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How to avoid problems installing the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Use these tips to avoid problems making the leap to the Windows 10 Fall Creator Update.

The Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, the fourth major release of the OS, is available starting October 17, but you may want to get ready before making the leap to avoid errors and problems during the upgrade process.

It’s always important to install feature updates, such as the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, to keep your device up-to-date with the latest security enhancements, and to access the latest features and changes. However, feature updates are not your typical quality updates that Microsoft makes available every other week. The Fall Creators Update is a brand-new version of Windows 10 that requires a full installation, which sometimes can go wrong as a result of a number of factors. In addition, during the early days, you’re expected to come across errors and unknown bugs depending on your system configuration.

In this guide, you’ll learn several steps to avoid problems and errors during the installation of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709). You can use this guide if you’re trying to upgrade using Windows Update, Media Creation Tool, or Update Assistant.

Wait until update is offered automatically

The best way to upgrade to a new version of Windows 10 is to wait until it’s automatically offered to you through Windows Update. This is because Microsoft in purpose blocks the Fall Creators Update on devices that it knows the update isn’t compatible.

In other words if your device isn’t getting the update there is probably a reason, then if you use the Media Creation Tool or Update Assistant to force the upgrade you’re likely to come across errors.

So, don’t rush to download and install the version 1709, just wait a little longer and your device will eventually get it.

Usually, you want to wait about four months after a new version releases, which is the time it takes for Microsoft to consider a new version stable for businesses. (Use this guide to defer the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update using the Current Branch for Business.)

However, if you really can’t wait, use the following tips to minimize the chances of errors as you try to install the new version.

Backup your system

Creating a full backup of your device is a crucial step.

Always, before making any significant changes, you should spend the extra time to create a full backup of your computer with the current installation, settings, apps, and files.

Windows 10 full backup utility
Windows 10 full backup utility

Usually, an upgrade will go without a glitch and there are mechanisms built into the setup process to safely revert back the changes if something isn’t working correctly, but you always want to be prepare in case something fails. Or you should at least make a backup of your files before proceeding with an upgrade.

Storage space

One of the most common setbacks trying to install a new version of Windows 10 that most people will encounter is not enough available storage space to complete the upgrade, which triggers at least three error messages (0x80070070 – 0x50011, 0x80070070 – 0x50012, 0x80070070 – 0x60000).

Usually, no enough space is a problem on low-end devices with limited storage capacity and older computers.

You can avoid this problem by making sure your device has at least 20GB of available space for file download and installation.

If the available free storage space isn’t enough, it’s possible to use the Settings app to delete temporary and other unnecessary files. Alternatively, you can connect an empty USB flash drive with at least 8GB of storage space that Windows 10 can use as secondary storage to successfully install the new version.

Free up space on Windows 10 settings
Free up space on Windows 10 settings

After the installation, you can use this Windows 10 guide to clean up the hard drive and reclaim disk space.

Uninstall non-essential apps

Security software are often the reason why an installation fails. If you’re running an antivirus, other than Windows Defender Antivirus, or other security program, you should disable, or temporarily uninstall them before proceeding with the upgrade to version 1709.

The easiest way to uninstall apps on Windows 10 is on Settings > Apps > Apps & features select the app and click Uninstall.

Uninstall apps on Windows 10 settings
Uninstall apps on Windows 10 settings

Older software designed for an earlier version of the OS can cause compatibility problems. Before making the leap, make sure to uninstall any software that may cause issues during the installation. You can always reinstall them later.

Disconnect peripherals

Incompatible devices connected to your computer, such as printers, webcams, storage media (e.g., USB flash drive and external hard drive), can cause problems. To prevent issues, consider disconnecting all the peripherals connected to your computer. You only need a network adapter, display, keyboard and mouse.

If you have a Bluetooth adapter, it’s also a good idea to disable it before the installation begins. Just go to Settings > Devices > Bluetooth & other devices, and turn off the Bluetooth toggle switch.

