After some deliberation, I had some time this weekend to finally upgrade my computer from Windows 8.1 Pro x64 to Windows 10 Pro x64 as a part of Microsoft’s free upgrade offer.
I had previously upgraded my laptop without a problem with the “Get Windows 10” app in the system task tray; however, on my custom-built desktop it said initially that critical Intel drivers were not yet available. A week later, it said that my computer was set to automatically login and that I may have problems with the installation process. Fair enough, I thought, while adjusting my configuration so that my password would be required on startup. However, despite restarting a few times the message didn’t appear to change to allow me to upgrade my system. As such, I decided to just grab the media creation tool from Microsoft’s website and start the upgrade myself.
The initial setup appeared to work fine. However, once the installation reached 100% and then rebooted my computer, I ran into a common, obscure problem many users online also have seemed to have:
Common solutions included:
- Uninstall/disable your anti-virus program
- Uninstall drivers not used in Device Manager
- Unplug all non-critical USBs/external devices
- Run System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM)
- Remove additional RAM
- Perform a clean boot of Windows
- Disable the Wi-Fi adapter in the system BIOS
- Disconnect the ethernet cable
I was skeptical of performing many of these solutions; however, I’ll admit I still tried most of them except for opening up my desktop to remove additional RAM which seemed too absurd for me.
What I noticed when I ran the upgrade setup using the installation media I created on a USB drive was that the setup would reach 100%, restart, and fail to finish the operation. After failing, the 0xc1900101 0x20017 error showed once Windows 8.1 booted. However, the interesting step in-between the initial setup reaching 100% and the error message showing up was that my system would startup with the Windows 8.1 recovery environment:
I also noticed that for a brief moment, a Command Prompt window would open before the recovery environment loaded. This observation got me thinking: perhaps it is a problem in my BIOS startup settings. I changed my search query on Google and came across one solution that involved modifying the BIOS settings. One of the settings that the site suggested to change was to set a preference for UEFI first before legacy. I already installed my OS with that setting enabled so that suggested to me that the problem was likely to be related to the start process. As such, I disabled the Fast Boot option in my BIOS and disabled the Intel Rapid Start Technology. I tried the installation one last time, and to my surprise, once restarted, the Windows 10 setup finished successfully. Afterwards, I was also able to restore my BIOS settings to their prior state with no issues.