4 January 2018

Windows 10 update fails: restart the installation

When rebooting after the Windows 10 (Fall Creators) upgrades I got a window with this error:

Windows could not complete installation. To install Windows on this computer, restart the installation.
Only button you have is [OK], so I hit that. The system reboots, only to get stuck on the same window again.

Option 1 (did not work for me)

If your PC has a recovery partition, normally that is Drive D: labeled recovery, you can reboot from there and revert to an earlier configuration of your computer.

Option 2 ( did not work for me): Advanced Startup

  1. Upon consecutive unsuccessful boots, Windows will show the Advanced Startup window. When your computer is booting and the windows logo appears, press the power button until the computer switches off. Do this two times. The third time, let the boot continue and the Advanced Startup window should come up.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot
  3. On the next screen, choose Advanced Options
  4. On the next screen, choose Startup Repair, and go through the procedure.
    After going through this, windows told me it could not repair my system.

Option 3 (worked for me): Create installable media

  1. On another computer download the media creation tool from Microsoft
  2. Plug an empty USB drive of at least 8GB in the computer
  3. Run the tool 
    1. Select: Create installation media for another PC
    2. Make sure the language, and architecture match the ones on the faulty computer. Change these options if necessary. They need to match the license on the target PC. Typically your architecture is 64 bit, but if you are not sure, check this on the faulty computer
      1. In the screen where the problematic computer is asking to reinstall type [SHIFT]+[F10]
      2. A command window will appear. On the command prompt type
        wmic os get osarchitecture
  4. Select USB Flash Drive
  5. Select the drive where the USB is mounted
  6. Start the creation. This takes a while. First the software is downloaded, then the image is written.
    1. The installation failed for me with
      error message: There was a problem running this tool.
      error code: 0x80042405 -- 0xA001A
    2. The solution was to first copy the  downloaded MediaCreationTool.exe to the USB drive and then run the program from the USB drive.
  7. On the problematic computer boot to the error window prompting for a reinstall
  8.  Plug in the USB drive
  9. Start a command prompt by pressing [SHIFT] + [F10] 
  10. Go to the USB drive by typing the drive letter, typically D:
    1. My drive was not mounted to D: (nor E:). I found out the drive letter using the command
    C:\>wmic logicaldisk where drivetype=2 get deviceid, volumename, description
     Turned out my drive was mounted to J: (!?)
  11. Type setup from the USB drive
  12. c:> J:
    J:> setup
  13. Go through the normal upgrade procedure (Choose install OS and Preqerve personal data and files).
    1. The upgrade took me about an hour.
Quite a lengthy process. Not very nice that Microsoft forces you to do the update, and after they've wrecked your system, leave you on your own. I would be interested how this turns out if someone takes them to court over this. Then again, their lawyers must have written a license that allows them to cripple your computer :-/

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