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Troubleshooting tools

Updated: February 17, 2009

Applies To: Windows SBS 2008

Use the tools discussed in this topic to help troubleshoot problems with Update Services.

WindowsUpdate.log

By default, the Windows Update client software records all transaction information in the following log file:

%windir%\Windowsupdate.log

This file is present on all client computers on the network that are running Automatic Updates, whether they are computers in the Client Computers group or in the Server Computers group.

If you are troubleshooting an issue with Automatic Updates on a network computer, you can use the information that is included in the Windowsupdate.log file to aid you in resolving the problem.

For more information about WindowsUpdate.log, see article 902093, "How to read the WindowsUpdate.log file," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=76783).

Wuauclt /DETECTNOW

To troubleshoot instances where the client computers do not appear to detect approved updates, use the command-line utility wuauclt.exe with the /DETECTNOW switch.

Normally, Automatic Updates on the client computer attempts to detect approved updates from Update Services on a schedule that is set by Group Policy. Update Services configures client computers to run detection every hour.

Using wuauclt.exe with the /DETECTNOW switch forces Automatic Updates on the client computer to immediately attempt to run detection.

You can use wuauclt.exe with the /DETECTNOW switch to troubleshoot detection and connectivity issues between Automatic Updates on the client computer and Update Services on the server that is running Windows SBS 2008.

For more information about using wuauclt /DETECTNOW, see "Detectnow" in the section "Manipulate Automatic Updates Behavior Using Command-line Options" in the document, "Deploying Microsoft Windows Server Update Services," at the Microsoft Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=137342).

Gpupdate /FORCE

You can use the Group Policy Update (gpupdate) utility with the /FORCE switch when you want to force a client computer to reapply all local Group Policy settings and all Group Policy settings in Active Directory.

Because Update Services uses Group Policy to configure client computers, it can be helpful to use gpupdate with the /FORCE switch to troubleshoot Group Policy issues with Update Services on the client computer.

For more information about the gpupdate utility, see article 298444, "A Description of the Group Policy Update Utility," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=76782).

Event Viewer

You can use the Event Viewer utility to troubleshoot problems with Automatic Updates (on the client computers) and Update Services (on the server that is running Windows SBS 2008). Errors and warnings in logs in Event Viewer can help you identify the source of a problem.

  • On client computers, scan the System log for entries where the Source is WindowsUpdateClient for Windows Vista and Windows Update agent for Windows XP.

  • On the server that is running Windows SBS 2008, scan the Application log where the Source is Windows Server Update Services.

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