We have been hearing reports from some customers who use WSUS that they have been having trouble accessing their administration consoles. We have confirmed the cause of this issue and fixed it on our servers, which will automatically fix the issue for most customers on their next synchronization cycle. This post will explain the issue in detail and provide steps customers can take to get WSUS working again even sooner.
The cause of this issue is that, on Sunday evening, Microsoft renamed a product category entry for Forefront to clarify the scope of updates that will be included in the future. Unfortunately the category name that was used included the word Nitrogen in double quotes (appearing as “Nitrogen”). A double quote is a restricted character within WSUS, which created an error condition on the administration console. This issue occurred on many WSUS servers that synchronized with Microsoft servers between 5pm Sunday and 11am Monday Pacific Time.
We renamed the category to eliminate the double quotes on Monday morning at 11am after investigating and validating the problem. This will fix the issue for any impacted WSUS server the next time it synchronizes with Microsoft’s servers. We are also improving our publishing tools to make sure that issues like this are caught during the publishing process, before they impact customers.
It’s important to note that WSUS customers whose servers did not synchronize during this time, or end users connecting directly with Windows Update, Microsoft Update, or Automatic Updates are not impacted by this issue.
Impacted WSUS 2.0 or 3.0 customers that did synchronize their servers during the 18-hours the renamed category was live follow one of the steps below to wait for, or address this issue depending on thier WSUS version and UI access:
1. Wait until the next scheduled synchronization time for the fix to apply automatically
2. If the administration console is operational, perform a manual synchronization in either WSUS 2.0 or 3.0
3. If the administration console is not operational on WSUS 3.0, force a manual synchronization through the WSUS configuration or “OOBE wizard” following these steps:
a. Go to Program Files => Update Services =>administrationsnapin=> run microsoft.updateservices.ui.oobewizard
b. Select next through screens 1-2
c. Select synchronize from Microsoft update (3rd screen)
d. Select next through 4th screen
e. Click “Start Connecting” (5th screen)
f. After connection and synch are complete – either cancel out of wizard (or complete)
4. If the administration console is not operational on WSUS 2.0, force a manual synchronization by running a batch file much like this sample from the command prompt:
REM Important: This sample script would work only in a WSUS 2.0 environment
REM This sample script causes the WSUS server to sync from Microsoft Update or its parent WSUS server.
REM This sample script should be run from the machine where the WSUS server is installed.
FOR /F "tokens=3" %%i in ('reg query "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Update Services\Server\Setup" /v SqlServerName ') do SET WSUSSQLSERVER=%%i
SET STARTSYNCOSQLCMD="%programfiles%\Update Services\Tools\osql\osql.exe" -E -S %WSUSSQLSERVER% -Q "USE SUSDB; BEGIN TRAN; EXEC dbo.spStartCatalogSync; COMMIT TRAN"
echo Running %STARTSYNCOSQLCMD%
We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused to our customers, and encourage anyone still experiencing difficulties to contact Microsoft support at http://www.support.microsoft.com.
WSUS, Sr. Program Manager