Posts Tagged Wsus

Exchange and Heartburn

Saturday night (just past) was a nice evening. Nothing to complain about, all going well. Waking early Sunday morning I noticed my iPhone was not connected to the Exchange store at my office (ActiveSync).

I remoted into my workstation at work and noticed that Outlook was empty and trying to attach to the information store. I logged onto the server and found the Exchange Information Store, System Attendant and Pop3 connectors had stopped. I also noticed the pop up telling me that Microsoft had updated the server and had to complete a restart. This was likely after automatic critical updates Sunday 3 am (Wsus).

I started the services and went into Outlook. As we monitor all our clients servers on port 25 and by other means, the deluge of emails and alerts I had be unaware of, was starting.

Almost all of our SBS 2008 servers running Exchange 2007 had stopped receiving email. One in particular had also dropped RWW and VPN access.

With most of them, restarting the stopped services fixed things. With a few others I had to kick over the Exchange Topology service.

We also had 2 SBS 2011 (Exchange 2010) with the Pop3 connectors stopped.

After a massive session of Remote desktop, VPN and RWW, we managed to get all the servers email working again.

Now we need to look at the updates and identify what caused this. If the servers had gone through a second restart, they would have been fine.

EDIT: Reports coming in now include EBS server as one of the servers affected by this.

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What species is Microsoft Small Business Essentials 2012?

(Now called Windows Server 2012 Essentials)

Firstly to set the baseline. I love SBS server. I live and breathe SBS server. I want all my clients to use something like SBS server. Up until now I have not had a need to look at Microsoft Small Business Essentials server. I knew it grew out of a basic server with Home Server like features but not much more. What is Microsoft Small Business Essentials server? What specieis is it?

Now I face a world without SBS server. I need to look at alternatives and there is no product better than Server 2012 Essentials to start my journey.

I want to be able to provide a world with Wsus, desktop faxing, Exchange, Sharepoint, Remote access and more.  I want to see if I can do all this with Server 2012 Essentials, even if it is over two servers. I know Exchange can’t be on the Domain controller and neither can Sharepoint foundation server.  I hope Wsus will work but I am not sure at this point.

I normally use Trend Micro Worryfree and Symantec System Recovery. I rely heavily on the SBS monitoring reports and a large collection of my own VBS scripts. I am uncertain if any of this will work.

I plan to make my blog a diary for my exploration of Essentials. So, if you are interested, take a look at Day1 with Essentials.

Others are also on a journey. One watch is Wayne Small.

And many more blog links on the SBSfaq site

Here starts my voyage of discovery. I will figure out the genus, species or flavour of Microsoft 2012 Essential server.

Take a look at Day1 of my Essentials diary. Also look up “What does Essentials 2012 do ?”

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“Update Services auto approval task” giving error 0x80131904

To fix this I ran the server cleanup wizard in Wsus


“Update Services auto approval task” giving result (error code) 0xFFFFFFFF

Whilst I do not know what this error means and this task is not logging any information in the Task Scheduler history log file, I deduced that Wsus was not intergrated with SBS. This is an SBS task.

Correctly reintegrating Wsus with SBS fixed this error.


SBS 2003 R2 integration with Wsus failed

Why must people leave the SBS console and mess with Wsus ?

Other than the server cleanup Wizard, I hardly ever go into Wsus.
If you have modified Wsus and get the error

Windows Small Business Server (Windows SBS) Update Services is not running because it automatically turns off if you customize Windows Server Update Services (WSUS). For a list of specific settings that cause Windows SBS Update Services to turn off, see the Microsoft Web site (

Even if WSUS is managing updates for your network, the accuracy of the status in the Windows SBS monitoring report or on the Update Services home page cannot be guaranteed. To use Windows SBS Update Services, reverse the changes that you have made to WSUS or reinstall Windows SBS 2003 R2.

Here are some changes to revert back, to hopefully get things flowing.

Wsus 2.0 (Which you should upgrade to Wsus 3 SP1)

Check  the following conditions are true:

The Approve for Detection option is not enabled for the All Computers group in WSUS 2.0.
The Approve for Installation option is enabled for the All Computers group in WSUS 2.0.
The list of products to download updates for is not set to All Microsoft products.
You set the Use Group Policy or registry settings on computers option in the Computers Options page in WSUS 2.0.
The WSUS service has been stopped.
The update classifications section does not have the critical and security updates and service packs option turned on.
The Approve for Detection classifications section does not have the critical and security updates and service packs option turned on.
The Synchronize manually option is turned on.

Basically reverse any changes you might have manually made.Basically reverse any changes you made that may have caused Windows Small Business Server 2003 Update Services to stop managing the updates for the network or your last resort, t=rerun setup from the Windows Small Business Server 2003 R2 CD #6. This is the R2 Technologies CD.

WSUS 3.0
Under Automatic Approvals, the Default Automatic Approval Rule is enabled in Options.
Under Products and Classifications, All Microsoft Products is not selected in Options.
Under Synchronization Schedule, the Synchronize manually option is selected in Options.
Under Computers, the Use Group Policy or Registry settings on computers option is enabled in Options.
The Update Services service is stopped.

To work around this issue, you can check and modify the following settings to make the required changes via the WSUS 3.0 administrator console. If one
or more of the conditions that are mentioned in the “Cause” section are true, follow these steps:

1.  Under Automatic Approvals, make sure that the Default Automatic Approval Rule is disabled in Options.
2.  Under Products and Classifications, make sure that the All Microsoft Products is selected in Options.
3.  Under Synchronization Schedule, make sure that the Synchronize manually option is not selected in Options.
4.  Under Computers, make sure that the Use Group Policy or Registry settings on computers option is disabled in Options.
5.  If the Update Services service is not started. Follow these steps:

      a.  Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click Services.
      b.  Right-click Update Services, and then click Start.

6. Please check the WSUS node from the SBS console and see if the issue is resolved.

Also refer to –

Software updates are not managed by Windows Small Business Server 2003 Update Services after you upgrade to Windows Server Update Services
3.0 Service Pack 1

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