Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2 Migration Guide

Updated: July 19, 2011

Applies To: Windows Server 2003 with SP2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1, Windows Server Update Services, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Essentials, Windows Small Business Server 2011 Standard


Windows Server Update Services is enhanced in Windows Server 2012. Explore the Evaluation Guide and download the Windows Server 2012 Trial.

In this guide

About this guide


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This guide describes the process to migrate an existing Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) 3.0 SP2 server role to a destination server that is running Windows Server® 2008 R2. The guide includes instructions for moving the updates, settings, target groups, and computers to the new server. By using the tools that are described in this guide, you can simplify the migration process, reduce migration time, increase the accuracy of the migration process, and help eliminate possible conflicts that might otherwise occur during the migration process. For more information about how to install and use the migration tools on both source and destination servers, see Windows Server Migration Tools Installation, Access, and Removal on the Windows Server 2008 R2 TechCenter.

Windows Server Migration Tools is a set of Windows PowerShell cmdlets. For more information about Windows PowerShell and working with cmdlets, see the Working with Windows PowerShell cmdlets section in Windows Server Migration Common Tasks and Information.

Target audience

This guide is intended for information technology (IT) administrators, IT professionals, and other knowledge workers who are responsible for the operation and deployment of WSUS in a managed environment.

What this guide does not provide

The scope of this document is limited to migration of the WSUS role to Windows Server 2003 with Service Pack 2 (SP2), Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2. You may be able to migrate WSUS 3.0 SP2 to other operating systems by using similar techniques as described in this document, although doing so is not a documented scenario in this guide.

Supported operating systems

Migration from the following source servers to the following destination servers is documented in this guide:


The destination server CPU architecture must be x64-based, the only architecture supported by Windows Server 2008 R2. The source CPU architecture does not have to match the destination server architecture.

The versions of operating systems shown in the following table are the oldest combinations of operating systems and service packs that are supported. Newer service packs, if available, are also supported.

Supported operating systems

Source server processor Source server operating system and WSUS version Destination server operating system Destination server processor

x86- or x64-based

Windows Server 2003 SP2 running WSUS 3.0 SP1 or WSUS 3.0 SP2

Windows Server 2003 SP2

Windows Server 2003 R2

Windows Server 2008, the full installation option

Windows Server 2008 R2, the full installation option


Windows Server 2003 R2 running WSUS 3.0 SP1 or WSUS 3.0 SP2

Windows Server 2008, the full installation option running WSUS 3.0 SP1 or WSUS 3.0 SP2


Windows Server 2008 R2 running WSUS 3.0 SP1 or WSUS 3.0 SP2

Supported migration scenarios

The following scenarios are supported:

  • Standard, Enterprise, and Datacenter editions are supported as either source or destination servers.

  • Migrations between physical operating systems and virtual operating systems.

  • Migration from a source server that is running SQL 2005 to a destination server that runs SQL 2008.

  • Migration from a source server that runs Windows® Internal Database to a destination server that runs SQL server.

  • Migration from domain to workgroup and workgroup to domain. However, if the source server is using remote SQL Server, migration from domain to workgroup is not supported.

  • The destination server must meet the WSUS 3.0 SP2 minimum system requirements for hardware and software.

    • For more information about minimum system requirements for the WSUS server, see the WSUS 3.0 SP2 System Requirements section of the WSUS 3.0 SP2 Deployment Guide.

    • For hardware capacity requirements and performance information, see the Determine capacity requirements section in the WSUS 3.0 Sp2 Deployment Guide .

Migration scenarios that are not supported

The following scenarios are not supported:

  • Migrating from an unsupported version of WSUS (prior to WSUS 3.0 SP1). Upgrade the existing WSUS server to a supported version before you migrate the WSUS role.

  • WSUS does not support Server Core, therefore migrating Server Core installations is not supported.

  • Migrating from a source server that is running SQL 2008 to a destination server that is running SQL 2005.

  • Migrating from domain to workgroup that is using remote SQL Server.

  • Migrating from a source server that is running SQL server to a destination server that is running Windows Internal Database.

  • Migration between different update locations: from a source server that stores updates on Microsoft Update to a destination server that stores updates on a local WSUS server, and vice versa. Changing the configuration during the migration process is not supported.

  • Migration from a source server to a destination server that is running an operating system in a different system UI language than the source server is not supported. The system UI language is the language of the localized installation package that was used to set up the Windows operating system. For example, you cannot use Windows Server Migration Tools to migrate roles, operating system settings, data, or shares from a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 in the French system UI language to a computer that is running Windows Server 2008 R2 in the German system UI language.

Overview of the migration process for the WSUS role

WSUS role migration is divided into four phases:

  • Preparing to Migrate WSUS. In this phase, you obtain background information you must have to perform the migration.

  • Migrating WSUS. All WSUS data is moved from the source server to the destination server during this phase.

  • Verifying the WSUS Migration. In this phase, test the new server to verify that it is configured and functioning correctly.

  • Post-migration Tasks for WSUS. During this phase, after the clients are receiving updates from the new server, you have the option of retiring the old server or uninstalling the WSUS role on that server.

Effect of migration on other computers in the enterprise

If the steps in this WSUS server role migration guide are followed as prescribed, there is no effect on WSUS-managed clients.

Permissions required to perform the migration

You must have elevated administrator permissions on the source server and on the destination server to perform the migration.


All tools must be run with elevated administrator permissions throughout this guide.
To run a tool with elevated administrator permissions in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2, click Start, point to All Programs, point to the tool, right-click the tool, and then click Run As Administrator.

Estimated duration

The migration is expected to require two to four hours or more. This includes both the verification and post-migration tasks. See table for estimated time for each phase of the migration process.

Phase Tasks Estimated duration


One to several hours


Two to four hours


Several minutes


Several minutes to several hours

See Also


Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2 Release Notes
Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2 Deployment Guide
Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2 Operations Guide
Best Practices Analyzer for Windows Server Update Services
Windows Server Update Services 3.0 SP2 Technical Reference