After installing Windows Server 2003 R2 in a VM for some quick testing, I installed SP2, rebooted, then went to Windows Update to download an expected multitude of Windows patches. However, Windows Update failed repeatedly with “Error Number 0x80072EE2” displayed in the browser window. Updating Windows Update to “Microsoft Update” and IE6 to IE 8 did not help, nor did deleting the SoftwareDistribution folder.
Oddly, turning off the Windows Firewall fixed the problem. Below is a link to an article that indicated turning the firewall *on* solved the same problem. With the server fully patched and after re-enabling the firewall, I am still seeing the same behavior (117 patches were installed post-SP2). I don’t yet know if Automatic Updates (non-browser) will experience the same problem with the firewall enabled.