Subtitled… it takes a village, a couple of SBSers and ….well….I happen to know a bit of a back story on this blog post: 

It’s called a bunch of SBSers having “crusty” SBS boxes and all going “hmmm I’m not getting patches, are you getting patches?”  “I’m not getting patches, are you getting patches?” “hmmm, let’s make sure someone knows that we’re not getting patches”.

Now if this was a typical support issue we would google first putting in “just enough” of the error to see what was up.  We’d do a targeted search on google groups to search on the advanced setting to only look at (that’s the SBS newsgroup).  You’d check the blogs, (the MAIN one being and you’d do a search in the KBs on  If it was an issue that had an event error you’d check out   If you were a partner, you’d post into the partner managed newsgroups.  You’d do your homework on a normal issue.  (You might even only handle the issue as a post to the managed newsgroups if the issue wasn’t a critical one to the business.

Since in this case it was something that wasn’t googling, we called Microsoft Product Support Services (now days Customer Support Services) at (usa) 1-800-936-4900. And we described the situation, that we were seeing this, that it wasn’t just a one off (more than one of us saw this so we knew it wasn’t “sunspots”) and got the issue investigated. 

The moral of this story is as follows:

  1. Know how many patches you should be getting on WSUS.  While WSUS 3.0 will make this easier, this KB gives you the info you need to confirm what you should be getting in that WSUS console and whether you have R2 or not, that normal WSUS console is back there for you to scan and check.

  2. Check with others to ensure that what you are seeing is ‘repeatable’.  If something is just on your server, it may be just you. If something is being seen on more than one server, there could be a pattern.  Thus ALWAYS come into the newsgroups asking “Have you seen this?” because you never know when a bunch of you go “Oh yeah, now that you mention it, I have seen that!”.

  3. Call Customer Support.  There would have been NO WAY for me or us to debug this issue.  Thus everytime I tell people with a nasty issue to “call PSS” and they say “What’s PSS?” I know that they aren’t using the resources at hand.  TechNet Plus now has two support incidents.  As a Microsoft Partner you have “Server down” coverage.  CALL.  Post in the Partner Managed Newsgroup.  But do not beat your head against the wall.

Now in fairness, I know that some of you will say “But Susan, calling the Motherships can be painful at times”.  Yes, I know, but doing your homework first by insuring that you have the facts at hand, the issue summarized, and the right attititude can help.  In my case I was put on hold for a smidge back and forth as the person checked with the settings I had and then we grabbed a WSUS reporting tool to see what the issue was.

But bottom line, there would have been no way to determine this in a “community” newsgroup setting.  We had done all that we could do “community” wise to define the issue, we needed the experts.  Calling support was the key.

(and for those of you keeping score, no this issue where Vista machines aren’t pulling all of their patches doesn’t impact normal WSUS installs just R2 ones….yeah yeah… I know.. rub it in…. but in fairness Vista behind WSUS 2.0 isn’t the most optimal set up anyway so WSUS 3.0 when it releases is your better bet anyway)

Edit — added a few more comments about the recommended “research before you call” steps.


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