Dell refurbished or “recertified” laptop Windows Updates “Managed by System Administrator” on system image

We purchased a Dell laptop from the Dell outlet store online (a great place for deals) and it came with a very bare system image. No Dell applications were pre-installed and the Windows Updates were unable to connect because it said Windows Updates were Managed by your System Administrator. This is what is says when you use a WSUS server on a domain and this was a laptop not connected to a domain so something at the factory was messed up with the image. This is the solution to put it back to normal:

Original post on this blog:

The other day, I encountered a bizarre issue when performing a routine setup on a refurbished (read: practically brand new) Dell Studio laptop. The problem manifested itself when Windows Update was run; rather than successfully connect to the Windows Update server and download updates information, the client would return an error:

Error Code 0x80072EE2
You receive updates: Managed by your system administrator

This sort of behavior is expected if your PC is set to receive Windows Updates via the WSUS service; in other words, not from the standard Windows Updates servers. But this computer was all-new (a new Windows install) and had never had a group policy set related to this (at least, it wasn’t supposed to have had it set)!

None of the usual Windows Update repair tools corrected the problem. Luckily, however, after a bit of research and experimentation, I devised a solution. Please note that this solution should not be performed if your computer uses a Group Policy for Windows Update:

  1. Open RegEdit and navigate to HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\ Windows\WindowsUpdate
  2. Remove any and all values within this key. Most likely, the culprit is a faulty Windows Update source server. Sometimes this is the result of a latent or previous infection.
  3. Finally, download and run Microsoft FixIt 50202. Try the Default settings first, and if that does not work, try Aggressive.
  4. Reboot the computer and check to see that Windows Update is working properly.

An annoying issue to be sure, but at least this solution works! Please let me know if this solution has helped you.


Born a technician, though always willing to learn and improve. 🙂

Managing Editor,
Owner/Sole Proprieter, Triple-S Computers in Louisville, KY


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