I’ve just spent quite a bit of team sifting and winnowing through the internet trying to get to the bottom of a Windows Update error that I’ve been getting for the last few weeks. StackOverflow.com, my preferred answer site, had nothing. If you’ve ever had to try to navigate the awful awful answers.microsoft.com, technet.com, spiceworks, or ExpertSexChange.com websites you know the pain I’ve been in. I don’t understand why all of these boards don’t scrap their formats and use StackOverflow’s, where people vote on the answers and the good ones surface to the top. But I digress…
After perusing and attempting many misleading rabbit holes, here’s how I was able to get to the bottom of the issue:
1. On the server itself, not a workstation, navigate to http://localhost:5830/ClientWebService/client.asmx. If you do this from a workstation you’ll only get the generic 500 – Internal Server Error message but from the localhost you get the detailed error message.
[Note: Use https://localhost/5831/ClientWebService/client.aasmx if you have security turned on]
2. In my case it now became evident that the problem was in the ClientWebService\web.config file. One of the XML sections wasn’t properly closed, and I had duplicated an entry in the Bindings section. So I copied the file to my server’s C:\TEMP folder, modified it, and copied it back to C:\Program Files\Update Services\WebServices\ClientWebService. I had to override a File Security warning to make this work.
3. Restarted IIS server and voila, my error went away.
So I’m putting this out there in case it may help someone else. If this helps you I’d like to know, but please don’t ask me to help you troubleshoot your WSUS issues in the comments!