Windows 10 version 1903 has problems with PCs using external storage

The May 2019 Update for Windows 10 won't install on devices with external storage — Here's the workaround for the problem.

Windows 10 upgrade problem USB and SD storage (mockup)
Windows 10 upgrade problem USB and SD storage (mockup)

Windows 10 version 1903, May 2019 Update, is currently available for any device enrolled in the Release Preview ring of the Windows Insider Program and for MSDN subscribers, and it appears that no everyone will have a smooth upgrade.

According to a new support document (via ZDNet), Windows 10 version 1903 won’t install if the device is connected to an external USB flash drive and hard drive or SD cards.  

If an external storage is attached to the device during an in-place upgrade using the Windows 10 May 2019 Update ISO file or through Windows Update, you’ll get the “This PC can’t be upgraded to Windows 10” message.

Microsoft explains that the reason for blocking the new feature update is because of “inappropriate drive reassignment” on computers that have an external USB device or SD memory card attached.

Windows 10 upgrade workaround

To resolve this issue, the company recommends users to remove any external media attached to the device and then restart the installation of the Windows 10 May 2019 Update.

In addition, you also want to disconnect any unnecessary peripheral before an upgrade, you only need a keyboard, mouse, monitor, and internet connection. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to uninstall any apps and drivers that may conflict with the upgrade, after the installation, you can always reconnect the peripherals and reinstall applications again. (You can follow these additional tips to avoid this and other problems upgrading to Windows 10 version 1903.)

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].