Fix: “Windows installation has failed” Windows 10 upgrade error

By: Aleksandar Ognjanovic
6 minute read
windows installation has failed windows 10

Microsoft’s idea to seamlessly encourage users to move from Windows 7 to Windows 10 backlashed when the errors emerged. It seems that the transition wasn’t that seamless back then and it still isn’t. Namely, lot’s of users, after seemingly completing the installation, were prompted with the “Windows installation has failed” error. They had to start again but the results were the same.

In order to address this, we prepared a list of possible solutions which can come in handy. In case you’re still stuck with this installation error or similar variations, make sure to check the steps we provided below.

How to fix the “Windows installation has failed” while installing Windows 10

  1. Make sure you meet the requirements
  2. Uninstall the language pack
  3. Unplug all peripheral devices
  4. Uninstall third-party antivirus
  5. Choose to keep only files when asked
  6. Rebuild BCD
  7. Upgrade with installation media
  8. Perform a clean install

1: Make sure you meet the requirements

First things first. As this error, in the majority of noted cases, plagues users who are upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10, we must remind you about the requirements. Now, Windows 10, by default, isn’t so much different in comparison to Windows 8 or even Windows 7, for that matter.

Here’s the list of the minimum requirements you need to meet for a seamless Windows 10 transition:

  • RAM: 1GB for 32 bit and 2GB for 64 bit
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32 bit and 20 GB for 64 bit
  • CPU: 1GHz or faster
  • Screen resolution: 800 x 600
  • Graphics: Microsoft DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Internet access

However, even though your configuration on paper checks every box, we still recommend using Windows 10 Update Assistant. Besides dealing with the updating, this tool confirms whether your configuration is compatible or not. You can download it from the official site, here.

2: Uninstall the language pack

A lot of users who have had encountered this error multiple times found an uncommon solution. Namely, the core of the problem was to be found in the language pack. Let’s explain. If your previous Windows iteration had a language pack which isn’t the same as the localization, the “Installation has failed” frequently occurs.

In order to fix this, the best solution is to create a bootable drive and install Windows like that (more on that later). On the other hand, you can try changing the region and uninstall the language pack. After that, you can restart the update process and look for resolution.

This is how to uninstall the added language pack in Windows 7:

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type change display language and open Change display language.
  2. Select English (US) and apply changes.
  3. Now, in the same search box, type Uninstall display language and open Install or uninstall display languages.
  4. Click Uninstall display language.
  5. Delete your alternative language and restart the PC.

3: Unplug all peripheral devices

Another concerning thing when it comes to Update issues is to be found in drivers. For some users, the transition was as seamless as possible. On the other hand, others had a really hard time dealing with drivers, especially for legacy devices. Now, there’s only so much you can do before and during the updating process. The one thing which comes to our mind is removing all peripheral devices and sticking with essentials only.

When the update finishes, you can plug them back and they’ll be automatically installed. In case something goes awry, you can at least uninstall them and navigate to respective support sites and get the proper drivers. The generic drivers might work for the majority of the devices, but we’re still more prone to update manually at least GPU and network drivers. Also, older printers and similar peripheral devices can cause BSODs with generic drivers, so have that in mind, too.

4: Uninstall third-party antivirus

Upgrade from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10 could be done without losing any program. And this works most of the time with a majority of win32 applications just transferred in Windows 10. However, it seems that that’s not quite the case with third-party antivirus solutions. At least, for some of them.

The antivirus solutions which are quite commonly reported as the main instigators are Norton and McAfee. So, if you used to run them on your previous Windows iteration, we recommend uninstalling them before upgrading to Windows 10.

5: Choose to keep only files when asked

Instead of covering only individual applications which can cause upgrading errors, you can get rid of them all. We’re aware that this isn’t the preferred scenario, but we still favor it over the clean reinstallation. Namely, when you’re asked whether to keep both your files and programs or just files, we suggest choosing the latter.

This way, we’ll avoid possible incompatibility of third-party applications with the new platform. The main goal is to relieve your PC of pre-installed OEM-provided applications which come on laptops.

6: Rebuild BCD

With this solution, we’ve come to a more serious troubleshooting. Even though BCD (Boot Configuration Data) is rarely affected, it still can get corrupted. There are various reasons for this occurrence. In case you’re frequently installing different OSs, it can get incomplete and your system won’t be able to boot. On the other hand, this isn’t the rule and accidents happen.

In order to fix this, you need to rebuild the BCD/MBR. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Insert the Windows 10 bootable media (USB stick or DVD) and restart your PC.
  2. Set USB/DVD as the primary boot device. Either by entering the Boot menu (F10, F11, or F12) or from the BIOS settings.
  3. The loading process of the installation file should commence.
  4. Select the language, time/format, and keyboard input of choice and click the ”Next” button.
  5. Choose ”Repair your computer” from the bottom left corner.
  6. Open the Troubleshoot option.windows installation has failed windows 10
  7. Select Advanced Options.
  8. Open Command Prompt. Select your account and enter the password if asked.
  9. Copy-paste the following commands and press Enter after each:
    • bootrec /FixMbr
    • bootrec /FixBoot
    • bootrec /ScanOs
    • bootrec /RebuildBcd
  10. This should finalize the repair procedure and you should be able to start Windows 10 installation setup just as intended.

7: Upgrade with installation media

The standard way to upgrade your system includes an over-the-air update from the system interface. However, this isn’t as reliable as one would expect. Luckily, there are various alternatives to this, including the Update Assistant utility and Media Creation Tool. The former, besides updating, will let you know whether you can upgrade in the first place. The latter is great for creation of the bootable drive which, in this case, might be the best way to upgrade to Windows 10.

You have a choice to create an ISO file and burn it on DVD or create a bootable USB drive. The USB at hand must have at least 6 gigs and it’s preferable to be a 2.0 instead of 3.0 or 3.1.

We already mentioned Update Assistant, so here’s how to upgrade to Windows 10 with Media Creation tool.

  1. Download the Media Creation Tool from here.
  2. Plug in the USB flash drive with at least 4 GB.
  3. Run Media Creation Tool and accept the License Terms.windows installation has failed windows 10
  4. Select the ”Create installation media (USB flash drive, DVD, or ISO file) for another PC” option.windows installation has failed windows 10
  5. Pick the preferred language, architecture, and edition and click Next.
  6. Choose USB flash drive and then click Next.windows installation has failed windows 10
  7. Media Creation Tool will download the setup and copy the installation files onto the USB flash drive.
  8.  Finally, restart your PC.
  9. Plug in USB and start the Setup.

8: Perform a clean install

Finally, if none of the previous solutions got you over the error at hand, the clean installation is the only remaining step which comes to mind. Of course, you should back up everything you can from the system partition. You can just move it to a secondary partition or use an external or cloud drive.

After that, just follow these steps and, after no more than 2 hours, Windows 10 will be ready to use.

That should do it. In case you have additional questions or suggestions concerning the “Windows installation has failed” installation error, make sure to tell us in the comments section below.

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