Software update synchronisation failure. The single most annoying thing about SCCM.

Feb 21, 2020 | Server administration, Technology, Windows | 0 comments

It’s a normal Friday morning so you look at the SCCM update deployments to make sure everything is running as expected but instead of getting the all clear, you find that synchronisation has encountered an error.

most likely this error is nothing to worry about. Every Month Windows sends out updates with new license agreements so the process runs something like this:

  1.  SCCM asks WSUS to synchronise updates.
  2. WSUS does what it’s told.
  3. SCCM tells WSUS to accept updates in particular categories.
  4. WSUS tells SCCM that it cant accept everything as there are updates where license agreements must be accepted first.
  5. SCCM throws it’s toys out of it’s pram because it’s not correctly handling the state from WSUS.
  6. WSUS is fine with this and leaves the updates ready to be accepted.
  7. SCCM grumbles loudly in WSync.log but checks again in 60 minutes.
  8. During the next check, it notices that there are updates with pending license agreements from the last synchronisation.
  9. It accepts these updates.
  10. But wait. there are now supplemental updates that also require that license agreements are accepted.
  11. Steps 7, 8 and 9 are run again, causing more errors in the WSync log.

This is infuriating and a complete waste of time.  And it’s the way sccm has done this since 2007.

But wait. there’s a way around it. 

No. there isn’t. 

All you can do really is either wait for the next synchronisation or go synchronise manually.  So dear reader, if you really want to waste more of your time, please follow this document. Because although you know that things are probably fine, you should still verify that this is the cause of the synchronisation failure. Because the one time you take it for granted that this is the cause is the one time something else has gone wrong and you’re left looking rather silly for not checking.

How do I check for synchronisation errors?

You should probably open SCCM.

  1.  Move to the monitoring work space available at the bottom left of the SCCM window.
  2. Move to “Software Update Point Synchronisation Status”
  3. Look at the status of the latest synchronisation on the right.  Illustrated in the following screen shot.
  4. The text you will see is something like:
    Microsoft Update 4097 17/05/2019 10:12:00 Failed 0X80131500 17/05/2019 10:09:00
    The error extracted from this is:
    Failed 0X80131500
  5. Expand System Status on the left.
  6. Now click on Site status.
  7. Right click on Software Update Point
  8. Expand Show messages then click Errors.
  9. In the drop down, select “Last 12 hours”
  10. You will see the error shown by the synchronisation service. In this screen shot you will also see other errors relating to MDM but please ignore those for the moment, that’s for another day and a larger cup of coffee.
  11. I don’t like screen shots so here’s some text showing the error that is shown above.
    Severity Type Site code Date / Time System Component Message ID Description
    Error Milestone DCU 17/05/2019 10:12:54 SCCM-VM-01.AD.DCU.IE SMS_WSUS_SYNC_MANAGER 6703 WSUS Synchronization failed. Message: Failed to sync some of the updates. Source: Microsoft.SystemsManagementServer.SoftwareUpdatesManagement.WsusSyncAction.WSyncAction.SyncUpdates.
  12. Now open windows explorer using your administrative account and browse to the following directory: Yes. Use your admin account. Surely the account your logged into Windows with isn’t the account you use for administering the network? If it is, please give yourself a bit of a kick.
    \\SCCMServer\{DriveOfSCCMInstallation}\Microsoft Configuration Manager\Logs
  13. Open the WSync.log file.  You’ll see lots of red near the bottom.
    little tip, if you’re ever coding something. never use colour to exclusively relay meaning. It’s completely ineffective for people like me who can’t see the screen.

That’s about it.  You can either re-synchronise the updates again or just wait… and wait… and wait… for the updates to finish synchronising using the automated schedule of ever 1 hour and hope for the best.

To manually synchronise, do the following:

  1.  Open SCCM.
  2. Move to the Software library work space.
  3. Expand Software updates
  4. Now right click All Software Updates.
  5. Click Synchronise all software updates in the context menu that is shown.


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