General error messages

Applies To: Windows Server Update Services

This topic covers general error messages displayed on the Home page or in dialog boxes that open from the WSUS console.

…some services are not running. Check the following services…

On the Home page, you might receive a message telling you to check specific services. The following briefly covers the services.


See Automatic Updates Must Be Updated for information about troubleshooting the Selfupdate service.


This service facilitates synchronization. If you have problems with synchronization, access WSUSService.exe by clicking the Start button, pointing to Administrative Tools, clicking Services, and then finding Windows Server Update Service in the list of services. Do the following:

  • Verify that this service is running. Click Start if it is stopped or Restart to refresh the service.

  • You can also use Event Viewer to check the Application, Security, and System event logs to see if there are any events that might indicate a problem.

  • You can also check the SoftwareDistribution.log to see if there are events that might indicate a problem.

Web services

Web services are hosted in IIS. If they are not running, ensure that IIS is running (or started). You can also try resetting the Web service by typing iisreset at a command prompt.

SQL service

Every service except for the selfupdate service requires that the SQL service is running. If any of the log files indicate SQL connection problems, check the SQL service first. To access the SQL service, click the Start button, point to Administrative Tools, click Services, and then look for one of the following:

  • MSSQLSERVER (if you are using WMSDE or MSDE, or if you are using SQL Server and are using the default instance name for the instance name)

  • MSSQL$WSUS (if you are using a SQL Server database and have named your database instance "WSUS")

Right-click the service, and then click Start if the service is not running or Restart to refresh the service if it is running.