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// Tales from software development

Monitoring Windows Updates

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As noted in the previous post, Windows Update can sometimes take a long time to process updates and runs at 100% CPU seemingly doing nothing.

A few days after the the maintenance of the virtual machine described in the previous post I had to update another Windows Server 2003 VM and although this was also eventually successful, it took even longer.

It installed 62 Windows updates but each update took 15-20 minutes to install. I suspect that this was because the disk was fragmented. To minimise this problem it’s worth running a defrag first. You might also consider temporarily turning off undo disks to apply the updates.

Monitoring the Windows Updates log is a useful way of reassuring yourself that something is happening even if there are sometimes periods of hours when nothing is logged.  The log file is C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log.

I’ve also noticed that C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\ReportingEvents.log is updated with a summary of the updates applied.

A useful way of monitoring what’s going on is to open these two files remotely on your desktop PC using a text editor such as Notepad++. You’ll need access to the server’s C$ network share, e.g. \\WS2003-VM1\C$\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log. Use Notepad++’s File | Reload from disk menu command to refresh the contents. I’ve mapped this command to CTRL-R for convenience.

I was concerned at the number of updates that completed with an error code but then noticed that error code 0x80070bc2 appears to indicate that a reboot is required and so is normal:

2016-09-30 09:45:14:709 2624 a9c Handler  : Install completed: result type = 0x1, installer error = False, error = 0x80070bc2, disabled until reboot = No, reboot required = Yes


Written by Sea Monkey

November 17, 2016 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Environments

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