Troubleshooting software update management in Configuration Manager

Applies to: System Center Configuration Manager

Home users: This article is only intended for technical support agents and IT professionals. If you're looking for help with a problem, please ask the Microsoft Community.


This article helps you troubleshoot the software update management process in Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager current branch, 2012 R2 and 2012, including client software update scanning, synchronization issues and detection problems with specific updates.

This guide assumes that a Software Update Point has already been installed and configured. For more information about configuring Software Updates in Configuration Manager, see Prepare for software updates management.

Scope your issue

Before getting into actual troubleshooting steps, it’s important to emphasize that while it may seem obvious, the better you understand the problem you’re experiencing, the quicker and easier it will be for you to fix it. Whether you’re tasked with fixing a problem that you are experiencing yourself, or a problem reported to you by someone in your organization, it is recommended that you take a moment and answer the following questions:

  1. What specifically isn’t working and/or what is your goal? 
  2. What is the frequency or pattern for the issue? Is the problem still happening? 
  3. How did you become aware that the problem exists?
  4. Has this ever worked? If so, when did it stop? Was anything changed in the environment right before it stopped working? 
  5. What percentage of clients are affected?
  6. What has been done already (if anything) to try to fix it? 
  7. Know the exact version of the client and the version of the server. Are these systems up to date? 
  8. What do affected clients have in common (e.g. same subnet, AD site, domain, physical location, site, site system, etc.)?

Knowing and understanding the answers to these questions will put you on the best path for a quick and easy resolution to whatever problem you’re experiencing.

If you know the specific area within the Software Update Management process that you’d like to troubleshoot, select it below. If unsure, start with Client Software Update Scanning and we’ll walk through the entire process from beginning to end.

WSUS to Microsoft Update synchronization

Installation, supersedence or detection issues w/ specific updates

Deployment issues that occur with specific updates can be broken into the areas below. When you begin troubleshooting, consider the following components associated with these areas.

 Areas ->  Installation  Supersedence  Detection
  Components ->  WUA
Update Installer (CBS, MSI)
Update Metadata   WUA
Update Metadata
Update Installer (CBS, MSI)  

More Information

For additional information regarding how to configure software updates in Configuration Manager, please see the following:

You can also post a question in our Configuration Manager support forum for security, updates and compliance here.

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