Here’s our attempt to guide you through the upgrading process – what you need to accomplish and what to avoid. I’ve listed the fixes in the order they should be pursued.
Before all else
If your upgrade failed on the first try, take these three simple steps before you try again:
- Disable antivirus and firewall – even Microsoft’s antivirus and firewall
- Disconnect unnecessary USB-connected items: drives, modems, dongles, toasters, and so on
1. Run a troubleshooter
2. Blast away temporary files
Step 1. Navigate to C: Look under This PC if you can’t find it immediately.
Step 2. Show hidden files: I generally recommend that you show hidden files all the time, but if you haven’t yet taken off the training wheels, now’s the time. In Win10, click View, then check the box marked Hidden Items. In Win7, click Folder Options, View, and under Advanced Settings check Show Hidden Files, Folders, and Drives.
Step 3. Rename the folder called $WINDOWS.~BT: That’s an odd name for a folder, but then again Windows Update is pretty weird anyway. Rename it to $WINDOWS.WoodySaidZapIt or something similar.
Step 4. Run the update again: If the update works, simply delete the renamed $WINDOWS.WoodySaidZapIt folder.
3. You probably don’t need a product key
Or you could always consider buying a Chromebook.
Error: “Something Happened 0x80070005-0x90002”
If you’re upgrading from Win7 to Win10, follow these instructions from AskWoody Lounge luminary ch100 to get KB3177467 installed. It’s not easy. If you’re moving from Win8.1 to Win10, make sure you have KB3173424 installed. It isn’t as finicky as the Win7 Servicing stack update. With the latest Servicing stack in place, try running the upgrade again.
That’s a driver error. Microsoft has hit so many of them that it came up with a standalone support article to walk you through replacing the drivers. Pro tip: It’s complicated.
Errors 0x8019001, 0x80070002, 0x87E105DC
If you still can’t get the upgrade installed or you hit that 0x80070005 error when upgrading Windows 10 versions, the general solution goes like this:
- Disable all antivirus and firewalls. Yes, even Microsoft’s.
- Check the Windows update guided walk-through. Microsoft says it will fix problems with error codes 0x80073712, 0x800705B4, 0x80004005, 0x8024402F, 0x80070002, 0x80070643, 0x80070003, 0x8024200B, 0x80070422, and 0x80070020.
- Run the Windows 10 installer again (presumably through Windows Update).
- If that doesn’t work, turn your AV and firewall back on, then follow the instructions at KB 947821 to run DISM or the System Update Readiness Tool.
- Turn off your AV and firewall, then try installing Win10 again.
If that doesn’t work, try any or all of the suggestions listed here.
4. When the wheels fall off
Try booting into Safe Mode with Networking:
Step 1a: If you can get to your Start menu, hold the Shift key down while you click Start, Power, Restart.
Step 1b: If you can’t get to your Start menu, press Ctrl-Alt-Del, click Sign Out and, at the sign-in screen hold down the Shift key while you click the power button, then Restart.
Step 2: Once you are in the Windows Recovery Environment, select Troubleshoot, then Advanced options, then Startup Settings, and Restart.
Step 3. When it restarts, you should see a number of options (see above screenshot). Press 5 or F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.
Step 4. Once you sign into your account in Safe Mode, you may be home free. Restart your PC normally and see if that knocked Win10 upside the head.
Step 5. If you’re still having problems, repeat Steps 1 to 4, and see if you can find the source of the problem. Drivers, in particular, can cause all sorts of calamitous events. If you are running antivirus software, uninstall it. You can always reinstall it when your machine is feeling better.
As a last resort, add a new local administrator account (Start > Settings > Accounts > Family & other users > Add someone else to this PC) and reboot.