsus
Seth SimmonsLead Systems Administrator
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Commented:
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.

I have recommended this question be closed as follows:

Split:
-- 'Coolie Sheppard' (https:#a42869676)
-- 'Adam Brown' (https:#a42869681)


If you feel this question should be closed differently, post an objection and the moderators will review all objections and close it as they feel fit. If no one objects, this question will be closed automatically the way described above.

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