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Try running through the following steps on one of the problematic machines and let us know if the update returns a valid result.
1. Click Start, click Run, type services.msc, and then click OK.
2. In the Services (Local) pane, right-click Automatic Updates, and then click Stop.
3. Minimize the Services (local) window.
4. Rename c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution to c:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution.old.
5. Maximize the Services (local) window.
6. In the Services (Local) pane, right-click Automatic Updates, and then click Start.
7.Restart the computer, and then run Windows Update again.
Clearing the SoftwareDistribution folder did help. What's the reason for the "no local metadata" message? How can I achieve the deployment without deleting every single SoftwareDistribution folder? By duplicating the update (resulting in a new ID) and distributing this one (and expiring the old)?
From what I understand the error "has no local extended metadata. Not returning it" likely indicates some sort of corruption in the datastore on the machines affected with this issue. Provided your idea on expiring and duplicating the package doesn't work out, it is possible for you to create a task within Patch Manager to clear out the softwaredistribution folder on the affected machines. Here's some steps on how to do that.
1. In the tree view in the left pane of the application, expand the Microsoft Windows Network level.
2. Select a workgroup or domain from the tree view.
The managed computers within the selected workgroup or domain display in the center pane.
Note: This feature is also available from other views throughout the SolarWinds Patch Manager console, such as the Managed Computers view under the Patch Manager System Configuration level in the tree view on the left pane.
3. Select a managed computer from the center pane.
4. In the Actions pane, select Windows Update Agent Maintenance and Repair.
The system displays the Windows Update Agent Maintenance and Repair window.
5. Select "Delete Software Distribution Folder and Sub-folders". Click here for a table that describes these options.
*This option removes the update folder and is useful when a downloaded update is corrupt.
6. Click OK.
7. If applicable, complete the Computer Selection section of the Task Options Wizard.
8. Click Next.
9. Complete the Scheduling and Notification Options section of the Task Options Wizard.
10. Click Next.
11. On the Summary screen, click Finish.