Windows 10 - Won't boot after failed update

Clients PC started to download and install an update, once completed it restarted the PC and now displays message saying: "Windows could not complete the installation.  To install Windows on this computer, restart the installation."

While this message is displayed you have no mouse pointer and pressing any key restarts the PC to exactly the same point with the same error message being displayed again.

I've booted from a Windows 10 recovery disk, tried a Restore System point but no entries in there, tried Startup repair but didn't resolve it.  Also tried going into Command Prompt and checking the hard drive and running SFC /Scannow which both didn't help.

Any ideas?
scratcheIT ConsultantAsked:
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RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
Boot the PC in safe mode and try to uninstall that update.
Ashok DewanFreelancerCommented:
I hope this method may help you somehow, I know problem is with windows 10. but below videos may help you.
RaminTechnical AdvisorCommented:
If you are using RAID controller, disable it from BIOS or change the mode to AHCI and check if it helps.

If none of the above suggestions helped to fix the issue then be prepared for a clean Windows 10 install.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
This affected more that one computer?  All of our computers updates and none failed.

Shut the computer OFF (not restart), and then start up and see.
RoohAllah GodazgarIT ConsultantCommented:
Enter windows troubleshooting mode and open a CMD. Then use this command to see all installed updates:
wmic qfe list brief /format:table

Open in new window

Check the last column that says "InstalledOn"; if you see the date that you try to update your system and failed, use the following command to remove it:
wusa /uninstall /kb:xxxxxxx

Open in new window

The "xxxxxxx" after "kb:" is the hot fix ID of the update that you wish to uninstall; you can find it in the same table as before in "HotFixID" column.

If this is not the case, check the following URLs:
How do I reset Windows Update components?
2 method to uninstall windows updates
Copy the data off and reinstall using the newest Windows 10 using the media restor from Microsoft.
scratcheIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
I cannot restart in Safe Mode, when trying it says: Windows cannot complete installation in Safe Mode.  To continue installing Windows, restart computer.  

I've tried this many times and get nowhere, just the original error message again.

This is the only PC affected, John Hurst.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Make a bootable USB Key from the Windows 10 Media Creation Link.


1. Make sure you have a backup of the documents.
2. Boot from the USB Key and reinstall Windows 10.
scratcheIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Status update:  I've tried your suggestion RoohAllah Godazgar, it listed three updates which were installed on Friday and is when it went BANG!  I managed to uninstall two of the updates following your DOS command.  But Windows couldn't restart in Safe Mode again, same old error message that Windows needs to be installed.

I then booted from Windows 10 CD, and went into repair option.  I tried a few dos commands but nothing.  Then due to me taking a backup of this PC as it was I tried the repair option: Install previous version of Windows and after 20 minutes or so it's booted back up within Windows 10 as normal.
I've created a good System Point and now downloading the Windows 10 updates again to reinstall...
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Please keep us posted.
RoohAllah GodazgarIT ConsultantCommented:
That's good to hear that your problem has been solved. Please keep us in loop.
scratcheIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Status update: currently on the third attempt to installed the large Windows 10 update, the other two times it's got to around 91% and then locked up completely.!  
My client has a lot of unusual programs installed which have been configured on it since Windows 10 installed so really don't want to RESET this PC back to Windows 10 factory.  Client isn't in a rush so shall keep on with the updates...
Scouring the update logs to determine what causes the update to fail.
Check your Windows 10 update branch, make sure it is set to business, targeted ideals with update frequency, and how scrutinized the updates before they are rolled out.

Business targeted updates may have more likely to pass..

Report the failed attempts to Ms in hopes they fix the issue.
scratcheIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Final update, have attempted to reset Windows 10 three times each time it failed.  I have spoken to my client and he's sick of Windows 10 so he's now purchased a MAC computer.  

Thanks for all your posts to try and resolve this...

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yep - i'v seen also several windows users step over to Mac because of all the failures and problems in windows
RoohAllah GodazgarIT ConsultantCommented:
I don't know anyone as windows fan but for different reasons we are still using it.
I still don't understand why you update your device after it booted up. If I were you, I would only backup my files and reinstall the OS. You are not dealing with an open source OS with known errors (Windows errors are and will always be some kind of mystery). Even Microsoft himself couldn't resolve these kind of problems and the solution will always end up with clean install. This is the only reason that Microsoft added the "Reset this PC" to its recovery options (I still did not understand why this is categorized as a RECOVERY option!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!).
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
When "nothing works"  fresh install (PC, MAC or Linux) is always the answer.
scratcheIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
Windows 10 reset failed twice and couldn't install fresh as this pc was one that took the free windows 10 upgrade the other year.  Client hasn't got windows 10 licence as it upgraded from Windows 7.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If Windows 10 did install at one point, the license is in the Microsoft Licensing Server and you can indeed back up and do a fresh install of Windows 10 . The license is there.
trent94 trentCommented:

Have you tried already something ? If you're still in the loop "Windows could not complete the installation"
I found a solution - excuse my english, I'm French.

The fix which worked for me, hope it will be good for you !

Cheers from France.


Here is the fix for "Windows could not complete the installation":

So I managed to get it started up. I turned the computer off and on 3 times to start advanced recovery. Choose advance options. I was about to restore windows (reinstall windows and removing all apps and programs by keep personal files). Select reinstall and keep personal files. And then on the next screeen hit cancel. So I hit cancel at the next prompt. I then selected start windows and it continued installation as normal without the error.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.

I have recommended this question be closed as follows:

Accept: scratche (https:#a42448991)

If you feel this question should be closed differently, post an objection and the moderators will review all objections and close it as they feel fit. If no one objects, this question will be closed automatically the way described above.

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