So many drivers...

Hi all,

Anyone who added "Drivers" to their WSUS synchronization options may have noticed a large number of driver updates showing up in their WSUS server recently, and the majority of them have the same title. We wanted to let you know what's going on and what we are doing about it.

First lets talk about the root cause. Drivers can target one or more hardware IDs, and we have a limitation in our data-model so that each "update" can only support a single hardware ID. What that means is that a single driver is often implemented as multiple updates, all with the same title. What happened recently is a few drivers were released to WSUS that supported a very large number of hardware IDs.

It turns out the proper fix for this is not simple; it involves changes to WSUS, WUA, WU, and our driver publishing pipeline to allow a single driver update to support multiple hardware IDs. We have made a number of these changes already, but all this won't come online until some time after the next WSUS release. A number of folks have asked "can't you just do some quick change to the WSUS UI to group them together" and unfortunately that is an even more complex change to make (although in the WSUS 3 UI update view, we do have a "group by" feature that allows one to at least group the updates by title - but that's only a small part of update handling).

In the short term, we will be making some publishing policy changes to ensure that drivers with a large number of hardware IDs don't flow to WSUS through WSUS/MU server synch. This doesn't mean the drivers won't be available to WSUS - they can still be imported from the MU catalog site (from the WSUS 3 UI, go to the "Updates" node and select "import..."). It's just that they won't flow automatically and surprise those who have added drivers to their synch options.

-Marc Shepard

WSUS Lead Program Manager