Problems with WSUS failing to download updates
I've twice had a problem recently with a WSUS server failing to download updates - it gets the list of updates but then doesn't download.
Using bitsadmin /list /allusers shows that jobs are being added to the queue but failing with "transient_error" Adding the /verbose switch gives the following bit of information:
ERROR CODE: 0x800703eb - Cannot complete this function.
ERROR CONTEXT: 0x00000005 - The error occurred while the remote file was being processed.
I searched in all sorts of places for what this means and failed to get anywhere - various people told me the problem was that I was using a Squid proxy. That could be true (Squid doesn't always work nicely with some Windows processes) but even if I pointed the WSUS server at an ISA server the problem carried on.
I finally got so fed up with this that I opened a call with MS support. I'm still waiting for them to get back to me btu I now have a fix. A Technet page on bitsadmin for Server 2008 says that the "cannot complete this function" can be caused by lack of a default gateway and, of course, this was the problem.
Both servers I was using were multi-homed. I've always understood that you shouldn't set a default gateway in this case (because a DG on one card will not be the right route for the other card) and should use persistent routes instead. It shouldn't have mattered anyway - the proxy server was on the same subnet as the WSUS server and was properly specified in WSUS
I'm only writing all this because someone else might find it when they have a problem with WSUS where bitsadmin shows transient errors and they will have less grief than me :-)