Colin’s IT, Security and Working Life blog

January 1, 2010

Fixing Windows Update error 80244021

Filed under: Fault Finding — chaplic @ 8:11 pm


Spotted on a couple of my machines, windows update was not working, with the above error:




The Microsoft TechNet article is pretty unhelpful, suggesting the windows update service is having trouble connecting, possibly an on-machine firewall stopping it.

Nothing that should be stopping this springs to mind, so my first concern is malware.  A quick scan by Malwarebytes didn’t show anything; sadly I know that doesn’t guarantee we’re OK. I had a quick look at the host file; nothing changed there. The IP addresses associated with the windowsupdate DNS names appeared to be OK. It did seem as if the PC was being blocked from geting updates.

So, what is actually happening when I click “Get updates” ?

I needed something to let me see behind the lovely chromed update UI. The tool I chose was was fiddler. Mainly used by people debugging websites, it also has the useful knack of sniffing all http traffic from the machine. Let’s fire it up and hit the “try again” button:




We can see the update process requesting the from a server jelly.dessert.local

clearly, the machine in question doesn’t belong to WindowsUpdate. Fortunately, there’s an explanation which is less worrying than some uber-weird virus.

A few weeks ago, I need a couple hundred GBs of disk space for some new VMs in a hurry. Being in a tight spot, I uninstalled WUS which conveniently was taking up about that much space; I then of course changed group policy so that my dozen or so  machines talked to windows update directly

It would appear, however, that a couple of machines have group-policy update issues and never got the update changing from using a local WUS to the microsoft update servers.

So a fairly predictable fix from there on in. But the original fault-finding would be soooo much easier with a little more diagnostic error messages, Microsoft!




December 17, 2009

Debugging Exchange 2010 W3WP High Memory Usage

Filed under: Fault Finding — chaplic @ 10:49 pm


I checked the Wordfish Exchange server and noticed high memory usage; in particular W3WP processes were consuming more memory than store.exe !

A quick Google produced nothing of note; the total memory usage was 1GB. On a server with two heavy users, that seems a tad high! One process was consuming more than 500MB alone.

TaskMan isn’t much help:


So, what next?

With headscratchers like this, Process Explorer is always a good bet.

Let’s fire it up, and look for our W3WP processes:



Let’s open the PID showing high memory usage to see if it gives us a clue:


Aha! This tells us the application pool!

Do we have a memory leak? Not sure, and without any web references we’re flying blind. Let’s jump into IIS, into application pools, and program some thread recycling for the thread:



Let’s recycle the thread now to confirm. Note it’s using 176MB of memory:



The replacement process is consuming less memory



Have I spotted a bug in Exchange IIS? Is this expected? Has my recycling helped? Don’t know yet. Only time till tell!


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