Appendix A: Unattended Installations

Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server Update Services

You can use command-line parameters to run WSUS Setup in unattended mode. When running this way, WSUS Setup does not display a user interface (UI). If you need to troubleshoot the setup process, use the log files, which you can find at the following location:

WSUSInstallationDrive:\Program Files\Microsoft Windows Server Update Services\LogFiles\

Use command-line parameters from a command prompt.

Type the following command:

WSUSSetup.exe /command-line parameter property=value

where command-line parameter is a command-line parameter from the WSUS Setup command-line parameters table, where property is a property from the WSUS Setup properties table, and where value is the actual value of the property being passed to WSUS. Both tables are included below.

If you need to pass a value to WSUS Setup, use the property name, an equals sign ("="), and its value. Properties are always paired with values. For example, if you wanted WSUS Setup to install silently and set the WSUS Content Directory to the D:\WSUS directory, you would use the following syntax:


If you need help with WSUSutil.exe, you can use the /help command to display the list of command-line parameters:

WSUSSetup.exe /help

WSUS setup command-line parameters

Option Description


Perform silent installation.


Uninstall the product.


Inspect the system and report any prerequisites that are missing. Does not install WSUS.

/?, /h

Display command-line parameters and their descriptions.


Upgrade from the 2.0 version of WSUS. The only valid parameter with this option is /q (silent installation). The only valid property with this option is DEFAULT_WEBSITE.

WSUS setup properties

Property Description


0=content hosted locally, 1=host on Microsoft Update


Path to content directory. Default is WSUSInstallationDrive\WSUS\WSUSContent, where WSUSInstallationDrive is the local drive with the largest amount of free space.


Path to Windows Internal Database data directory.


The name should appear in the format ServerName\SQLInstanceName. If the database instance is on the local machine, use the %COMPUTERNAME% environment variable. If an existing instance is not present, the default is %COMPUTERNAME%\WSUS.


0=port 8530, 1=port 80


Path and file name for log file


0=install the WSUS server, 1=install console only


0=do not install inventory features, 1=install inventory features


0=retain database, 1=remove database


0=retain content files, 1=remove content files


0=retain log files, 1=remove log files (used with the /u install switch).


0=use current database, 1=create database


Window handle to return Microsoft© Windows© Installer progress messages.


1=join Microsoft Update Improvement Program, 0=don't join


1=do not write the content location to the database, 0=write the content location to the database (for NLB)