How to Fix “Windows 10 Installation has Failed” Error?

If you’re having issues installing Windows 10 and you get the “Windows 10 Installation has Failed” error at every attempt, there are a few verified fixes that other affected users have successfully used to get past the error screen. This problem seems to occur on every version of Windows 10, including Windows 10 Home, Windows 10 Pro, Windows 10 Education, and the N versions of Windows 10.

Windows 10 installation has failed

After investigating this issue thoroughly and looking at various user reports, we realized that this error can actually be rooted in a variety of different scenarios. Here’s a list of culprits that you should troubleshoot against if you are currently struggling with the “Windows 10 Installation has Failed” error:

  • The minimum requirements are not met – If you are attempting to install Windows 10 on a low-end PC, the first thing you should do before exploring additional fixes is to make sure that the current PC configuration is meeting the minimum requirements. Consult the minimum Windows 10 OS specifications below.
  • Conflicting peripherals – Although this might seem like an unlikely culprit, a lot of affected users have confirmed that the error message stopped occurring after they disconnected every unnecessary peripheral (everything except the mouse and the keyboard). This will also address a potential power management issue facilitated by a peripheral that requires more power than the power supply is capable of providing while upgrading the OS.
  • Conflicting language pack – If you have a lot of secondary language packs installed on your existing Windows installations, you should take the time to uninstall them – uninstall every unnecessary language pack and keep just the active language. A lot of PC users dealing with this error have confirmed that once they did this, they were able to get past the “Windows 10 Installation has Failed” error.
  • Corrupted values inside the Attributed cache – There are some Windows 10 installers that will trigger this error as they try to overite some common installation files inside the $WINDOWS.~BT. In order to make sure that this does not affect your particular installation, you’ll need to clear certain attributes from the installation folder.
  • Installer inconsistency – During the lifespan of Windows 10, Microsoft has released a few bad installers that might cause this behavior unless you tweak the main installation file. If you get this error while trying to install Windows 10 PRO, you should try renaming the install.esd file to install.wim in order to make the error message go away. 
  • Conflicting third-party applications or processes – There are certain applications that are known to conflict with the process of installing Windows 10. The most common culprits are firewalls and security suites, but you should also make sure there are no additional interferences by booting in clean boot mode before attempting to retry the installation. 
  • Corrupted Boot Configuration Data – Before starting to troubleshoot against a potential system file corruption issue, you should also make sure that the BCD datasets are intact. Although these are primarily used during the booting up of your OS, a corrupted BCD dataset will affect the upgrade operation. If this scenario is applicable, you should do this from an elevated Command Prompt.
  • System File corruption – A fairly common scenario that might also cause this “Windows 10 Installation has Failed” error is when a key system dependency, process, or service is corrupted and cannot be swapped with a new equivalent during the process of upgrading. In this case, you should start by deploying SFC and DISM scans, try using System Restore or fall back to repair installing or clean installing if the issue persists. 

Now that we went over every potential cause of the error, let’s go over each confirmed fix. The methods featured below will help you get to the bottom of the root cause that’s triggering the ‘Installation has Failed‘ error when trying to install Windows 10. 

1. Meet the minimum requirements

The very first thing you should do if you’re trying to install Windows 10 on a less powerful PC is check that the current configuration meets the minimum requirements.

You can find these minimum specifications for Windows 10 below:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster processor or SoC
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) for 32-bit or 2 GB for 64-bit
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB for 32-bit OS or 20 GB for 64-bit OS
  • Graphics card: DirectX 9 or later with WDDM 1.0 driver
  • Display: 800 x 600

If any of the components featured above are below the minimum threshold, you will not be able to install Windows 10 conventionally. 

In case you are above the minimum requirements, move down to the next method below in order to try troubleshooting against a potential power management cause that’s triggering the “Windows 10 Installation has Failed” error.

2. Remove all non-essential peripherals

Some users have confirmed that the error message stopped occurring after they disconnected every unnecessary peripheral. This will also address a potential power management issue facilitated by a peripheral that requires more power than the power supply is capable of providing while upgrading the OS.

We can’t give you a definitive list of situations where this problem occurs, but you can try disconnecting all non-essential peripherals until you narrow down the source of your particular issue.

If your power supply unit (PSU) is not sufficient to sustain all your USB-connected devices, you might experience the ‘Installation has Failed’ error because your system is unable to provide the required power.

This is specifically reported to occur with configurations that have external hard drives connected through USB. If this scenario is applicable to your current situation, try removing the external hard drive (if applicable) and see if you still get random disconnects.

If the error stops occurring after you disconnect external devices and you plan on fixing the issue without losing any functionality whatsoever, you can get it fixed in two different ways:

  • Get a higher PSU that is able to provide more power to your USB-connected devices. Of course, this is only applicable with desktop configurations.
  • Get a USB hub with an external power supply. This should be the fix if you’re encountering the issue on a laptop or ultrabook. USB hubs with included power adapters will take the load off your PSU.

