Force uninstall of Windows Server Update Services (Server 2008 RTM)

Last week, we had a hardware failure that cause corruption of one of our SCCM site servers.  To clean in up, I needed to uninstall WSUS from the server.  Unfortunately, attempting to remove the role only gave me an error message saying removal failed.  After pieceing together stuff from the web, I think I now have a how-to when it comes to manually remove WSUS.  Since this is the second time I’ve had to do it, I thought it best to write it down this go-around….

  1. First, determine the application’s product code GUID.  You can do this by looking in the registry at \\HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall.  You will need to cycle through the subkeys until you find the one with the correct name in the DisplayName value.  Make note of the subkey; that is the GUID.  To save you the trouble (in case you’re working with the same version as me), the GUID for WSUS 3.0 SP2 is {2C0D7E35-EE6E-4DC7-BA13-2C68AEDEB59D}
  2. Now, at an administrator command prompt, using MSIZAP.exe (which is included in the Windows SDK), clear the install entry:
  3. Stop the WSUS services:
    net stop wsusservice
    net stop wsuscertserver
    NOTE: If your WSUS install is truly broke, you may just get message saying the services are not online.  In that case, just proceed to the next step.
  4. Delete the WSUS services:
    sc delete wsusservice
    sc delete wsuscertserver
  5. Detele the Windows Internal Database:
    msiexec /x {CEB5780F-1A70-44A9-850F-DE6C4F6AA8FB} callerid=ocsetup.exe
  6. Delete the WSUS program folder: C:\Program Files\Update Service (this may vary if you’re using an x64 OS)
  7. Open IIS manager and delete the WSUS virtual directory
  8. The role will still show in server manager, but can be reinstalled using the WSUS installer package.


  1. ReWoP
    Posted September 7, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Nice post really helped me out!

    Some extra hints:
    * You can also get the GUID for WSUS in the setup log file (wsussetup*.log) in %temp%\ folder (in the beginning of the file in front of “Product:”) but actually is the same above;
    * The can be downloaded directly from:
    * If you cant delete the file EventCategories.dll in %ProgramFiles%\Update Services (not Update Service like in step 6) check its permissions (mine was was only to SYSTEM);
    * In order to delete the WSUS virtual directory in IIS, you need first to remove the applications from WSUS in the “Default Web Site”.

    Hope it helps.

  2. Stefano Bordoni
    Posted December 13, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I have used this line and it worked fine for me:

    msiexec /x {2C0D7E35-EE6E-4DC7-BA13-2C68AEDEB59D} callerid=ocsetup.exe

    This wiped out my broken installation and I was able to reinstall again.

  3. Posted December 26, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink | Reply


    …are helpful, but the above killed off my installation after I removed the Windows Internal DB /before/ uninstalling WSUS.

    It might be wise to explicitly state to redirect stdout to a log file. I received “FAILED to clear all data.” when running msizap, and stupidly didn’t save the stdout of msizap; so I don’t know what failed.

    Regardless, I persisted through the remainder of the steps, and had no problems reinstalling!

  4. Justin Blocksom
    Posted April 16, 2013 at 4:58 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great post. While this in and of itself did not fix it for me it got me most of the way there.
    I started with Lawrence Gavin’s sticky note:

    Then applied this blog’s recommendations, then via this site:

    This gave me the information to delete the SQL registry keys in step 8. This allowed me to install the Windows Internal DB, but was still failing on opening service “MSSQL$MICROSOFT##SSEE (Error 0x80070424: The specified service does not exist as an installed service.)”

    Then I found this:

    Finally, after removing the recently installed Windows Internal DB and then overwriting the two .NET files (even though the current ones and the default had the same old date) this allowed the WSUS role to be fully installed. All through the process, this Error file was KEY:

  5. Rob
    Posted August 6, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink | Reply

    I had the same Problem and found this solution:

  6. Kris
    Posted October 21, 2014 at 2:54 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Thanks a lot, your blog helped me with mu broken WSUS.

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