The drought is over. There will be no more hours of drudgery investigating Windows Update Agent error codes.
WSUS is used by most Windows admins to patch Microsoft applications and operating systems. Sometimes this does not work because the Windows Update agent (the software installed on each client) is not communicating with the WSUS Server. It’s not really easy to figure out the root of the problem. As a result, Microsoft released a free support tool - the Client Diagnostic Tool – which was designed to do simple configuration and sanity checks on a Windows Update Agent and check if the client could communicate with the WSUS Server. Unfortunately, this tool has not been updated since 2005 and contains some serious problems:
- The Client Diagnostic Tool is a 32-bit only tool; leaving 64-bit systems with no equivalent functionality
- It hasn’t been updated to reflect the myriad of changes that have occurred from WSUS v2 to WSUS v3 SP2 (Aug 2009)
Since SolarWinds Patch Manager directly integrates into WSUS for patching third party applications, we are often asked about Windows Update agent issues. SolarWinds product manager and Microsoft MVP, Lawrence Garvin has written written a white paper on the topic, “Top 5 WSUS Diagnostic Issues Solved” To help IT professionals minimize troubleshooting time, we decided to incorporate all these learned best practices tips into a free tool – Solarwinds Diagnostic Tool for the WSUS Agent. How will this tool help WSUS admins?
- Configuration Validation: The tool will validate key Windows Update Agent configuration values, and identify well-known causes for defective configuration values where possible. For example, if the Group Policy is configured, but not actually delivered to the client system, or the values configured in the GPO are not valid or not correct
- WSUS Server Connectivity: The tool will attempt connection to all key WSUS server resources required by the client, and identify well-known causes for connection failures where possible. Error codes are available from log files, but are very cryptic and require additional research effort. The tool provides immediate plain-language descriptions of what the error is, and what the most common causes and the remediation for that error
To solve for the issues with Microsoft’s Client Diagnostic Tool and to extend WSUS to manage third party patches, the SolarWinds free tool provides a single EXE download for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems x86 and x64, working on the following operating systems: Windows XP x64 SP2; Windows XP x86 SP3; Windows Vista SP2; Windows 7, Windows Server 2003 SP2; Windows Server 2008 SP2; and Windows Server 2008 R2. Download this free tool here.
Author Bio: Denny is the VP of Product Management at SolarWinds. Despite having a Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology and spending some time as a psychology professor, he’s spent the last decade building IT management software, first as a usability engineer and then as a technical product manager. Denny believes that if a company understands its customers and the problems that they face every day, creating products that they can enjoy using becomes simple. Denny is a voracious reader and avid music fan.