• Server 2016 “Download Only” doesn’t download

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    An ongoing annoyance:  I have a non-WSUS Server 2016 Essentials machine set to Download Only (Notification Level 3). Yet whenever patches are waiting to install and I click Install, it starts with “Downloading.” That may take 20-30 minutes, then it starts installing (20 minutes or so), then I can finally restart (another 20 minutes).

    I’m often trying to get a server updated early in the morning, before the client starts work, so the extra time for downloading causes problems.

    Anyone know why Download Only doesn’t download? Is there a way to get it to download and be ready for updating (like it still does on Server 2012 R2)?

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    • #2307027

      Hi mcbsys. This is a default issue of Server 2016 LTSC GUI and Core Microsoft #wontfix

      Reasons can only be guessed:

      • You can orchestrate updates so it does not mattter how long updates take (and significant CPU load)
      • It does not matter task manager does not show the download speed of update
      • by definition big changes on LTSC are not part of the game. MS fixed the issues in 1703. So one release later but due to LTSC won’t backport it.
      • The current most perfect iteration for Updates and Management is the upcoming Server 2021 (vNext) LTSC, so I hope you have Software Assurance and consider an upgrade to 2019 / 2021 when it is out (second half of 2021 from current estimates)
      • There are several “solutions” starting with disabling Defender and all the stuff.
        I have made solid benchmarks and can say: don’t waste even more time on that.
      • if your licensing allows

      References: Stop the “Windows update madness” on WS2016! – Windows Server (uservoice.com)

      you can find my benchmark results + live videos on very potent hardware (full flash NvME)


      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2307091

      Thanks very much for your reply. Now I know it’s not just me and not something I can expect to see fixed.

      I use several of the “old” Essentials features (RWA, VPN, RDP gateway, client backup), so 2016 is sadly the last option until I am ready to shop for a new solution to each of those.

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