Windows/Office (WSUS) Update issues & experiences

Windows Update[German]Currently there are synchronization problems with WSUS. Furthermore, administrators run into issues during the update installation for Office and Windows, e.g. the error 0x8000ffff is thrown. Here again an overview or some experiences of a blog reader.


Updates for Office and Windows (Error 08000FFFF)

A few hours ago blog reader JohnRipper sent me his experience report with the September 2016 updates for Windows 10 and Office 2016. He rolled out the updates for Windows 10 and Office 2016 for September 2018 at his company last weekend. This includes both Office Feature updates from the first Tuesday of the month and Windows 10 updates from the second Tuesday of the month, including the September 17 cumulative updates. Here is his experience:

  • All clients do not allow an update check after the cumulative update is installed and restarted. The error 0x8000FFFF is ejected.
  • All clients check updates against a WSUS on Windows 2012R2 with the latest patch status.
  • After about twelve hours the update search works again as usual without having to do anything.

A bugfix (e.g. deactivate virus scanner) or a cleanup of the Windows Update Services (e.g. delete the folder Software Distributions as well as the Reg keys) on the client computers does not bring any improvement. Just waiting. JohnRipper continues writing:

  • The clients on which I first noticed this were Windows 10 V1709. So I typed KB4457142 or KB4464217 first.
  • Since the Windows 10 1803 rollout is now due as well, I also tested the behavior on clients with 1803 and had exactly the same problem on both test clients (x64 and x86) immediately after installing version 1803.

Since the upgrade came from WSUS, feature upgrades often don't install the last available build, but the build that is available to WSUS. For Windows 10 V1803, for example, this is the last build in WSUS (as of today) not 17134.319 but 17134.165.

Conclusion for me is that the latest Servicing Stack is junk or does not work properly in connection with a WSUS.

Probably the client has to wait until the last token for communication with the WSUS expires. Then it applies for a new one. This then leads to success in the update search again.


All in all not tragic if you know that you just have to wait. I didn't know, and it once cost me half a Saturday to "bugfix" it. Because of course I assumed problems in connection with the update.

By the way, what MS have finally fixed is the bug in connection with the access to the update search under Windows 10, i.e. the guideline "Disable access to Windows Update" finally works correctly now! Since Windows 10 V1607 [GB: V1603 was specified here], the error has been running through all versions (access not possible, no matter how the GPO was set).

At this point my thanks to JohnRipper for the described experiences. Maybe someone will help.

News about the WSUS-Sync-Problem

I had reported about synchronization issues with WSUS in several articles in the last weeks (see link list at the end of the article). In general, little seems to have happened regarding these problems. The only thing that remains: Wait until the bug on the WSUS fixes itself.

  • At sporadic  Sync errors in WSUS has been reported since September 17.  2018.
  • German site has this thread, where some users reporting issues from time to time.

A cause of the error cannot be determined. It can be assumed that the problems are caused by Microsoft.

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One Response to Windows/Office (WSUS) Update issues & experiences

  1. Bachar says:

    I'm still having the same issue. SCCM/WSUS doesn't detect all 2018-10 Cumulative Update for Windows Server 2016. it detect some that are superseded by new updates that are not detected. Any fix i can do ?

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