Fix a Stalled WSUS Update Service

It is pretty often that I see network administrators attempt to install something new and then throw their hands up at the first sign of a problem. The first problem some people see after installing WSUS is this common error:

“One or more Update Service components could not be contacted. Check your server status and ensure that the Windows Server Update Service is running. Non-running services: WSUSService”

After further investigation, this error can be tracked down to the “Update Service” service. IF you watch this service, it won’t stay started when it starts automatically and it won’t let you start it on your own.

This is because the service in question is attempting to start using the Network Service account. This can happen on some occasions if another database aware application is being used on the server. The simple fix to this is to change which user account the service starts with to the Local System account. You can do this by right clicking the service in the services MMC snap-in and going to the Log On tab. After doing so, you should be able to open the WSUS Administration Console without any errors!


Chris Sanders is a network consultant for KeeFORCE, one of the most popular network consulting firms in western Kentucky. Chris is the author of the book Practical Packet Analysis as well as several technical articles. His personal website at contains a great deal of information, articles, and guides related to network administration, network security, packet analysis, and general information technology.

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