Windows installation failed in safe OS phase with an error

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
Troubleshooting Expert
6 Comments
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  • If you're getting an error while trying to install Windows in safe OS phase, some settings might be wrong.
  • There are several ways in which you can fix this, and we're guiding you through all of them.
  • The Windows OS is susceptible to various functionality errors that we've extensively covered in the Errors Hub.
  • For solutions to more general errors, be sure to visit our Troubleshooting section.
Installation Failed in Safe OS Phase With an Error

Although Windows 10 is free for most Windows 8 and Windows 7 users upgrading to Windows 10 isn’t always smooth as you think.

Users report getting The installation failed in the safe_os phase with an error during apply_image operation error while trying to upgrade to Windows 10.

Variations of this error include installation errors during:

  • recovery environment
  • prepare rollback
  • replicate_oc operation
  • migrate_data operation
  • first_boot

Possible specific errors that can appear during installation are:

In this article, we’ve tried to cover all these problems. Since operating systems behave differently, our advice is that you try each solution in turn, until finding the right fix.

What can I do if the installation fails in the safe_OS phase?

1. Update all your drivers

update driver and fix windows installation

According to users, Installation Failed in Safe_OS Phase With an Error During Apply_image Operation message can appear if you have any problems with your drivers.

Outdated drivers can cause this problem to appear, so it’s recommended to update them.

For instance, a lot of users reported that their USB drivers were the problem. After updating them, the issue was resolved.

However, other outdated drivers can cause this problem as well. So we wholeheartedly recommend a third-party tool, DriverFix, to help with detecting and updating all the essential drivers.

DriverFix automatically update drivers

Once installed and launched, the tool scans your system and finds all problematic drivers. It also offers reliable recommendations for the latest software versions that you can safely install.

Besides, this is not just a one-time use tool. It will surely come in handy later on.

DriverFix

DriverFix

Think about all the time you're saving by allowing this tool to update all your system drivers.
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2. Use IObit Advanced System Care

how do i fix windows installation in safe phase

Installation Failed in Safe_OS Phase With an Error During Apply_image Operation error can appear due to your temporary files, and one way to fix it is to use IObit Advanced System Care.

This is a simple tool that helps you with eliminating useless or invalid registries in order to free up disk space and improve PC performance.

With the free version, you also get to monitor your system condition in real-time.

The premium version of the tool comes with a bunch of advanced cleaning and optimization features that will improve your device’s health.

IObit Advanced System Care

IObit Advanced System Care

Prepare your device for a smooth Windows installation by deep-cleaning it with this powerful tool.

3. Change your Windows 10 installation

This is a bit complex solution since it requires you to change Windows 10 setup files. This solution is helpful to some users, but make sure that you follow instructions carefully to prevent any damage and unwanted issues.

The main cause of this error is the KB3064209 Intel CPU microcode update. If you don’t use Intel’s CPU, then this doesn’t apply to you.

This was proven to work on Gigabyte GB-BXi3-4010 motherboards with Intel i3 4010U CPU installed, but we assume that it should work with any other motherboard with Intel CPU.

KB3064209 updates the file C:/Windows/system32/mcupdate_genuineintel.dll

In order to install Windows 10, you need to delete this file. To do so, follow the steps below (we’ll use X: as USB drive, C: as our operating system drive letter, and User as the user profile name. When applying this solution, make sure that you change these to match your settings.)

  1. Download Windows 10 ISO and copy its contents to a USB stick.
  2. Run Command Prompt as administrator.
    The installation failed in the safe_os phase with an error during recovery environment
  3. Create a new folder on your Desktop and call it mount.
  4. Mount and edit WIM (Image file:boot.wim, Index 1) by entering into Command Prompt:
    • dism /Mount-Image /ImageFile:X:sourcesboot.wim /index:1 /MountDir:C:UsersUserDesktopmountThe installation failed in the safe_os phase with an error during prepare rollback
  5. Use Windows Explorer and navigate to:
    • C:/Users/User/Desktop/mount/Windows/System32/mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dll
  6. Right-click mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dll and choose Properties.
  7. Go to the Security tab, then click Advanced.
    Windows 10 error 0xc1900101 - 0x20017
  8. Next, Change the Owner to your User account. (Enter your user account and click on Check Names button. Click OK to save the changes.)
    The installation failed in the safe_os phase with an error during install_updates
  9. In the Security tab click Edit and then Add to add your user account. (Make sure that you check Full Control so you can have maximum privileges. Click Apply and OK to save changes.)
    The installation failed in the safe_os phase boot
  10. Now delete mcupdate_GenuineIntel.dll.
  11. Close all open Windows Explorer windows.
  12. Go back to Command Prompt and unmount the image by entering:
    • dism /Unmount-Image /MountDir:C:UsersUserDesktopmount /commit
  13. Now you’ll have to repeat steps 4-11 for the following files:
    • boot.wim /index:2
    • install.wim /index:1
    • install.wim /index:2
  14. If you’re confused, just replace boot.wim /index:1 with the values from the list above.
  15. Delete the mount folder from your desktop, remove the USB and boot the installer.

This is an advanced solution, so be sure to follow the instructions on the screen carefully in order to perform it properly.


Want a smooth Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrade? Of course you do! Here is how to do that!


4. Set services to automatic

  1. Press Windows Key + R and type services.msc. Press Enter or click OK.
    The installation failed in the safe_os first_boot
  2. Find the following services:
    • BITS(Background Intelligent Transfer Service)
    • Windows Update Service
    • Cryptographic Service
  3. Double-click each of these services to open their Properties.
  4. Now find the Startup type and set it to Automatic. Click on Apply and OK to save changes.
    Windows 10 error 0xc1900101 - 0x20017
  5. Repeat the process for all three services.
  6. Restart your computer and try to install Windows 10 again.

After enabling all these services, the problem should be resolved and you’ll be able to install Windows 10 without any issues.


5. Unplug all USB devices from your computer / remove your WiFi adapter

Unplug USB devices from your computer / remove your WiFi adapter

Some users report that unplugging all USB devices fixes this issue, so you might want to do that. This applies to your printer, phone, external hard drive, etc.

Try using a PS/2 keyboard and mouse instead of a USB keyboard and mouse.

Also, if you’re using a dedicated WiFi card, you might want to remove it from your computer while trying to install Windows 10.

Do this only if you know how it works, or if your device is under warranty. Contact the official repair shop if available.

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  • For me what helped after trying everthing was to check my Cluster size.
    Changed it from 512 to 4K and Windows 10 updated like magic.

  • Several problems with this answer. First, Mount-Image and Unmount-Image are no longer valid DISM commands. In Windows 7, where you’ll be likely editing the images, it’s Mount-WIM and UnMount-WIM.

    But the bigger problem is that Microsoft doesn’t include Install.wim anymore, they have install.esd, and you can’t edit the install.esd image.

    You can decrypt install.esd into install.wim, but how do you get a setup.exe file that uses install.wim rather than install.esd?

    This may have been a good answer back when Windows 10 first came out, but not anymore.

    There doesn’t appear to be any solution to this issue, and no way to install Windows 10 on machines that generate this error, other than to do a clean install rather than an upgrade.

    Microsoft knows about this problem with Windows 10 upgrades but just says that they are looking into it and they’ve never come up with a solution.

    • Don’t upgrade. Wipe out Windows 7 or 8 and do a clean install. But the goal is to not have to do that. I doubt if your customers would like that answer.

    • I know right!? All the issues I have it like they want you to be in the os for repair. Like how am I suppose to do that if I cannot boot into said os to begging with.