Fix Windows 10 error in second boot and complete the upgrade

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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windows 10 error second boot

A Windows 10 error in second boot usually happens if an upgrade is unsuccessful, so it is helpful to understand at what point the error occurred during the upgrade.

Ideally, the upgrade process has four phases:

  • Downlevel, which runs on the source operating system, so upgrade errors are not typically seen.
  • SafeOS, where errors happen due to hardware and firmware issues, or non-Microsoft disk encryption software.
  • First boot, where boot failures are rare and usually caused by device drivers
  • Second boot phase (OOBE boot phase), where the system is running under the target OS with new drivers, and failures are due to antivirus software or filter drivers.

At second boot phase, the Welcome to Windows 10 screen is displayed, preferences configured, and Windows 10 sign-in prompt displayed. Some error codes that show up during the upgrade phase take the form of 0xC1900101 (result code), with an extend code of 0x4000D, so it returns to you as 0xC1900101-0x4000D.

The Windows 10 error in second boot can also occur due to running an upgrade on low disk space, incompatible or outdated drivers, security software that conflicts with Windows 10, incompatible BIOS, HDD controllers, an NIC card or your processor, booting from VHD or from Windows to Go, running in Audit mode, or the host build is either staged build or unstaged build.

If you get the Windows 10 error in second boot phase, during an upgrade, try the solutions below and see if they help fix the problem.

FIX: Windows 10 error in second boot

  1. Preliminary quick fixes
  2. Check Device Manager for errors
  3. Perform a System Reset
  4. Upgrade using Windows 10 ISO file
  5. Use driver analyzer software

1. Preliminary quick fixes

The steps below can resolve most Windows 10 error in second boot (upgrade) problems:

  • Remove external hardware, such as docks and USB devices, among others
  • Check all hard drives for errors and attempt repairs. To automatically repair hard drives, open an elevated command prompt, switch to the drive you wish to repair, and type the chkdsk /F. You will be required to reboot the computer if the hard drive being repaired is also the system drive. Repairs will start automatically on your hard drive and you’ll be prompted to restart your device.
  • Restore and repair system files by typing the following commands at an elevated command prompt: exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth and sfc /scannow. It may take several minutes for the command operations to be completed.
  • Update Windows so that all available recommended updates are installed, and ensure the computer is rebooted so as to complete installation of an update.
  • Uninstall non-Microsoft antivirus software. You can use Windows Defender for protection during the upgrade. Once you verify compatibility information, you can re-install antivirus applications after the upgrade.
  • Uninstall all supplementary software.
  • Update firmware and drivers.
  • Ensure that Download and install updates (recommended) is accepted at the start of the upgrade process.
  • If you are using a SCSI hard disk, ensure you have drivers available for your storage device on a thumbdrvie and it is connected. During Windows 10 setup, click the Custom Advanced Option and use the Load Driver command to load the appropriate driver for the SCSI drive. If this does not work and setup still fails, consider switching to an IDE based hard disk. Do a clean boot and try again.
  • If you are upgrading using the .ISO file, disconnect from the Internet during setup, if you are connected by LAN (Ethernet) or Wi-Fi, disable both and attempt setup again.
  • If you are updating through Windows Update, when the download reaches 100% disconnect from the Internet LAN (Ethernet) or Wi-Fi and proceed with the installation. If this does not work, try using the .ISO file to upgrade if possible.
  • If you are connected to a domain, switch to a local account
  • Verify that you have at least 16 GB of free space for the upgrade to a 32-bit OS, or 20 GB for a 64-bit OS.

If this doesn’t help, try the solutions below.

2. Check Device Manager for errors

  • Right click Start and select Device Manager

Windows 10 error in second boot

  • Look for any device with a yellow exclamation mark beside it by expanding each category to check for this hazard icon
  • Right click on the device name with the yellow mark and select Update Driver software or Uninstall to correct the errors

If this doesn’t help, try the next solution.

3. Perform a System Reset

Performing a reset allows you to choose which files you want to keep, or remove, and then reinstalls Windows.  Here’s how to get started:

  • Click Start
  • Click Settings

Windows 10 error in second boot

  • Click Update & Security

Windows 10 error in second boot

  • Click Recovery on the left pane

Windows 10 error in second boot

  • Click Reset this PC

Windows 10 error in second boot

  • Click Get started and choose an option either Keep my files, Remove everything, or Restore factory settings

Note: all your personal files will be deleted and settings reset. Any apps you installed will be removed, and only pre-installed apps that came with your PC will be reinstalled.

If this doesn’t help, try the next solution.

4. Upgrade using Windows 10 ISO file

Download the official ISO media for Windows 10 from Microsoft then do the following:

  • Right click Start and select Command Prompt (Admin)

Windows 10 error in second boot

Stop BITS, Cryptographic, MSI Installer and Windows Update Services by typing these commands:

net stop wuauserv 

net stop cryptSvc

net stop bits  

net stop msiserver (press enter after each command you type)

  • Rename the SoftwareDistributionand Catroot2 You can do this by typing the following commands in the Command Prompt. Press the “ENTER” key after you type each command:
  • ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
  • ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
  • Restart the BITS, Cryptographic, MSI Installerand the Windows Update Services. Type the following commands in the Command Prompt for this. Press the enter after each command you type:

 net start wuauserv

 net start cryptSvc

 net start bits

net start msiserver

Type Exit in the Command Prompt to close it and then restart the computer.

If this doesn’t help, try the next solution.

5. Use driver analyzer software

You can also download a driver analyzer software from your computer manufacturer’s website to see which latest drivers you haven’t installed like chipset, BIOS, hard disk and others.

Before downloading the driver analyzer software and installing drivers individually, delete everything inside the C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download folder, download the ISO file for the Windows 10 OS, burn the image to the DVD, which decompresses the ISO file on disk(DVD), and install from disk while in the previous Windows version, click on the setup file on the DVD, and accept the download updates.

After doing all this, uninstall your security software and activate Microsoft Defender (Microsoft’s default virus protection) so that your computer is not vulnerable to attacks from the internet.

Finally, download each driver individually and install them, then restart the Windows 10 installation.

Let us know which of these solutions worked for you by leaving a comment in the section below.