1. Corrupt Install Media
Windows 10 is provided as a digital download media that you must prepare before attempting to install. The .ISO file which is a digital replica of a DVD disc must be burnt to a blank DVD or create a bootable copy on a USB thumb drive.
Sometimes it is possible you downloaded a corrupt .ISO file which prevents setup from working properly. Things you can do include:
– Verify the .ISO file when you download it before you create a bootable copy.
You can do this by checking the SHA-1 Hash value.
See the following article for tools you can use to verify the Hash value:
If it matches with what is listed on the Windows 10 download page, then the file has its integrity.
2. Disconnect non-essential devices attached to your computer.
If you have non-essential external devices attached to your computer during installation this can interfare with the setup engine and prevent the installation from completing because Windows 10 is trying to detect them. So, keep the bare essentials attached, keyboard and mouse. If you have external hard disk or USB keys, disconnect those too.
3. Disable your Antivirus utility and non-essential services/startup programs.
If you are upgrading from a previous version of Windows or a previous Windows 10 build, a common blocker for Windows setup are security utilities. Disable them; these include Antivirus, Firewalls. In most cases, it is strongly recommended you actually uninstall these security utilities and install versions compatible with the version of Windows you are upgrading to.
Background programs that start with Windows can also prevent a successful installation. Configure Windows to do a clean boot bore upgrading.
4. Faulty RAM (Memory).
Sometimes bad memory can be a factor into why Windows Setup refuses to install. Try removing or reducing the amount of installed RAM to a single stick. If you don’t know which RAM module might be faulty, try switching around the memory modules by trying each at a time or trying different memory banks.
5. Disconnect multiple internal hard disks.
If you have more than one hard disk installed in your computer, disconnect all except the target hard disk where Windows 10 will be installed. If you have a RAID (Redudant Array of Inexpensive Disks) configuration, disable your RAID controller.
6. Make sure you have enough disk space available.
Windows 10 requires a minimum 16 GBs (32 bit) or 20 GBs (64 bit) of disk space. If your hard disk is full, this might prevent Windows Setup from successfully completing.
Some things you can do to free up disk space:
– Move older files (Documents, Music, Pictures, Videos) to an external hard disk.
– Uninstall older programs.
– Run disk clean up. See: How to free up disk space in Windows
- Some PC processors and hardware configurations aren’t supported by Technical Preview, including a small number of older, 64-bit CPUs, and some 32 GB and all 16 GB devices running a compressed operating system.
So you will likely have to avoid installing Windows 10 for now.
7. Make sure you select the right partition during setup.
If you are doing a clean install or dual booting, Windows creates additional partitions during setup. Make sure you select the right one. Some persons will make the mistake of selecting the System Reserved Partition which is used to store recovery files.
Selecting the right partition is important.
8. Check your hard disk for errors.
If you are upgrading from a previous version of Windows, sometimes corrupted system files can prevent setup from working properly.
Also run the System File Checker utility:
9. Restore redirected Personal folders to their original location.
If you keep your personal folders on another partition or drive for storage benefits, this can actually prevent Windows from installing properly. The recommendation is you restore them to their original location.
10. Make sure your system actually meets the minimum system requirements to run Windows 10.
- Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
- RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
- Free hard disk space: 16 GB
- Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
- A Microsoft account and Internet access
Even some systems that meet these requirements might not be compatible with Windows 10.
To install Windows 10 on your PC, the processor (CPU) must support the following features: Physical Address Extension (PAE), NX, and SSE2. Most CPUs have support for these features, so if you receive this error, it is likely because the NX feature is not enabled on your system.
Download CPU-Z http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html
You can use a free utility such as CPU-Z to determine if your systems processor supports these extension. If does and you are still prevented from upgrading, you likely need to enable the extension your system BIOS or you need to update the BIOS itself. Such updates can often be obtained from the manufacturer of your computer website or from the manufacturer of your motherboard.
Bonus Tip: Make sure you are installing the right architecture.
If you are running a 32 bit version of Windows, you will not be able to upgrade to a 64 bit version of Windows 10, you will receive an error similar to the following:
Which is understandable, since you are running a 32 bit version of Windows. To begin the installation, we will need to restart the computer and boot from the disc or USB thumbdrive which contains the installation files. So, click the close button.
If do wish to migrate to a 64 bit version, you must restart and boot from the installation media and do a custom install. Learn more at the following link:
- First make sure you have enough disk space available, at least 25 to 30 GBs.
Press Windows key + R
Follow on screen instructions to free up disk space.
- Try restarting a few times and try again.
- Keep in mind that there is significant demand on the servers delivering Windows 10 to your computer, so you might want to hold off and try again later or periodically.
- Try installing the update again, do the following before:
1. Open a Command Prompt (Run as Administrator)
2. Type: cd %windir% and press the Enter key.
3. Type: net stop wuauserv and press the Enter key
4. Type: ren softwaredistribution softwaredistribution.old and press the Enter key.
5. [ Note: if you get an error message, ignore and type the above again and press Enter ]
6. Type: net start wuauserv and press the Enter key.
7. Type: Exit and press Enter, then go back and check for Windows Updates again.
When the download reaches 100%, disconnect from the Internet immediately if you are connected by Ethernet or Wireless.
Proceed with the installation and hopefully it will update.
This work around discovered by Community Member Hula_Baloo has been a success for many.