Windows 10 install fails

Brass Contributor
I have a windows pc which originally had 8.1 installed and later upgraded to 10. Recently I was forced to restore it to it original factory settings, 8.1.

I am trying to upgrade it to 10. I used the download program for windows 10 but receive a message that “Windows 10 installation failed.

This occurs when I download to the pc and to an usb device.

When I try to boot from the usb drive, it tell me that I must run it from the setup file drive after the pc boots. Still fails.

Looking for help.

I have a license key for windows 10.
33 Replies

Hi @Richard2085

Are you trying to upgrade your existing Windows 8.1 installation or its new installation?

I am trying to upgrade the installation from 8.1 to 10, keeping the applications and data. I believe doing a new installation would wipe everything out. That might be the last choice.
If it is a new installation of Windows 8.1 , then try run Windows Update and download and install all updates before performing the upgrade.



The workstation was restored to 8.1.  I was trying to upgrade to 10.  I perform an windows update and all were installed.

Hi @Richard2085 

Upgrading Windows 10 from Windows 8.1, you need to run setup manually from Windows Explorer, you don't need to boot your PC from the USB.

I downloaded the installation setup to a usb drive and ran the setup file from the usb drive within window explorer. It goes through the whole process and fails nears the end of the installation.

The same thing happens when I download it to the pc and run it from the download directory.

I did not try downloading by creating an iso for a cd.

As I stated, I don’t know what to try next.



1. Please run disk cleanup from the below steps:

Press Win + R and type Cleanmgr , select your drive c:

Next window, select all options especially "Windows Update Cleanup", and click OK to start 


2. Run cmd in elevated mode (Run as Admin), and execute the below commands step by step:


chkdsk c: /f
sfc /scannow
dism /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth



The first command will scan and fix the errors on the system drive, the second will scan and fix system file corruption issues, third and fourth command will use DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) tool to scan/restore the health of the windows installation image. 


3. Run Windows 10 setup again.


I hope these steps could be helpful for you, please do not hesitate to contact me for any further assistance, I will welcome the questions you may have.

I performed all the steps outlined and the same end result, " Windows 10 installation has failed."
I really thought that we might have a solution, but failed at the same installation point after picking to install keeping apps and data.
Any other thoughts?

Thanks for your patience.

Hi @Richard2085,

Please locate and share the setup failure logs from the following locations:





How do you share the files?

File types not supported to attach to reply.

Could not find 





I zipped the two files.  Hope this works.

Try perform a Clean Boot and run the setup in this mode and see if the problem persist?
Take a look at:
Performed clean reboot per guidelines.

Install get about 70 percent and fails again.

Hi @Richard2085 

Thanks for sharing the logs. I have reviewed the system generated comprehensive logs file and some warnings, please do the below steps and run setup again:


  • Uninstall Norton 360 and reinstall after you have successfully upgraded to Windows 10.
  • Disconnect the computer from the network while performing the upgrade.
  • Delete the $WINDOWS.~BT from the system drive.
  • Delete the previous installation logs and temp files by executing the below lines in cmd (Elevated mode).


del %systemdrive%\Windows\memory.dmp
del %systemdrive%Windows\setupapi.log

del %systemdrive%\Windows\inf\
del %systemdrive%\Windows\inf\

del %systemdrive%\Windows\panther\miglog.xml
del %systemdrive%\Windows\panther\PreGatherPnPList.log
del %systemdrive%\Windows\panther\PostApplyPnPList.log
del %systemdrive%\Windows\panther\setupact.log
del %systemdrive%\Windows\panther\setuperr.log


Please do not hesitate to share the feedback for further assistance, I will welcome the questions you may have.

I performed the steps outlined. The first 7 file were not found, the last two were deleted.

The setup again failed at 73%.



Here is the zip file again.  I included a word document and pdf document that show the setupapi.log files on the c: drive.


I really appreciate your help.

Hi @Richard2085,

  1. Press Win + R and type compmgmt.msc to launch Computer Management Console (elevated mode), create a new local admin account from Local User and Groups > Users.
  2. Restart the computer and log in from the newly created local admin account.
  3. Execute the below commands in the elevated mode of CMD.


REM Deleting old log files
del %systemdrive%\Windows\memory.dmp
del %systemdrive%Windows\setupapi.log

del %systemdrive%\Windows\inf\
del %systemdrive%\Windows\inf\

del %systemdrive%\Windows\panther\miglog.xml
del %systemdrive%\Windows\panther\PreGatherPnPList.log
del %systemdrive%\Windows\panther\PostApplyPnPList.log
del %systemdrive%\Windows\panther\setupact.log
del %systemdrive%\Windows\panther\setuperr.log

REM Stopping the update services
net stop cryptsvc
net stop bits
net stop wuauserv
net stop msiserver

REM Renaming the update folders for backup purposes
ren %systemroot%\softwaredistribution softwaredistribution.bak
ren %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 catroot2.bak

REM Starting the update services
net start cryptsvc
net start bits
net start wuauserv
net start msiserver


Did as outlined. All the delete commands could not find the files. The rename command: ren %systemroot%\softwaredistribution softwaredistribution.bak resulted in an access denied.

The upgrade again failed at 73%.

Do you need to review any files?


Hello, have you tried to download the update assistant - this tool prepares the components for installation and sometimes it can be helpful.

Download Windows 10 (

1 best response

Accepted Solutions
best response confirmed by Richard2085 (Brass Contributor)
I was able to get ahold of a Microsoft support person. After a chat he had me download an older version of Windows 10 install and it worked.

Thank you for all your support. It was gratefully appreciated.

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