The four letters each and every IT Professional seems to dread.

“Read The Finelyprinted Manual”

Yes I know.  Let’s leave that one alone.

Why do we fear it?  Why do we back away from it?

Is it because manuals are written usually in two extremes?

One.  So simplistic we fall asleep and it doesn’t cover the higher end features we need?


Two.  So complex and detailed they give us WAY more information than we need?

or is it just a habit of going onto so many sites LACKING material and documentation that we have programmed ourselves that it’s not even worth looking?

Whatever the reason, I sat down today and DID read a manual.  I read the details.  And I will READ MORE now that I have learned my lessons.

You see I had a problem that made no sense.  (at least in my eyes)

Install Windows Server Update Server 3.0 SP1 on Server 2008 64bit Standard.

Seems pretty simple right?  I’ve done it before 2003.  I even had a Server 2008 Standard already RUNNING WSUS 3.0 SP1 in production.  Installed it myself.

But try as I might, pray to the computer gods, bang the table.  It kept coming up with the same error on install.

“Please install IIS or add additional roles”  or something along those lines.

Over and over.  Looking for hotfixes, online solutions, errors. 

Same problem on each time I tried to install.

I added IIS and the roles I remember adding lasttime I did WSUS 3.0 SP1.  But nothing.

I didn’t use the four letters I SHOULD have.

I do believe I kept producing several useless other types of Four lettered words. Several quite colourful ones as I recall.

So you know what I did?  I found the deployment guide.  Online.  Not even hidden.

And I read.

And not even HIDDEN.  BOLD. CLEAR! Standing up on the pages before me waving it’s hands was the answer.  Jumping up and down in BIG NEON LIGHTS.

The exact *not the least bit vague* list of roles I was supposed to add.   The answer.  In the Manual.

I click on little box and *Poof*, role added.  I click another box and *Poofo* WSUS 3.0 SP1 is happily installing into server wagging it’s tail all the way.

I won’t even bother detailing how much quicker the manual was.

I won’t even try to go into detail how both ELATED and how much of a HEEL I felt for both READING and suddenly realizing how much quicker the manual was.

So my friends.  Stand with me and dance.

Don’t fear it. Read the Manual.

The Manual is your friend.