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Computers not showing in WSUS Management Console

My home lab server is starting to get so many virtual servers to hold all the products I’ve been testing that I decided to deploy Windows Server Update Services 3.0 in order to help manage all the updates, as well as to learn yet another product.

The setup and configuration was pretty straight forward, but after configuring group policies and double and triple checking them, I was only getting a couple servers to appear under the All Computers in the Update Services management console. I followed a handful of TechNet articles which had me checking the local WindowsUpdate.log files and various registry settings, but everything appeared to to functioning correctly; the console was just not showing the 10+ servers in my domain.

While looking at the list I noticed a pattern among the only 4 computers listed. Although seemingly unrelated, as I had a SharePoint server, Exchange server, XP workstation, and the WSUS server itself listed, I noticed the Operating Systems were all unque: Windows XP, Server 2003 Standard, Server 2003 Enterprise, and Server 2003 Standard x64. There was only one server listed from each of my 4 base images I use to deploy additional virtual machines with.

This realization led me to the answer on this blog post: http://rialtus.livejournal.com/161268.html

I typically don’t use Sysprep in my lab, but just ‘walk’ the computer SID with the Microsoft SysInternals utility NewSID. Although this works great for updating the workstation SID, it doesn’t take into account the SUSClientID registry value, which I verified to be identical on all deployed virtual guests duplicated from the on the same image, shown here by running the reg query command remotely against three Windows 2003 Standard servers:

reg query "\SERVER1HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdate" /v SusClientID

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdate SusClientID REG_SZ bddf68cb-a0fe-4cd2-8bcb-31bd4164037b

reg query "\SERVER2HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdate" /v SusClientID

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdate SusClientID REG_SZ bddf68cb-a0fe-4cd2-8bcb-31bd4164037b

reg query "\SERVER3HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdate" /v SusClientID

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdate SusClientID REG_SZ bddf68cb-a0fe-4cd2-8bcb-31bd4164037b

Unlike the article’s directions, I didn’t reboot each guest. I simply stopped the Automatic Updates client, and then forced a reset which in turn started the service back up using these three commands:

reg delete "HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionWindowsUpdate" /v
SusClientID /f

net stop wuauserv

wuauclt /resetauthorization /detectnow

I refreshed the All Computers object in the Update Service manager and all of missing servers immediately appeared. I’ll have to add this process to my guest deployment checklist from now on.

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