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long story short, one of our domain controllers is won't update.

when an update is attempted it says the service is not running (checked and restarted yes it is) and event viewer says its error 0x80072ee2 but this apparently means there is a connection issue but as far as I can work out there isn't.

this isn't a short term issue either seems to have been going on since at least feburary.

any ideas?

Note: Server updates fall to another (more senior) member of the team please do not ask me why they have been so neglected. He doesn't know what the issue is so I'm just trying to get to the bottom of this.

many thanks


EDIT: I've put trusted sites on and seems to have sorted it. not sure why I don't believe it set up like this one any other server.

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Copy/paste the entire event log message please - replace sensitive information if necessary – Mathias R. Jessen Aug 28 '12 at 8:20
up vote 1 down vote accepted

(Taken from, which you should read as well as my summary.)

(Windows Update) errors may be caused by any of the following issues:

  • Programs or processes that interfere with Internet communications
  • Resource issues on the computer
  • High Internet activity
  • Recoverable database errors

So I guess I'd start by asking can you browse the internet in general from this server? Has anyone installed anything or configured anything that might interfere with downloads (e.g. local firewall, or a download "manager"? Resolve any issues around this first.

Next check BITS and Trusted sites entries, as per the KBase article above. These are both important components of Windows Update.

Ensure that the proxy settings on Internet Explorer are configured correctly to browse the internet from that machine, and then run the following command (it may need to be done from an elevated command prompt):

netsh winhttp import proxy source=ie

This will import the proxy settings from IE into the general windows HTTP connection stack, which is what Windows Update uses. A restart might be needed for this to affect the Windows Update services.

If this works then you need to consider how/why it got changed in the first place... the change may have been made for a good reason and you might have now stopped something else working.

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The last 2 "methods" in the KB, BITS up-to-dateness and Trusted Sites, might be something that have been overlooked, even though you have internet connectivity – Mathias R. Jessen Aug 28 '12 at 8:27
Totally agree @MathiasR.Jessen - thanks for the reminder. I didn't mention them because I didn't want to cut and paste too much from the article, but you're right, I should have drawn attention to those specifically as they're easy to forget. I've edited my question to mention them. – RobM Aug 28 '12 at 8:44
Just an FYI to help others who this may apply to - at one client, a server refused to update and though I forgot why, I started pinging the related Windows Update servers (public servers). I found that on this server (which for some reason had DNS servers different from the others), the Windows Update servers were pointed to the wrong IPs. I had to statically set them via the hosts file. (I notified the client but it's a LARGE corporation and getting authorization to change DNS was not forthcoming). – Multiverse IT Aug 28 '12 at 13:45

Did you try using Powershell ?

There is a powershell module on Script Center for Windows Update.

Basic Usage

Copy the module to c:\users\Administrator\Documents\WindowsPowershell\Modules

Set-ExecutionPolicy remotesigned
ipmo pswindowsupdate

Do a Whatif Install with Verbose

Get-WUInstall -MicrosoftUpdate -IgnoreUserInput -WhatIf -Verbose 
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I've seen similar results when there is a web caching layer in front of the server... think squid. The windows update responses end up improperly cached, such that the server doesn't know what to do.

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