Upgrading to WSUS 3.0 Beta 2

OK, this post is all about the WSUS upgrade experience.  Before we go forward it’s important to reiterate the importance of only upgrading lab/test servers.  Enough said.

In-Place Upgrades Fully Supported

Up to this point in the beta I’ve mainly focused my testing on clean installs.  Granted, I’ve been looking at WSUS 3.0 builds for quite a while… and the time to test upgrades usually occurs around Beta 2.  So – no time like the present.

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Tonight I upgraded one of my test VMs from WSUS 2.0 SP1 (build to 3.0 Beta 2.  Everything upgraded just fine – and I was pleasantly surprised that all my 2.0 settings were maintained.  For instance, I never sync drivers (just a personal preference) and only specify certain product categories.  The post-upgrade configuration wizard allows you to select these and many other options, as you can see in the screen shots below.

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Furthermore, both upgrades and clean installs honor your preferred language settings – in my case English only.  So far, so good.

Additional Upgrade Notes:

  • WSUS 3.0 uses the new SQL Server 2005 Embedded Edition (Windows) as its database engine.  This is known internally as ‘wYukon’ – and you can think of it as the new and improved wMSDE.  The existing 2.0 database is backed up in case something goes awry during the upgrade.  I’m going to look into the recovery steps to make sure they match up with the ones for WSUS 2.0 SP1 (see Issue 7 in the SP1 Readme).  More info on that piece in the near future.
  • The entire upgrade process took about 25 minutes on my virtual machine.  Granted, this machine only had one client and a simple computer group design.  However, I’m guessing a typical upgrade will run less than an hour.  Keep in mind that the IIS services are restarted during upgrade… so if you’ve co-located WSUS with other web apps, those apps will bounce during upgrade.  But hey, you’re doing this in a test lab, right?
  • Your computers and update approvals should come across just fine – be sure to bug this if yours don’t.
  • If you want to verify your clients are getting upgraded to Beta 2 code – take a look at %systemroot%\windowsupdate.log.  Scroll toward the bottom and look for info about the version of wuauclt.exe on the system.  Connecting to WSUS 3.0 Beta 2 will update your wuauclt.exe file (and others) to 7.0.5451.90.
  • Check out the WSUS 3.0 Photo Gallery for screen shots of my upgrade as well as the UI shots I posted Monday.

I highly recommend others test the in-place upgrade to identify any issues at this point in the dev cycle.  My guess is that most WSUS admins will opt for in-place upgrades at RTM – so we want to work out all the issues now while there’s still time to fix ‘em.  And don’t forget to log your bugs and suggestions on Connect.  If you’re not much of a ‘bug basher’ at least vote on existing feedback entered by other testers.  You’d be surprised how quickly Connect bugs/feedback make their way to the product group.