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WSUS won’t uninstall or re-install

I don’t like Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), but it’s the free alternative many companies select over the higher cost alternatives like Intune or Systems Center. So, today I had to repair a damaged WSUS installation. Turns out someone uninstalled SQL Server 2005 Express not realizing WSUS was using it. Now firing up the WSUS console just yielded an error complaining about the missing SQL database. So like any good troubleshootin IT guy the first thing I tried was to uninstall WSUS…sadly, however the product would not uninstall or re-install. Here’s how I finally got rid of it:

[the problem]

  • WSUS 3.0 SP2 is missing SQL server Express or has been damaged somehow.
  • When opening WSUS you receive a SQL error when trying to connect.
  • You cannot uninstall WSUS. An attempt to uninstall/re-install fails with an error.
  • The event log shows eventid: 1034 with “Removal success or error status: 1603”

[the solution]

[step 1] Open REGEDIT in and locate: HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftUpdate ServicesServerSetup

[step 2] Change the value of “wYukonInstalled” to 0x0 (zero) and ensure that the value of “SqlInstanceIsRemote” is oxo (zero).

[step 3] Download and run the WSUS 3.0 SP2 installer. You should now be able to remove the product using the installer. Select none of the check boxes (to remove database, logs or updates), we can remove these manually later.

[step 4] Download and install SQL Server 2008 Express R2 (or SQL Server 2005 Express). Make sure you can connect to the instance you create with SQL Server Management Studio.

[step 5] Run the WSUS 3.0 SP2 installer again and (this time it should allow you to install). Install the Full product including management console.

[step 6] Select a location with plenty of space to store the downloaded updates (I recommend at least 20GB of space).

[step 7] Select the option to use an existing database server.

[step 8] It should find the SQL Server 2008 Express instance you installed and tested in [step 4].

[step 9] Create a separate Windows Update Services website (I don’t recommend using the default IIS website).

[step 10] Step through the WSUS configuration wizard.

That’s it.

April 2, 2012

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74 comments found

Comments for: WSUS won’t uninstall or re-install

  1. Alex Romp

    Glad I found this. It let me uninstall. Thanks for publishing it!

    1. Post author: 
      David Vielmetter

      You’re welcome. Glad it worked for you.

    2. Steve

      you dont know how many sites I went to just to figure out how to uninstall this damn thing. Thanks for your help- you made it easy

  2. Dominic

    Ditto. Thanks for posting. I don’t undertand why microsoft does not have a kb for this.

  3. Hassan Dika

    Thanks perfect

  4. Sam Shreck

    David, you’re a legend! I love solutions that work. Applied to a number of broken WSUS installations and it fixed every one of them. Thank you very much.

  5. Philipp

    Hi David,

    thanks for your Post. This resolved my WSUS problem.

  6. n0no

    nice posting, works for me

  7. civid

    Thanks. This work for me.

  8. Wes Hartman

    Excellent info. Just what I needed.

  9. Paul C London

    Thanks, great info! Problem sorted. 🙂

  10. Pingback: Problems Uninstalling WSUS 3.0 « Desi-Dev-Min

  11. Unnikrishnan

    Thanks a lot. This solution worked like a charm

  12. IB Tony

    GREAT fix!! I’ve had this issue on a few different servers (2008 R2 & SBS 2008) and have tried to find the fixes in the past, but nothing worked. This was soo easy and worked the first time. Thank you. Micorosoft should be so helpful.

  13. peter ung

    THANKS a lot. WORKS !!! This goes to my standard WSUS fixing tools, saved days of work.

  14. Dexter

    This helped me uninstall and reinstall WSUS. You have no idea how grateful I am. Thank you so much for your detailed post!

    1. Post author: 
      David Vielmetter

      You’re very welcome! Glad I could help.


  15. peter

    Many thanks !!!!!!!!!

  16. Pal

    Thanks alot. This info helped me uninstall and reinstall WSUS. Many thanks to you.

  17. Stefan

    That was very helpful, thanks a lot! Finally i could get rid of this monster. 5 MS arcticles could not help me nearly as you could. Thanks again!

  18. alistair

    This article should be listed at the top of any google wsus search.
    Thanks a million!

    1. Post author: 
      David Vielmetter

      You’re very welcome. Glad to know it works.

      David Vielmetter

  19. Vicky

    This is great! Thanks so much! Mwwwah!

  20. dp

    Works a treat.
    Thanks heaps!

  21. Ryan

    Worked PERFECT!


    Cheers Mate!

  22. Money

    Thanks a lot, you are great. super trainner

  23. brch

    Great. Worked and helped us. Thanks a lot!!!

  24. James

    Thanks a million – seriously, this should be the only result for this in Google.

  25. Booboo

    Great, this treat worked and helped me solve this problem.

    Many thanks to you David.

  26. john

    Awesome, thanks heaps

  27. Scott

    Saved my bacon! Thanks!

