Ramblings From The Litter Tray of Life

Wuauclt Switches

Posted by graycat on 27 August 2008

Now if you’ve been reading any of my recent posts you’ll have noticed I’ve been hitting the Windows Update Service quite a bit. Well there’s a darn good reason for this – I’ve needed to find a solid solution to some of my minor issues at my professional job (no, not street walking!).

Right, lets start with the easy one: “what the heck is wuauclt and what’s it got to do with me?”

Well, my young friend, it is the process managing automatic updates for Microsoft Windows and continuously checks for the latest updates and uses the Internet to do so. If you hit up the task manager you will most likely see it kicking about on your process list. Don’t be afraid, it’s a good thing. Honest. Look, if you’ve got windows you’ll need to keep it up to date so just get on the update train, ok??! 🙂 lol

Now if you’re the situation when you want to manually kick off the registration with a WSUS server then you may have alreay heard of the /detectnow forces the machine to check if there are any updates available for it. This is useful because waiting for detection to start can be a time-consuming process and a pain in the butt.

Another good one is /resetauthorization. As WSUS uses a cookie on the client computers to store various types of information, including computer group membership when client-side targeting is used this can cause a hic-cup here and there. By default this cookie expires an hour after WSUS creates it but you never know.

You can actually combine the pair of these to not only reset the stored info but check if there’s anything new to apply and have the WSUS server update computer group membership.

What isn’t as widely known are the other switches that are hiding. One of the reasons for this is that “wuauclt.exe /?” does sweet bugger all and is really annoying. However, I recently found a great post outlining the mystery options here.

The highlights of which IMO are:

  • /downloadnow – kicks off the download processes regardless of the time schedule
  • /TestWSUSServer – test the connection to the server

There’s a fantactic list of these switches over here which is well worth a look. In fact, have a wonder round the whole site as it’s a gold mine for WSUS knowledge.

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