Users can’t employ SD-cards to install Anniversary Update on low-storage devices

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Managing Editor
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If you own a low storage device, you can try to upgrade to the Anniversary Update, but don’t be surprised if you receive an error message informing you there’s not enough space to complete the installation.

In such situations, Microsoft suggests users should make use of USB-flash drives or SD-cards to complete the Anniversary Update installation. According to the tech giant, there is no need to install a particular program to upgrade to Windows 10 version 1607 using SD-cards, as all you need to do is follow the on-screen instructions.

Small storage devices, like devices with 32GB hard drives or older devices with full hard drives, may need additional storage to complete the upgrade. You’ll see instructions during the upgrade telling you what to do. You may need to either remove unneeded files from your device, or insert a USB flash drive to complete the upgrade.

Unfortunately, using an SD-card to upgrade to the Anniversary Update is not as simple as Microsoft describes it. Thousands of users are reporting they keep on getting the “Not Enough Disk Space for Anniversary Update” error message, although they have mounted SD-cards as drive D: and tried plugging in USB-drives.

Their computers don’t display any options allowing them to use the SD-cards, showing only the message informing them they need more disk space.

No option to use SD-cards or USB flash drives while installing the Anniversary Update

Toshiba laptop with 32gb and an ODYS tablet with 16gb and the update doesn’t ask for any usb or sd cards to finish the update despite me plugging them in! It keeps saying to enough space! Even if I delete all my apps, it is still not enough!

Fortunately, if you own a low storage device and you want to upgrade, you need not lose hope. Some users managed to install the Anniversary Update despite having previously received the dreaded “Not Enough Disk Space for Anniversary Update” message.

Here’s how to install the Anniversary Update on low storage devices

Use the Media Creation Tool

  1. Make sure you have 8GB of free space
  2. Download the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft.
  3. Launch MediaCreationTool.exe
  4. Click on Upgrade this PC now
  5. Select Keep personal files and apps
  6. Wait for the installation to complete.

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  • Came back here to see if anyone had found a solution to upgrading a windows tablet that doesn’t have 8 gb of space. I have deleted everything other than system files, inserted an SD card and it still tells me not enough space. What good are windows tablets if we can’t upgrade them? I can see why Microsoft is not making windows phones anymore.

  • I have 18GB free on an SD card that is permanently parked in my 32GB HP laptop. In the past, I have occasionally been able to update by directing the computer to use the SD drive in response to the “Not enough space” message (although sadly, I often don’t reach the screen that enables me to do this – I just get a screen with the option to “Fix” the “issues”). Unfortunately, even this doesn’t work sometimes.
    If I download the Media Creation Tool, would I then install it on the D: drive (the SD card)? The C: drive only has 3.3 GB available, so not the 8 GB required. Would this result in the operating system being installed on the D: drive?

  • I have a tablet with a 10Gb hdd and I have 32Gb extra storage via the flash card I installed. I have 1.5Gb available on C: and 31Gb available on D: and am told I need 8Gb of space.

    I come here to find out how to install Windows onto D: because it seems Windows does not give me the option of installing to anywhere except C…

    Since I already have an older version of Win10 on my C and can’t update it because it needs 8Gb of space to update(? Wtf?) I want to do a clean install using a newer ISO but I don’t have any external drives that end in a mini usb port. As such, using an external usb drive or hdd is an issue but once I just get a new cable, I will be in business. If only I could install to D: instead of C…

    How in the world am I EVER going to have 8Gb of available space on a 10GB drive with Win10 on it???? Why in the world I need 8Gb of free space just to update the existing Win 10 installation is also beyond me… But one problem at a time: How will I ever habe 8Gb available on a 10Gb drive with Win10 already on it?

    I come here and am told: If you have little space, don’t despair, just follow these simple instructions: Step one, make sure you have 8Gb of space…

    Wow! Really? That was super useful…except totallly not even in the slightest. Thanks for nothing. You should rename this article: How to install Windows onto small drives that have enough space to install Windows without requiring my advice.

    At least then I would have known not to bother to read this utterly useless dribble. This article was as useful as saying “To install windows from the DVD, double click on Setup.exe and follow the instructions”. Whaaaaaat? Never! Get out of here! Reallllly? That is how? I never would have guessed…

    How to install Windows onto a small drive with little space: Free up space then try again. You know you could have just written that and saved a few hundred words on this article, right?

  • When you get the message “Please insert the external storage media…” just take the USB Flash drive out and pop it into a different slot. That worked for me. (Maybe even just pop it back into the same slot also works…)

  • The anniversary update made my SD card unreadable and now I’m stuck with a message telling me to “insert external media”—which I never removed—on my tablet. The card is no longer readable and cannot be formatted. Thanks a lot. Now what?

  • “Make sure you have 8GB of free space.” I thought this article was going to solve the issues with updating on small devices? I have 5 GB plus a 30 GB Flash Drive purchased for the update, but the MCT did not offer the option to use an external drive. A Microsoft technician tried to charge me £99.99 for a fresh re-install and update. No thanks.