Five problems that will cause a Windows 8 installation to fail and how to fix them

Windows broken 780 wide

If you took the turn of installing Windows 8 yourself, instead of buying a brand new PC, you may get the error: “Windows 8 installation has failed”. What’s irritating about this problem is that it is a generic installation error, and it could be really hard to pinpoint the specific cause of the problem.

Luckily there are several things you can do to fix the issue and successfully finish installing Windows 8, before having to contact Microsoft support:

1. Hardware drivers compatibility: Before trying to upgrade or clean install Windows 8, make sure to run Windows Update and check that you have all the latest updates installed. Also visit your device manufacturer’s website and see if they have any new hardware drivers available.

If you have peripherals such as a printer, external hard drive, bluetooth keyboard and mouse, or any particular gadget, unplug them all before trying to install the new OS. Also disconnecting a secondary internal drive could help.

In case you aren’t sure if the a piece of hardware is compatible with Windows 8, you should check the Microsoft Compatibility Center for more information.

2. Temporary user profiles: Only one user should be signed-in. Make sure to sign-out any extra user account and reboot your PC.

Make sure to start the installation wizard from an administrator account and delete any user accounts that aren’t in use. But of course, don’t forget to backup all the data first.

3. USB drive with no enough space: When the error occurs while creating an installation media on a USB drive, it is possible that there isn’t enough free space — remember that you need a USB drive of 4GB or larger capacity.

4. Hard drive with no enough space: Make sure you meet the requirements to install Windows 8. For the 32-bit version you need at least 16GB, and 20GB of disk space to install the 64-bit version of the operating system.

5. A STOP error may have occurred: These kind of errors appear as blue screen errors, but it could be that in your case have been hidden by the generic error. To troubleshoot, download and run Microsoft’s System Update Readiness Tool to fix the errors — refer to this Microsoft Support article KB947821.

Here is a bonus tip: most of the installation errors are more likely to appear when you are trying to do a Windows 8 upgrade. You can minimize errors and other issues by doing a clean install booting from a DVD or USB drive. But remember to backup your computer before doing anything.

Reference Microsoft | image Flickr by Ben Husmann

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and Email him at [email protected].