What can I do when upgrading to Win 10 keeps failing?

I installed the required updates and Windows 8.1 decided that I am ready to upgrade to Windows 10. However, after downloading it and trying to install it, my system came back to Windows 8.1.

I've tried several times and don't know how to solve this problem.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Go to the Microsoft Windows 10 media link, go to the Download button for your system, click it and run it in place. This should begin the Windows 10 upgrade. I have used it and it works.


Please let us know.
Download the correct Windows 10 iso file (for DVD, not USB stick) that corresponds to your upgradable version of Windows (32 bit if you are using a 32 bit OS, 64 bit if it is a 64 bit OS, Pro if you are using a Pro or Ultimate version, etc) using the media creation tool, then extract the contents of the iso file to your PC and run the setup.exe file.

If the upgrade still fails, tell us at what point of the installation it fails. Also burn the iso to a DVD, or use the WinSetupFrom USB tool to transfer the iso to a USB stick


Also, some AV tools need to be disabled or uninstalled before you try the upgrade.
The situation would be different if you saw no reason to keep your programs and settings. Then you could do a clean installation. Let us know if that matters to you.
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Qlemo"Batchelor", Developer and EE Topic AdvisorCommented:
I would change "could" to "should" in above comment ;-). If the update does not work, though the W10 download was automatic (or you are certain you have chosen the correct edition and bitness if using an otherwise downloaded W10), a clean install of the current OS followed by an upgrade to W10 is your only choice.
You need to install your current OS, and cannot bypass that. Activation of W10 upgrade only works if you have performed the upgrade at least once for this PC (more precise, the motherboard).
condor888Author Commented:
My OS is Windows 8.1 Pro and my PC is Gigabyte Brix with Intel Core i3-4010U CPU.

1. The first approach:
I clicked the icon in the lower right corner and followed the steps to upgrade. It installed upgrades, download Windows 10 and upgrade. However, it goes back to Windows 8.1 without any message saying what went wrong.

2. The second approach:
I followed John Hurst's advice and go to http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10 to download something and run the upgrade, I got the following:

0xC1900101 - 0x20017
The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during BOOT operation

I checked online and people encountered this issue. Please check the link.

Please advise how I can do the upgrade (either remove or keep the user settings and documents/programs is fine).

Start setup again and choose to keep nothing, that's an advanced setup option.
One reason to fail at that point is when your current OS isn't properly activated. So make sure your Windows 8.1 Pro is activated. Besides that, further causes can be if you have redirected some system directories to non-standard locations. So make sure all system directories are default. I've also seen that issue when the USB download was used, or the combined 32/64bit download. So make sure you have downloaded the DVD version, and only the 32 bit OR the 64 bit version, not the combined one.

As already mentioned, if that still doesn't work, installing Windows 8.1 Clean, then doing the upgrade usually works without problems. You may have to do all Windows updates first though, until W8.1 is fully patched, before trying the upgrade to W10.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Another thing you can do is a Windows 8 / 8.1 Refresh. This keeps all data and some built in programs but makes you reinstall later programs.

You can do the Refresh (easier than a fresh install), try the Widows 10 upgrade again, and if (assuming) it now works, update Windows, drivers and install your software.
condor888Author Commented:
Hi John, thanks for your information. But how can I do a Windows 8.1 refresh?

My windows 8.1 is activated. And I hope that I could keep all the user data and program so I don't want to reinstall it from scratch.
Not possible with a refresh. You could instead try a repair installation, an in-place upgrade from 8.1 to 8.1 and upgrade to ten afterwards, but maybe it fails just like upgrading to 10.
There's no way guaranteed to work that doesn't make you reinstall your applications.
condor888Author Commented:
Because I don't want to reinstall and upgrade, I might not do this upgrade to Win 10 pretty soon. However, if I miss certain time window, I won't be able to get the free upgrade, is it right?
Fortunately, there is a way to activate your system even after the one-year-free-upgrade has passed. Please read http://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/28711261/How-do-I-install-a-clean-Windows-10-Pro-without-the-need-to-upgrade-an-existing-OS.html#a40962113 for a how to.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
As noted, you cannot keep all programs with a Refresh but you can keep data. Refresh is found in Action Center under recovery options.

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condor888Author Commented:
I really appreciate the answers but I am not ready to make some big change to my PC because I don't want to re-install the programs and stuff. I'll close this thread now. Thanks again.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thanks. Refresh is really not all that difficult. I did it once and it did not take long. Consider it when you are ready and then prepare your machine for a successful upgrade.
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