When Insider build upgrade fails - A Workaround

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  1. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,434
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

    When Insider build upgrade fails - A Workaround


    Note   Note
    OK geeks, this is if not a solution but at least a workaround to get upgrade done when it fails whatever you do. I apologize for the length of this post; as the workaround involves some elements not familiar to all users I decided to post this with explanatory screenshots describing each step.

    You try this at your own risk. However, I am convinced this will work, having spent 16+ hours today testing it over dozen times on two different physical devices and on a virtual machine, always restoring a Macrium image and letting upgrade to fail first then applying the fix. Every test was successful, upgrade working when everything else had failed.

    Time required = about 10 minutes more than upgrade usually takes.

     Bacground

    My upgrades from 16199 to 16215 on two devices failed twice on both devices (first try from Settings > Windows Update, second try from ISO). Both devices have totally different hardware, a Medion tablet running W10 PRO x32 and an Asus laptop running W10 PRO x64, both giving the same error:

    When Insider build upgrade fails - A Workaround-image.png

    On further testing I got various other errors, for instance this:

    When Insider build upgrade fails - A Workaround-image.png

    Researching all errors I found out that most often the upgrade seemed to fail because of either a hardware device or a user profile. In addition, a boot menu on multiboot system seemed to cause upgrade to fail.

    I decided to test an upgrade scenario where upgrade is run from an ISO image using a system profile instead of a normal user profile, with default Windows 10 drivers before most of the hardware specific drivers have been loaded.


     Preparations

    1.) Make ISO from upgrade files (tutorial). Rename ISO using a short, simple name (in this example I rename ISO as W10PRO.iso). Save / copy ISO to a location where it can be accessed by any user (not in a user profile or other system folder). A good location is for instance C:\Users\W10PRO.iso, or another internal drive. In this example I saved ISO as E:\W10PRO.iso

    2.) Make a new local admin user, I call it Dummy1 (tutorial to create new user, tutorial to change account type to administrator)

    3.) Sign out from all user accounts, sign in to Dummy1

    4.) Disable all existing user accounts except Dummy1 (tutorial)

    5.) On multiboot systems, backup boot menu (tutorial)

    6.) On multiboot systems, press WIN + R and type msconfig, click OK to open System Configuration. Select Boot tab, select all but current OS (the one you want to upgrade) one by one deleting their boot menu entries them:

    When Insider build upgrade fails - A Workaround-image.png

    7.) Disconnect all external devices except mouse, keyboard and display

    8.) Press WIN+R, run following command:

    %windir%\system32\Sysprep\Sysprep.exe /oobe /reboot

    Sysprep will run and Windows will restart.


     Upgrade

    9.) When OOBE starts after restart showing region selection prompt you will be signed in with a system profile defaultuser0. Open Command Prompt with SHIFT + F10

    When Insider build upgrade fails - A Workaround-image.png

    Note   Note
    Notice please: If any system folders have been relocated to another drive than C: you might see a Welcome to Windows 10 screen instead of region selection screen shown above. In this case you will be signed in using a system profile C:\Windows\System32\Config\Systemprofile. Steps 9 through 16 apply also in this case:

    When Insider build upgrade fails - A Workaround-image.png

    Screenshot for steps 10. through 16. (numbers in screenshot refer to list item numbers below):

    When Insider build upgrade fails - A Workaround-image.png
    (Click to enlarge.)

    10.) Enter command powershell to switch to PowerShell mode

    11.) Mount your Insider upgrade ISO with cmdlet Mount-DiskImage E:\W10PRO.iso replacing E:\W10PRO.iso with actual path and ISO filename

    12.) Type exit and press Enter to exit PowerShell mode

    13.) Type Diskpart to start Disk Partitioning utility

    14.) Type list vol to get list of all volumes (partitions). Check and note the drive ID letter for mounted ISO

    15.) Type exit and press Enter to exit Diskpart

    16.) Run command Z:\Setup.exe to start Windows build upgrade from ISO replacing Z:\ with actual drive ID for your mounted ISO

    Note   Note
    Any accidental click in OOBE might make the OOBE screen active hiding everything else. If this happens, if you lose sight of Windows Upgrade window. press ALT + TAB to show app selection, press ALT + TAB again to select Windows 10 Setup:

    When Insider build upgrade fails - A Workaround-image.png

    When Insider build upgrade fails - A Workaround-image.png


    17.) When upgrade has been done, OOBE requires you to create an initial user account. Make it a local account. You cannot use any username already reserved including those accounts you disabled in step 4. The same with Dummy1, it can't be used now. Use Dummy2 or anything else you prefer. If you try an existing username, you will be told to use another one:

    When Insider build upgrade fails - A Workaround-image.png

    18.) When on Desktop open elevated Command Prompt and re-activate all disabled user accounts (tutorial), sign out from Dummy account, sign in to your original admin account, remove Dummy1 and Dummy2 accounts (tutorial)

    Note   Note
    The reason that we used Dummy accounts temporarily disabling your actual user accounts is that sometimes when running Sysprep on an existing Windows installation, active user accounts lose Start and Cortana / Search functionality. If this happens you must open elevated Command Prompt by pressing WIN + E to open File Explorer, browse to C:\Windows\System32 folder, right click CMD.exe and select Run as administrator:

    When Insider build upgrade fails - A Workaround-image.png

    19.) On multiboot systems, restore boot menu (tutorial)


    Tip   Tip
    Attention Macrium and Hyper-V users:

    A nice way to do this, or even upgrade when there's nothing wrong and upgrade would work on your host PC is to let Windows Update download and initialize upgrade, make an ISO, then create a Macrium image and boot it in Macrium viBoot (tutorial).

