As of mid-January 2016, there were 200 million computers running Windows 10. Although it’s been optimized as much as possible for a smooth upgrade experience, users are still experiencing difficulties with Microsoft’s newest operating system. Here are the most common Windows 10 upgrade issues and how you can fix/avoid them.
Requirements & Compatibility
Your computer must meet a few basic requirements before you can install Windows 10. If you’ve purchased your computer within the last few years, you shouldn’t have a problem meeting minimum requirements.
- 1 gHZ or faster processor
- 1 GB 32-bit, or 2 GB 64-bit RAM
- 16 GB free space (32-bit), or 20 GB free space (64-bit)
- Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver
- A Microsoft account and internet access (preferably wired)
- An upgraded OS (Service Pack 1 on Windows 7, Update 8.1 on Windows 8)
If you don’t meet minimum requirements, you could run into a few different problems:
Windows 10 Upgrade Error Code 0xC1900200-0x20008 & 0xC1900202-0x20008: Minimum Requirements Not Met
If you receive one of these codes, your computer can’t install Windows 10 because your current operating system or hardware is out of date. You can use the Windows Compatibility Center to check your hardware, and the Windows Update tool can help you update your current OS.
To check for updates, click the Start button > All Programs > Windows Update. On the left, click “check for updates,” then wait. Install any updates it finds.
For Windows 7: Make sure you have Service Pack 1 update installed, then try again.
For Windows 8: Make sure you have Windows 8.1 Update installed, then try again.
Windows 10 Upgrade Error Code 0xC1900208-0x4000C: App Blocking Upgrade
This code means you have a program or app installed on your machine that is blocking the upgrade process. The easiest fix is to uninstall any incompatible applications from your computer, retry the upgrade, and then reinstall the programs once you have Windows 10.
Windows 10 Upgrade Error Code 0x800F0923: Incompatible Drivers or Software
You can use the Check your PC tool to identify incompatible drivers and software. You can either upgrade your drivers through the manufacturer’s site, or uninstall the programs to complete the update. After you finish updating, you can reinstall all of your drivers and software.
“Windows 10 Is Not Genuine” Error
Either you’re working with a pirated version of Windows 7 or 8, or Windows thinks that’s what you’re doing. Free Windows 10 upgrades are only being offered to those who purchased legitimate copies of Windows 7 or 8. If you received your copy legally, contact both Microsoft and your computer manufacturer to see if they can help.
If you pirated your OS, you’ll have to buy Windows 7, 8, or 10 to get the upgrade. Tough cookies.
Sometimes things go wonky during the upgrade, even if your computer meets compatibility requirements. Here are some issues that can crop up during the upgrade process:
“We Couldn’t Complete the Updates. Undoing/Reverting Changes.”
This is a general error message, and you’ll have to do some digging to find the specific problem.
Go to Control Panel > Windows Update > View Update History. Double click on the update with the “failed” status and view the error details. Once you have information on the error, check the Microsoft website for troubleshooting instructions.
Windows 10 Upgrade Error Code 0x80070005-0x90002: “Something Happened”
This is another generic error message, and you can try a few things to sort it out:
- Download Windows Update Troubleshooter
- Disable all antivirus programs and firewalls
- Reset Windows Update by using KB 971058 and running Fixit
Once you’ve tried these things, try installing the upgrade again.
Windows 10 Upgrade Error Code 0x80200056: Upgrade Interruption
This error means your computer accidentally rebooted or you got signed out of your account during the upgrade. No worries – make sure your computer is plugged in and try again.
Windows 10 Upgrade Error Code 0x80073712: File Damaged or Missing
This means a necessary file is corrupt, or the system can’t find it. The easiest fix is to run the System File Checker with the “sfc/scannow” command. Once the file is repaired, try upgrading again.
Windows 10 Installer Sitting Still for Hours or Rebooting Continuously
Unplug all unnecessary hardware. The only tools you need for the upgrade are your monitor, keyboard, mouse, and an internet connection. Unplug all hard drives other than the C: drive. Remove all external hard drives, extra monitors, extra video cards, etc. If possible, connect to the Internet through a cord rather than wirelessly.