  28. Adolph

    It works, my issues are resolved

  29. Jvahan

    Worked like a charm, appreciate it!

  30. Denis

    Great!! tks man.

    my issues are resolved too

  31. G-unic

    it didn’t worked for me :/

  32. Greg T

    I have searched and tried so many things to try to get this monster uninstalled and nothing works. When I run the setup to uninstall (after modifying the registry entries HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftUpdate ServicesServerSetupwYukonInstalled to 0 and HKLMSoftwareMicrosoftUpdate ServicesServerSetupSqlInstanceIsRemote to 0 and rerun the setup WSUS30-KB972455-x64.exe it looks like it’s working then it crashes

    There was a failure while running setup. Please review the setup log files and documentation and try again.

    Problem signature:
    Problem Event Name: WSUSSetup
    Installer Name: WusSetup.exe
    Installer Version: 3.2.7600.226
    Error Code: 80070643
    Custom Action: unknown
    OS Version: 6.1.7601.
    Locale ID: 1033

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  33. Michael

    Great, this treat worked and helped me solve this problem.


  34. Hammer_pdx

    Thank you! This worked beautifully!

  35. emilson


  36. Duck

    Thanks, worked

  37. Michi

    🙂 perfect its working, solved my Problem. Thanks

  38. Gustavo

    Hi, thank you. It’s working fine.

  39. Trey

    Worked perfectly!

  40. Matt

    Working!!!! Many thanks – what a ball ache WSUS can be.

  41. Colin

    Brilliant mate!!!! Thanks for sharing.
    I’m new to servers and WSUS and this helped me loads!!!

  42. Pingback: WSUS problém s odinstalací nebo reinstalací | Matric Space

  43. TheGlaz

    David, MUCH obliged for your fix after several vain attempts to follow MS troubleshooting on this problem. Looking back on this, what would you say was they key activity that you engaged in that brought you to this solution. Often I find solutions like this, (but not this one,) after using some Sysinternals tool or something else that points me to a place where I find some comfort in the prospect of taking a chance. Maybe this is another topic all together, but what is your take on the risks we all take on the development of a solution such as this?

  44. jim Dettman

    After struggling with this for a lot longer than I’d care to admit and trying EVERYTHING under the sun, this worked perfectly.

    Thank you so much.


  45. Chris

    Thank you! I was able to finally uninstall to then reinstall WSUS

  46. tia_bert

    Thanks Dave

  47. Michael

    Great Job!! This helped!!

  48. (v)

    thanks for solution!

  49. abobo

    Bro, Thanks for your post. it’s solved

  50. Helaly

    I would like to thank you . . thank you very much

  51. Jason

    Thanks David for this post. You saved me a lot of grief!

  52. francesco

    i love you.

  53. Tom Mynar

    This fix STILL works. I had a Virtual Disk on my Dell Server (Windows Storage Server 2008 R2) get corrupted and lost the folder where the SQL database was. I made the modifications to the registry and uninstalled the ROLE of WSUS. It worked!

    Thanks you SO MUCH. This saved me days of reinstalling the whole server and all the files (3.5Tb).

    Tom Mynar

  54. Ibrahim

    Had same issue.. but worked with your help..

    Thank you for sharing

  55. bhavesh

    hay man you’re a legend

  56. Arnold

    Wow setting the wYukon key to 0 fixed my problems. I was then able to uninstall and reinstall WSUS. Thank you so much.

  57. Philippe

    Great thanks to you David, for this briliant solution. I’ve spent a lot of time trying to solve the uninstallation problem (I always got the 0x80070643 error code), but finally I found your post and your solution worked perfectly : WSUS got uninstalled and I’ll now reinstall it.

    Thank you so much again and congratulations for your work and your web site.

  58. Jose

    Excellent i did step by step everything work perfect again. Thanks.

  59. Peter

    Excellent guide! It solved my problems with updates and the console not showing status on a Windows SBS 2008-server. Thank you from Sweden

  60. Joselito

    It works like a charm. Thanks !!!!!!

  61. athick

    Superb article and its worked fine………… thanks for posting this but still there is no KB found in microsoft site.. thanks again.


  62. athick

    after perform this above steps the clients are not reporting to console. i have specified the in GP http://myservername:8530. still the same issue . can any one help me on this case.


  63. Abhishek


    Your blog helped me to resolve the issue. Thanx a lott

  64. Ramon

    Finally able to uninstall WSUS and WID after hours and hours of fruitless search… Thanks!

  65. Bill Goodrich

    Thanks David. This saved me a ton of time trying to get my WSUS reloaded.

  66. Lesley James Mago

    Thanks David. Finally got rid of WSUS on our Server.

  67. Mick

    David, you’re the best!
    I’m so happy because I struggle really long with this problem.
    Really really thanks for posting this!
    Kind regards, Mick

  68. Ofer

    totally saved me. I’ve been looking for a solution for this for a long time. This is so simple and clear. FYI – I used windows internal database.

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