WSUS on Windows 2012 (R2) and KB3159706 – WSUS console fails to connect

As any other environment, my lab needs some maintenance from time to time. I use a Windows 2012 R2 VM with the Windows Server Update Service (WSUS) role to keep my Windows VMs up to date. Like many others, I was surprised by KB3148812 (Update enables ESD decryption provision in WSUS in Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2), which broke my WSUS. But the fix was easy: Uninstall KB3148812 and reboot the server. The WSUS product team published an artice about this known issue in their blog: Known Issues with KB3148812. In the meantime, Microsoft has published a new update, which supersedes KB3148812: KB3159706.

WSUS dead again?

Today I wanted to check the update status of my VMs. Unfortunately, the WSUS console was unable to connect to the WSUS server.

wsus_2

I checked the status of the service and found the WSUS service stopped. But even after I had started the service, the WSUS console was unable to connect to the server. I found an error in the event logs (ID 507, source Windows Server Update Services), but the message “Update Services failed its initialization and stopped” wasn’t helpful. More helpful was a log entry:

After some searching and examination of the recently installed updates, I came across KB3159706.

Manual steps required to complete the installation of KB3159706

Open an elevated CMD and run this command:

The output should look similar to this:

Then you have to install the “HTTP Activation” feature under “.NET Framework 4.5” features.

wsus_3
After a restart of the WSUS service, the WSUS should work again.

Summary

The installation of KB3148812 on a WSUS server will break the WSUS installation. Because of this, Microsoft has published KB3159706. If you install this update (in my case it was installed automatically over WSUS…), you have to execute some manual steps to ensure that WSUS works as expected. The WSUS product team is aware of this and they pointed this out in their blog article “The long-term fix for KB3148812 issues” (you will find a hint directly at top of the blog article).

WSUS on Windows 2012 (R2) and KB3159706 – WSUS console fails to connect
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Patrick Terlisten
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Patrick Terlisten

vcloudnine.de is the personal blog of Patrick Terlisten. Patrick has nearly 2 decades of experience in IT, especially in the areas infrastructure, cloud, automation and industrialization. Patrick was selected as VMware vExpert (2014 - 2017), as well as PernixData PernixPro.

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37 thoughts on “WSUS on Windows 2012 (R2) and KB3159706 – WSUS console fails to connect

  1. Jon C

    Thanks for this article. Had the same problem and after doing the good old google search, your article came up before anything from Microsoft. Your steps worked like a charm and I am back up and running. Thanks again!!

    Reply
  2. Thomas

    Thanks for this article!
    It solved the problem that I have after installing KB3159706.
    Update KB3148812 wasn’t installed before.

    Reply
  3. Jesus Gonzalez

    Thanks Patrick
    Works for me… If HTTP Activation is already installed just Running the command line and restarting WSUS service should do the trick.

    Reply
  4. Vincenzo Turturro

    Thank you so much for your article.
    I had the same issue and your suggestion worked smoothly.
    Great job !

    Reply
  5. creativeaero

    Absolute life saver mate! Bravo
    Had same issue after much reviewing of errors found your fix and bingo worked perfection!

    Reply
  6. Fabien

    Thanks, that worked!! Saved me a full re-install of WSUS, which I’ve unfortunately come used to doing when this sort of things happen.

    Reply
  7. Brenton

    Thank you so much! After running updates last night my WSUS was cactus until I went through this process.

    Reply

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