    Attach upgrade ISO on viBoot VM, follow the instructions to upgrade, save viBoot image and restore it to your host.

    This way you can continue using your host PC all the time during the upgrade.


    That's it geeks! Let me know if this worked for you :)

    Kari
    Last edited by Kari; 11 Jun 2017 at 07:39. Reason: Incredible amount of typos!
      My Computer

  2. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,012
    Windows10
       #2

    Great guide as usual.

    One problem people may run into though is if they have installed uwp apps (mostly 3rd party ones but not exclusively so) as these can cause sysprep to fail.

    You have to uninstall them first, or read sysprep error logs to find out which app caused it to fail. This can take a while as sysprep stops at first error - so you get in a loop of sysprep, uninstall 1st app, sysprep, uninstall 2nd app etc. until sysprep works. Even uninstalling can be a challenge as may need to use powershell in some cases.

    Another small but crucial point - of course, one should make an image backup prior to commencing this tutorial.
      My Computer

  3. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,434
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #3

    cereberus said:
    Great guide as usual.

    One problem people may run into though is if they have installed uwp apps (mostly 3rd party ones but not exclusively so) as these can cause sysprep to fail.

    You have to uninstall them first, or read sysprep error logs to find out which app caused it to fail. This can take a while as sysprep stops at first error - so you get in a loop of sysprep, uninstall 1st app, sysprep, uninstall 2nd app etc. until sysprep works. Even uninstalling can be a challenge as may need to use powershell in some cases.
    No, sorry but you are wrong.

    Generalizing with Sysprep might fail when done on an existing installation because of provisioned apps. Sysprepping without /generalize switch however always works. As in this procedure removing hardware device drivers is not necessary, the /generalize switch is not required and Sysprep will work without issues.

    Might fail when apps have been provisioned:

    sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /reboot

    Never fails:

    sysprep.exe /oobe /reboot

    Kari
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 300
    W10 Pro x64. W10 Pro x64 Fast Insider Preview
       #4

    Thank you Kari. I'll be trying this when I have time. I have had failure after failure attempting to install 16215, including from an ISO. BTW, I found multiple *.esd files when I made the ISO. 64 bit Pro build 16199.
      My Computers

  5. cereberus's Avatar
    Posts : 12,012
    Windows10
       #5

    Kari said:
    No, sorry but you are wrong.

    Generalizing with Sysprep might fail when done on an existing installation because of provisioned apps. Sysprepping without /generalize switch however always works. As in this procedure removing hardware device drivers is not necessary, the /generalize switch is not required and Sysprep will work without issues.

    Might fail when apps have been provisioned:

    sysprep.exe /generalize /oobe /reboot

    Never fails:

    sysprep.exe /oobe /reboot

    Kari
    Ah my apologies. I have never tried doing it without generalise.
      My Computer

  6. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,434
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #6

    Added this tip to the end of first post:

    Tip   Tip
    Attention Macrium and Hyper-V users:

    A nice way to do this, or even upgrade when there's nothing wrong and upgrade would work on your host PC is to let Windows Update download and initialize upgrade, make an ISO, then create a Macrium image and boot it in Macrium viBoot (tutorial).

    Attach upgrade ISO on viBoot VM, follow the instructions to upgrade, save viBoot image and restore it to your host.

    This way you can continue using your host PC all the time during the upgrade.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 300
    W10 Pro x64. W10 Pro x64 Fast Insider Preview
       #7

    Well, my attempt to install 16215 using Kari's workaround instructions was unsuccessful, crashed with INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE after the prolonged, "installing" then booting once and beginning the first stage of the real update, Last % is saw was 10, IIRC. About the same place as my attempt to upgrade from the ISO. Maybe a faulty ISO?

    Now I see your new suggestion, Kari. Will look at that tomorrow
      My Computers

  8. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,434
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #8

    lmod said:
    Well, my attempt to install 16215 using Kari's workaround instructions was unsuccessful, crashed with INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE after the prolonged, "installing" then booting once and beginning the first stage of the real update, Last % is saw was 10, IIRC. About the same place as my attempt to upgrade from the ISO. Maybe a faulty ISO?

    Now I see your new suggestion, Kari. Will look at that tomorrow
    You did disable all normal user accounts?
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 520
    Windows 10 Pro x64, Windows 8.1 Pro x64, Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
       #9

    Kari,

    I followed your instructions exactly and it ended just as Imod's did, unsuccessful and crashed with INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE.
    I think I'll just wait for an update from Microsoft but thanks for your efforts.

    Paul
      My Computers

  10. Kari's Avatar
    Posts : 17,434
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #10

    pbcopter said:
    Kari,

    I followed your instructions exactly and it ended just as Imod's did, unsuccessful and crashed with INACCESSIBLE BOOT DEVICE.
    I think I'll just wait for an update from Microsoft but thanks for your efforts.

    Paul
    This is strange, I cannot get it to fail.

    Did you get normal OOBE region selection screen after Sysprep, or the System > Welcome to Windows 10 screen?

    Anyway, I am already working with a more secure method, been testing all day. I'll wait a few more volunteers to test this before rewriting fist post with new method.
      My Computer


 
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