Troubleshooting the WSUS installation process

We get quite a few questions regarding the installation of Windows Server Update Services so I thought I would post some quick tips of troubleshooting the process for when it runs into problems.  When the WSUS installation fails, it generates four logs:

  • WSUSSetup.log (the summary log)
  • WSUSSetupMsi_timestamp.log (the verbose MSI log)
  • WSUSCA_timestamp.log (the custom actions log)
  • WSUSWyukonSetup_timestamp.log (the Database installation log)

The WSUS setup log will be the general log describing what failed during the installation; you can use this as a basic reference. The WSUSMSI_timestamp.log will describe in more detail exactly where it failed.  To see exactly what caused the installation to fail, scroll from bottom to the top looking for “return value 3”. Once you find this, keep scrolling up to see which action the installation was doing at the time of failure.

Once you find out where the installation failed you should also see an error code associated with the failure.  You can use the error lookup tool to help you understand the error code:

Reference for the error lookup tool: http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?familyid=be596899-7bb8-4208-b7fc-09e02a13696c&displaylang=en

Here is the link for WSUS custom setup error codes: http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/34e14364-0b3e-4558-87f6-abf08656a0731033.mspx

For more information on troubleshooting Setup issues see: http://technet2.microsoft.com/windowsserver/en/library/c1c07604-2fca-4410-81f6-c02d2fb5c3141033.mspx

Hopefully this will get you started on troubleshooting any potential installation issues you might run into and tomorrow I’ll post some tips on troubleshooting synchronization.

Joao Madureira | WSUS Support Engineer