Microsoft Messes Up WSUS Again

closeThis post was published 12 years 8 months 24 days ago. A number of changes have been made to the site since then, so please contact me if anything is broken or seems wrong.

Less than three weeks after the Windows Desktop Search fiasco, Microsoft again brought WSUS servers crashing to a halt this past Sunday and Monday. Apparently, the error was caused by a renamed product category entry on Microsoft’s side that contained quotation marks, illegal characters in the WSUS management console. The category was renamed Sunday evening, and servers that synchronized with Microsoft between then and Monday afternoon, when the problem was fixed, were practically inoperative due to the quotation error.

Given the number of support forum posts there must have been (not cited in the article), it would seem that this was a big mistake that Microsoft shouldn’t have had happen in the first place. The checks they are supposedly adding on their side should have been put in place when the WSUS system was developed, to block illegal characters such as the ” mark from ever appearing in the first place.

Personally, I find it inexcusable that Microsoft would let their management software even be capable of introducing an error into clients’ databases. And reusing update packages without first checking all of what they do is probably a bad idea (this was the culprit in the WDS invasion three weeks ago). I’m very glad I don’t use WSUS for my computer; I’d have had a big problem a couple days ago. Managing your own updates is definitely much easier. Unless, of course, Microsoft manages to put out some more buggy patches.


I am an avid technology and software user, in addition to being reasonably well-versed in CSS, JavaScript, HTML, PHP, Python, and (though it still scares me) Perl. Aside from my technological tendencies, I am also a theatre technician, sound designer, violinist, singer, and actor.

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