The software distribution is nowadays mostly digital, and even Microsoft changed they approach with Windows 10. However, Windows 10 Media Creation Tool, the best tool for the job, isn’t as flawless as one would imagine. Occasionally, it prompts users with the ”There was a problem running this tool” message in Windows 10.
The error is mostly followed by the alphanumeric error code which varies. Since this error emerges in various different segments, there’s no single solution to address it. The solution depends on various factors, like the Windows version, architecture, USB flash size, etc.
For that purpose, we prepared a list of possible solutions that should help you resolve the issue with this nifty tool. If you’re stuck while either upgrading, updating or creating bootable media via Media Creation Tool, make sure to check the enlisted solutions below.
There was a problem running this tool: 6 steps to fix this error
- Run Windows Media Creation tool as Admin
- Disable your antivirus
- Try another PC and check storage space
- Check for updates
- Tweak the Registry
- Try a third-party Media Creation tool instead
Solution 1 – Run Windows Media Creation tool as Admin
Certain programs need special permission in order to access and change system-related settings. Now, even though Media Creation Tool is provided by Microsoft, just a simple double-click won’t suffice. Especially on older Windows versions.
In order to avoid the error at hand, make sure to run the Media Creation Tool as an administrator. Moreover, if you want to use Media Creation Tool to upgrade from Windows 7 or 8.1, it’s worth trying to change the compatibility mode.
If you’re not sure how to do it, follow the steps below closely and we should be good to go:
- Download the Media Creation Tool installation file.
- Right-click the setup file and open Properties.
- Under the Compatibility tab, choose ”Run this program in compatibility mode”.
- From the drop-down menu, choose Windows 7.
- Now, check the ”Run this program as an administrator” box.
- Confirm changes and run Media Creation Tool again.
In case the problem is persistent and there’s a repetitive error every time you start Media Creation Tool, make sure to check out the additional steps presented below.
Solution 2 – Disable your antivirus
The love-hate relationship between Windows 10 and third-party antivirus solutions is well-documented. Namely, as Windows Defender grows in power and capabilities, the need for third-party alternatives is steadily declining.
Moreover, some anti-malware solutions aren’t optimized for the Windows 10 surrounding and they might, besides a few false detections, block certain Windows features. In this case, Windows Media Creation Tool and update-related processes.
Basically, it’ll cost you nothing to disable the antivirus temporarily until the Media Creation Tool finishes. However, don’t forget to enable it later on.
The lack of real-time protection for extended periods of time is quite a liability. Furthermore, some users resolved the problem only by completely uninstalling the antivirus. We’ll leave that as the last resort since it’s a lengthy and risky operation.
Solution 3 – Try another PC and check storage space
In case you have multiple PCs at home or at the office, and the first refuses to comply, just try another. Users reported that the variety of errors followed by ”There was a problem running this tool” issue, emerged on non-Windows 10 computers. Meaning that Media Creation Tool works the best in Windows 10.
So, if you have an alternative PC, make sure to use it to create a bootable USB or ISO file. In addition, we advise you to use USB that packs at least 6 GB of storage space.
Even though the main Windows 10 setup takes around 4 GB, this size won’t suffice for updates. Additionally, if you’re using Media Creation Tool to update your Windows 10 to the latest build, make sure that you have enough space in the system partition (C:, most of the time).
Finally, some users managed to fix the issue by formatting the USB flash stick to NTFS format instead of FAT32. After that, it seems that the Media Creation Tool worked just fine.
Solution 4 – Check for updates
Many users turn to Media Creation Tool when they want to speed up the upgrade to a major build. Now, this tool, just like the Windows Update feature, uses update-related services and it heavily depends on their performance. Services like BITS are of utmost importance, even for a non-native application like Media Creation Tool.
So, what you’ll need to do is to make sure that all update-related services are running. These instructions should show you where to look and what to do with update services:
- In the Windows Search bar, type services.msc and open Services.
- Find these services on the list and make sure they’re running:
- Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS)
- IKE and AuthIP IPsec Keying Modules
- TCP/IP NetBIOS Helper
- Windows Update or Automatic Updates
- If any of those services are stopped, right-click and choose Start for each individually.
- Restart Media Creation Tool and look for changes.
This workaround might be just enough to relieve you of the ”There was a problem running this tool” error, but it seems that that’s not always the case. For further troubleshooting, you’ll need to reach for the registry.
Solution 5 – Tweak the Registry
The registry is dangerous ground for newbies and it’s not recommended to roam around and change values on your own. At least, if you’re not positive about your actions. And most folks aren’t until the critical system failure occurs and hell broke loose.
Now, jokes aside, there’s something you can and should change in the Registry in order to possibly address update issues with Media Creation Tool. Of course, before we start, it’s advised to back up your registry and then and only then move to tweak.
Follow the instructions below in order to make certain registry changes:
- In the Windows Search bar, type regedit, and open Registry Editor.
- Choose File in the Menu bar and click Export.
- Export your registry to back it up.
- Now, follow this path:
- HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade
- Right-click on the empty space and choose New > DWORD. Name the new dword AllowOSUpgrade and set its value to 1.
- Restart your PC.
Solution 6 – Try a third-party tool instead
Finally, if you’re in possession of Windows 10 ISO file, but you can’t use Media Creation Tool to create a bootable media, there’s always an alternative.
Most users would immediately turn to Rufus, which is a small, portable third-party tool. With it, you should be able to create a bootable media USB and avoid the aforementioned errors with Media Creation Tool. You can find and download Rufus by clicking on this link.
With this step, we can conclude this article. In case you have questions or alternative solutions regarding the Media Creation Tool error, it would be nice to share them with us in the comments section below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness