Windows Update Through WSUS Breaks After Cloning Server

In today’s rapid world of Information Technology, there is an increased demand to quickly spin up servers.  If you deploy Windows servers from a template or cloning, however, there is an issue that can show up when trying to patch these servers when using Windows Server Update Services (WSUS).

The biggest symptom that I encountered was the server disappears from WSUS.  The cause is that both servers have the same ID for SusClientID in the registry.  (HTLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate).

To resolve the issue, perform the following steps:

  1. Stop the Windows Update Service on the server (net stop wuauserv)
  2. Delete the SUSClientId from the registry on the server (make sure you backup the registry first)
  3. Start the Windows Update Service (net start wuauserv)
  4. Run the following command:
    1. Wuauclt /restauthorization /detectnow

You will now see that the server has a new SusClientID and will no longer disappear from WSUS.