Server 2008 Windows Update Failure

I ran into an issue today where Windows would not update.  It wouldn’t download, wouldn’t install, and wouldn’t even make any outbound connections.  I also could not open the Roles or Features dialogue in server manager.  After a bit of time researching the error messages related to the Roles dialogue failing to open, I discovered it was most likely a broken or incomplete update.  Here are the steps I took to resolve it.

  1. Stop the Windows update service (net stop wuauserv)
  2. Rename the Windows update database (Rename c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution_OLD)
  3. Start the Windows update service (net start wuauserv)
  4. Download System Update Readiness Tool for Windows Server 2008 R2 –  Make sure you get the correct one for your version of Windows.
  5. Install the tool.  It will run and either identify or fix the problems with Windows update.  It can take a long time to complete.
  6. Reboot.

After reboot the Server Manager opened properly and the server began updating properly.  All good.

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