Windows 10 version 1803 has been downloading onto machines since April and has been giving some of my customers’ fits. If the update works that’s great, if not though, you may be in for a rough ride.
In the past 2 months I have had to work on several systems either stuck in a download loop or refusing to update when downloaded, by stalling at some installing percentage. In some instances I have had to reinstall windows 10 entirely, albeit saving the data files first, so as to give my customers some ray of hope with their sick machines. There is no rhyme or reason as to how this occurs although I may have a theory or theories.
First, before any update, do yourself a favor and backup you data files. USB flash-drives are dirt cheap... 128GB of data for $25.00, so there is no excuse. Believe me if you have to reformat your hard drive you will be glad you spent the money and backed up your files.
Go into your “user” name and backup all data in there: Documents, Pictures, Videos, Music, etc. Backup your desktop as you may have a data folder or two there. Backup a hidden folder called “APPDATA” as this may contain your Outlook information. You can find hidden folders by checking the “Hidden Items” box in “File Explorer”. Look in your Download folder and see if you have any data files in there. Check other programs such as Quicken or QuickBooks as their data files may not be in your user name Documents. Find out where they are being saved by looking for the save folder in the program.
Second, clean your computer. Run your security software in “full scan” mode. If you don't have your own Security such as Norton, Windows Defender is built into Windows 10. If you don’t have Windows 10, download Windows Defender for free here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/windows-defender Just click on the “Confirm Your Covered” button. It is a good free Security Suite and it will pick up about 95% of the evil meanies out there, including ransomware.
The problems with new versions:
- If you download the update succesfully it may load the upgrade assistant on your desktop or the update file in your download folder. If for any reason this file is corrupt it will fail. If you are lucky enough to where it resorts back to your old Windows, and you try to install it again, it may use the same Assistant or file in your download folder which is still corrupt. So failure happens again and again. You must delete the old assistant or file from your system. You can do this in the “Apps” section of “Settings” (the gear icon above your power button} and look for widows update assistant and uninstall all you find. Right click on the Windows 10 update file and click uninstall.
- If the install fails in the middle of the update you are screwed, plain and simple. Once this happens, because the install started its update, it erases all your “Restore Points”. So, you can’t go back. And because you now have no working operating system you can’t go forward, so your stuck in a loop.
The theories of failure:
- If for any reason you cancel or stop the install, including pulling or losing the electricity to your computer, the install will simply fail. So if you start the version 1803 update let it finish. It may take hours to complete! If it is interrupted it will cause problems. Always let your downloads install completely without interruption. I know it may seem stalled but unless it’s been running for 12 hours or more, it will finish. I have seen downloads take as long as 6 hours.
- If you have other updates try to install them first. This may not be possible as Windows Automatic Updates does a poor job in singling out these other downloads and this has caused problems when attempting to install version 1803. It needs to be a “stand-alone” install.
- Your current Windows may be sick and not allow or “fudge up” the1803 install. If your computer is running slow or giving you an occasional “BSOD” (Blue Screen Of Death) you may already have issues with Windows. Sometimes running CHKDSK with the “X”, “F”, or “R” options in a command prompt will help find corrupted files and maybe fix them. You must run command prompt as an administrator. If your not sure of what I am talking about take your computer to a professional.
These are my own personal observations and Microsoft may disagree with my theories but I have worked on enough systems this past year to know that there is more to these downloads than their willing to let on. One thing for sure they are definitely keeping me busy.