Make sure you’re installing the right upgrade (32-bit for 32-bit machines, 64-bit for 64-bit machines) and that your Windows 10 version matches your current version (home, pro, or enterprise).
Once you’ve completed all of these checks, retry the upgrade.
Windows 10 Upgrade Error Code 0x800F0922: Can’t Connect to Windows Update Servers
This code means one of two things: either your system can’t connect to the Windows Update Servers, or there’s not enough space in your System Reserved Partition. A VPN network connection can blog access to the servers, as can malicious software and viruses.
First, try disconnecting your VPN network connection, and turn off your VPN software. Then, scan your system for malware and viruses and try the upgrade again.
Windows 10 Upgrade Error Code 0xC004C003 & 0xC004F061: Activation Issues
If you upgrade through the Get Windows 10 app, you shouldn’t have any issues with activation. However, if you run into these error codes, make sure that your OS is updated and you’re connected to the Internet during installation.
0xC004C003: Your computer is having issues connecting to the activation servers. Wait a bit and then retry activation.
0xC004F061: You did not have the qualified OS version prior to attempting the upgrade. If you upgrade by formatting or replacing the hard drive, you won’t be able to activate. You’ll have to reinstall the previous Windows version, make sure it’s updated, and try again.
Windows 10 Upgrade Error Code 0x80070070-0x80011, -0x50012, -0x60000: Not Enough Space
You’ll have to do some house cleaning to make room for Windows 10. Start off using the Disk Cleanup Tool to clear unnecessary files. On your keyboard, hit the Windows logo + R to access the run command. Type in cleanmgr and hit enter. Click “Clean Up System Files.” Make sure you DO NOT delete Windows Setup temporary files – Windows 10 needs those to perform the upgrade.
If you need more space after running the Disk Cleanup, you can delete unnecessary large programs and files from your hard drive, or move them to external storage. Games, movies, music, and images are very large and easy to sort through to make space.
You can also put the Windows 10 install files on a USB or CD using the Windows Media Creation tool. If you’re on a tablet, you will need a USB to microUSB adapter to install the upgrade from a USB drive.
Not Enough Space After Upgrade
Windows 10 will store your old OS data for 30 days after the upgrade, just in case you decide to revert. If you’re sure you won’t be reverting, you can delete the old files by going to Settings > System > Storage > Temporary Files > Delete Previous Versions.
Start Menu Stopped Working on Windows 10
If your start menu is refusing to cooperate, try creating a new user. This is the easiest solution (and it’s what worked for us), but if you’re still stuck, try some of these fixes.
No Sound on Windows 10
There are two options to fix your sound on Windows 10:
Change Bit Rate
- Right click on the sound icon in the bottom right of the screen and select “Playback Devices.”
- Select the current device (should be your speakers) and double click it to open its properties.
- Go to the Advanced section and change the bit rate to either 24bit/44100 Hz or 24bit/1920000Hz (depending on your configuration).
- If changing the bit rate doesn’t work, go to the Start Menu and search for Device Manager. Open it.
- Click on Sound and Audio Devices.
- Right click on the current sound driver and click uninstall.
- Click Scan for Hardware Changes and the updated driver should install automatically.
There are a few things you can do before you install the Windows 10 Upgrade to minimize the risk of errors.
- Disable or uninstall any security software such as antivirus programs and firewalls (enable them again after upgrading).
- Disconnect unnecessary hardware – you only need your monitor, keyboard, mouse, and an Internet connection.
- Download all driver updates before upgrading.
- Run the Upgrade Assistant to check that you meet Windows 10 compatibility and minimum requirements.
- Do a system cleanup and delete or move old software – dead weight such as old games, movies, music, and images can take up a lot of space. Removing unnecessary files will make the system and upgrade run more smoothly. Remember to empty the Recycle Bin after deletion.
- Always create a system backup before making major changes to your computer.
- Once you upgrade, update your system and drivers.