SQL Service Pack installation through Automatic Updates

My responses to 3 questions in the past 2 weeks has prompted this post. The issue is something like this.

  • Windows Automatic Updates is enabled on an instance running SQL Server
  • Windows Update prompts that a new SQL Service Pack/Hotfix is available to be installed and the user installs it through Windows Update.
  • Installation completes successfully and the correct version is reflected in SQL Server
  • After the next reboot, again the Windows Automatic Updates prompts to install the Service Pack which was previously installed. The installation would obviously fail since it is already applied.
  • Windows Update keeps prompting for the Service Pack to be installed.

This issue happens because the some of the cached files of the Windows Automatic Updates are corrupt. These files are located in [Default Windows Directory]\SoftwareDistribution\Download folder.

The following steps are useful to workaround this issue.

  • Stop the Automatic Updates service in the Service Control Manager (services.msc)
  • Open the folder C:\WINDOWS\SoftwareDistribution\Downloads
  • Delete all the files in this folder
  • Start the Automatic Update service

Since the cached files were cleared manually, when the Automatic Update service starts for the next time, it will recreate all the files required for its functionality and builds the cache afresh.

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