“The update could not be found” – Error When Trying to Re-install WSUS on Server 2008

I came across an unusual error when re-installing WSUS on one of my Server 2008 boxes.

Basically, I completely screwed an install of WSUS and it was just easier to rip it out and re-install it, because it was a downstream server anyway.

The uninstall went fine, but when I tried to re-install it, I got this error…

The update could not be found. Either the update is not applicable to this computer or the update no longer exists. Either the update is not applicable to this computer or the update no longer exists. Verify that the update still exists and applicable to this computer form your WSUS server or Windows Update. Verify that the update still exists and applicable to this computer form your WSUS server or Windows Update.

Turns out that because this server was using itself as it’s update server, it can’t re-install WSUS because it can’t check with the WSUS server for updates… Awesome.

It’s a relatively quick fix though – Just delete “HKLMSoftwarePoliciesMicrosoftWindowsWindowsUpdate”, restart the Windows Update service (wuauserv) and then you should be good to go.

EDIT: I’ve come across another (probably more common) scenario where this error occurs…

When installing the WSUS role for the first time, you need to either approve update KB940518 on an existing WSUS server in your environment, or just install it from Windows Update if you don’t already have a WSUS server – This makes the role available for installation on Windows Server 2008 machines.

KB940518 only adds the role to the available roles list in Server 2008, and does not contain the actual install files for WSUS. Therefore, if you have an existing WSUS in your organisation that your new potential WSUS server reports to, you need to ensure that you have selected Windows Server 2008 Server Manager – Windows Server Updates Services (WSUS) Dynamic Installer) (and ideally Windows Server 2008 Server Manager Dynamic Installer) under Products and Classifications, otherwise you’ll get the error above.

You could also delete the registry key I’ve mentioned above and then check for updates, but this will obviously go out to the internet to download the WSUS installation package, rather than from your existing WSUS server.

HINT: The C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log file contains logs for Server Manager when it attempts to search for updates for roles. These lines commonly include the string “[ClientId = Server Manager]”

34 thoughts on ““The update could not be found” – Error When Trying to Re-install WSUS on Server 2008”

  1. These suggestions seemed viable but did not work for me. The error kept showing up. Finally I noticed WSUS SP1 had “failed” status under Windows Update so I decided to try installing SP1 first and, to my surprise, it launched and began installing WSUS as well. When done, Update Services was listed as a role already added under WS2K8 Server Manager.

  2. Hi Mario,

    The WSUS 3.0 SP1 installer is actually the full install of WSUS 3.0 with SP1 included, therefore running that manually on your Server 2008 machine will have worked in the same way as it would on Server 2003.

    When the install is completed, if you have KB940518 installed Server Manager will detect the installation of WSUS 3.0 SP1 and mark it as installed as a role.

    Out of curiosity, did your server have a connection to the internet at the time when you tried installing WSUS as a role, and was it pointing to an existing WSUS server?

  3. I ran into this error today and though your solution didn’t fix the problem, I thought I’d share my experience.

    You will also receive this error message if the windows update service is disabled, simply start the service and WSUS will install.

  4. I ran into the same issue. I already have a Windows Server 2003 with WSUS 3.0 SP1 installed, and was adding a secondary server, which runs Windows Server 2008. The installation process was continuously failing.

    I ran into this blog post, and narrowed it down to the inability to get the required update package from my WSUS, because it didn’t have the following two products marked as valid in Products tab in WSUS Products and Classifications dialog:

    Windows Server 2008 Server Manager – Windows Server Updates Services (WSUS) Dynamic installer
    and
    Windows Server 2008 Server Manager Dynamic Installer

    After adding those 2 as valid classifications, I had no problem installing the WSUS on the new server.

  5. Thanks Mat – deleting the key and restarting the update service worked a treat. No re-boot required either!

  6. Pingback: Cant install WUS
  7. My problem was that I got error 80072ee2.
    WSUS failed installing many times.
    I have 2 NICs (wireless & wired) so I had to disable the one which was not using internet, to get it to work.
    Have been strugling for 2-3 hours.

    I hope somebody helps this!

    Good luck in your journey! 🙂

  8. It worked for me.. and i have 2 NICs….. there was an old 2003 SBS server with WSUS that had the same name as this in the past.

  9. Another Problem could be, that you have a GPO active, regarding your WSUS Server searching for Updates on it self. After deleting of the GPO my Re-Installation worked fine without deleting Registry Keys.

  10. Thanks for the help. I helped me fix my issue. It seems whenever I delete the folder it will keep coming back with the old update server. So I launched the local policy and noticed it was configured there. So I removed the settings and deleted the folder from registry again then the install worked perfect.

    Thank You!

  11. Hi,

    You saved my day. WSUS machine was pointing to another WSUS in the same domain via GPO so that is why it couldn’t download the update. After removing the registry, it worked like charm. So the tip is, when installing the WSUS, block the GPO which will point to another WSUS.

  12. PERFECT!

    I have a WSUS server that took a dump and had to uninstall and reinstall. I had already found that key from advice on another forum and deleted it but I still could not reinstall the role. Restarting the update service was the missing key.

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