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Windows Server Update Services [WSUS] - How to properly run the Server Cleanup Wizard

We have seen a lot of errors when trying to run the server cleanup wizard of WSUS.  The problem is the interface is very unintuitive and requires you to run the options in a specific order, and NOT all at once.  If you run them all at once or out of order you will likely see an error similar to the following:

Error: Database Error
An error occurred when trying to perform a database operation. This can happen if the database is very busy, if the database service is topped, or if the connection to the database is lost. Please contact your systems administrator if the problem persists. Click Reset Server Node to try to connect to the server again. "Reset Server Node"

The best way to run it is to see if you can complete these options in the Server Cleanup Wizard as independent steps.

  1. Run the "Delete Computers" option (#2) if you have computers to be deleted. (If you don't, there's no point in running it.)
  2. Run the "DECLINE expired updates" and "DECLINE superseded updates options. (#4 and #5).
  3. Run the "DELETE unneeded updates" (#1) option. This is typically the option that is causing the problems.
  4. If you're able to get through step #3, then you can run the "DELETE unneeded files" (#3) option.

Server cleanup wizard should be able to run successfully in that order.

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