Know your settings

Sometimes during an upgrade, Windows 10 might “accidentally” reset some of your settings, such as privacy and default apps configurations. If you’ve set up your installation with a particular configuration, it’s a good idea to note them before installing a feature update in case some of your settings get reset so you know how to get them back.

Windows Settings
Windows Settings

Remove blocking settings

It could also happen that your device is configured to defer new version of Windows 10, if this is the case, the Fall Creators Update won’t download and install on your computer.

You can quickly address this problem on Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update > Advanced options, and make sure under “Choose when updates are installed,” to select Current Branch and set the number of days to defer feature updates to zero.

Windows Update advanced settings
Windows Update advanced settings

Also, make sure the Pause Updates toggle switch is turned off.

If you used Group Policy to defer upgrades in the past, you can refer to this guide to undo the changes.

Using a metered connection will also prevent the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709) from downloading and installing on your computer. If you have your Wi-Fi or Ethernet (wired) connection configured as metered, you can remove this block on Settings > Network & Internet > Wi-Fi, select the network you’re connected to, and turn off the Set as metered connection toggle switch.

Ethernet adapter settings
Ethernet adapter settings

On an Ethernet connection go to Settings > Network & Internet > Ethernet, select the adapter you’re using, and turn off the Set as metered connection toggle switch.

Reset Windows Update

While the update mechanism built on Windows 10 is reliable, sometimes it may stop working correctly, and it may end up being the reason you’re not getting the new version.

You can always try to reset the Windows Update components to fix stuck updates trying to download and install. If this doesn’t fix the problem, you can use the Update Assistant to install the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update when it becomes available.

Fixing upgrade errors

You can prepare as much as you can, but there is always a chance that you may come across errors during an installation of Windows 10. If you’re having problems, the best thing you can do is to note the error code or exact message, and search online for possible fixes, workaround, or to find out the status of the issue.

Usually, many of the errors you may see on Windows 10 are documented problems with easy fix.

For instance, an error code that begins with 0xC1900101 (e.g., 0xC1900101 – 0x20004, 0xC1900101 – 0x2000c, 0xC1900101 – 0x20017, 0xC1900101 – 0x30018, 0xC1900101 – 0x3000D, 0xC1900101 – 0x4000D, 0xC1900101 – 0x40017) is usually a driver error.

If you see error 0xC1900208 – 0x4000C, it means that an app is incompatible with the upgrade. Another common error code is 0x80070070 – 0x50011 (0x50012 or 0x60000) which typically means that there isn’t enough space on your device to complete the update.

When dealing with errors and other problems you don’t know the fix, you can always ask for help in the PUREinfoTech forums. Alternatively, you can contact Microsoft support directly, or on Twitter @MicrosoftSupport to get help. If you live close to a Microsoft Store, you can also take your computer to see if anyone can help.

Install the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update manually

One of the best way to avoid problems during an upgrade is to perform a clean installation of Windows 10 with the Fall Creators Update, and then restore your files from backup, and then reinstall your applications and settings.

You can refer to this guide to do a clean install of Windows 10. However, it’s also possible to do an in-place upgrade using the Media Creation Tool keeping your settings, apps, and files using these steps:

  1. Download the Media Creation Tool from Microsoft.

  2. Double-click the MediaCrationTool.exe file to launch the tool.

  3. Select the Upgrade this PC now option.

  4. Click Accept to agree to the licensing terms.

  5. Select the option to keep your files and apps, and click Next. Alternatively, you can choose Nothing, which is a better option to avoid problems with the Creators Update. However, you’ll need to restore files from backup, re-configure your settings and reinstall apps.

  6. Click Install to complete the process.

After the setup takes over, your computer will begin installing the new version of Windows 10. It should be noted that during this process, nothing will be erased, your computer will be kept intact with all your settings, apps, and files.

If you selected to keep Nothing, once the installation completes, you’ll need to go through the out-of-box experience (OOBE) to finish setting up your device.

If you’re not ready to deal with the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update (version 1709), remember that you can defer feature updates until a later time, or you can use this guide to roll back to the previous version of the OS.

In the case that you come across any issues installing the new version of Windows 10, you can use the PUREinfoTech forums to ask questions and seek help.