If this method is not applicable in your particular scenario or it didn’t make a difference, move down to the next method below.

3. Uninstall conflicting language packs

If you have numerous secondary language packs installed on your current Windows installations, you should invest the time to uninstall them – get rid of every superfluous language pack and keep only the active language.

Many PC users encountering this error have verified that after they did this, they could bypass the “Windows 10 Installation has Failed” error.

This workaround will work on an older Windows version when trying to upgrade to 10 and also on an existing Windows 10 PC (when attempting to clean install a new version).

However, since the exact instructions for getting rid of every unnecessary language pack is different on every Windows iteration, follow one of the sub-guides below to get it done.

3.1. Uninstall language packs on Windows 10 

If you’re on Windows 10, you’ll need to get this done from the Language Settings menu. You can access it directly from your taskbar menu, as seen in the instructions below:

  1. Press the Windows key to open up the Start menu, then type ‘Language settings’ in the search bar. 
  2. From the list of results, click on Language Settings. 
    Accessing the Language Settings menu
  3. Once you’re inside the dedicated Windows Language menu, scroll down and set the active language to the preferred one. In our case, it’s English (United States). 
  4. Next, go ahead and scroll down under Preferred Language and remove every unnecessary language by clicking on Remove. 
    Removing the unnecessary languages
  5. Once all the unnecessary languages have been removed, reboot your PC and see if the problem is fixed once the next startup is complete. 

3.2. Uninstall language packs on Windows 8.1. / 7 

If you’re using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, you will need to uninstall the extra languages from the Change display language tab. 

Follow the steps below for specific instructions on how to do this:

  1. Press the Windows key on your keyboard to bring up the Start menu. 
  2. Once the menu comes up, type languages in the search box at the bottom of the screen. 
    Access the language menu on Windows 7 and Windows 8.1.
  3. After you do this, you will be taken directly to the Region and Language menu. When you get here, click on the Keyboards and languages tab. 
  4. Next, under Display language, click on Install / Uninstall languages. 
  5. From the next screen, click on Uninstall display languages. 
  6. Once you’re finally inside the language menu, go ahead and remove every other non-primary language packs that are currently installed.
  7. Make sure to save the changes, then reboot your PC and attempt to install or upgrade to Windows 10 once again.

If this method was not applicable or it didn’t make a difference after you removed the unnecessary language packs, move down to the next method below. 

4. Clear the Attributes cache

This error can occur if you’re using certain Windows 10 installers. These installers may try to overwrite some common installation files that are located in the $WINDOWS.~BT folder. To prevent this from happening on your machine, you’ll need to clear the attributes from the installation folder.

In some instances, the Windows 10 installer may attempt to overwrite (copy) the installation files in a folder named $WINDOWS.~BT on your local disk. This problem has been reported by some users as occurring when the installer tries to copy the files twice consecutively but fails, causing an error message.

To try and resolve the problem, follow the steps below:

  1. Start the Windows 10 installation as usual and navigate to the last screen, just before you are going to start the installation.
  2. The screen should say just what will be installed and what settings you have chosen to use. If you see this, you are where you’re supposed to be.
    Ready to install Windows 10
  3. Minimize the installer and open File Explorer by opening a folder and navigating to Local Disk C.
  4. Next, try to locate a folder named $WINDOWS.~BT in the root folder of the Local Disk.
  5. If you are unable to see the $WINDOWS.~BT folder, you may need to turn on the option that enables you to view hidden files and folders. Click on the “View” tab on File Explorer’s menu and click on the “Hidden items” checkbox in the Show/hide section.

    making the hidden items visible on Windows
  6.  Right-click on the problematic folder and click the Properties option from the context menu.
  7. Stay in the General tab and locate the Attributes section at the bottom.
  8. Clear the box next to the Read-only and System options and click on Apply before exiting.
  9. Finally, check to see if the problem still appears when re-running the installation.

If the problem is still persisting, move down to the next method below. 

5. Disable / Uninstall 3rd party antivirus

Certain applications can prevent Windows 10 from installing correctly. The most common offenders are security suites and firewalls.

An overprotective antivirus can sometimes block data transfer between your PC and the Windows server that is used to download the installation files during the upgrading or clean installing operation.

Other users who have dealt with this issue have found that it was resolved after they either disabled or uninstalled their 3rd party security suite.

Note: This method is only for those of you using a 3rd party security suite, not Windows Defender Security Center.

If you are using an external antivirus without a firewall component, you should be able to resolve the issue by disabling real-time protection. In most cases, you can do this by accessing the tray icon for your AV software.

Disable the antivirus

If your 3rd party security suite includes a firewall component, you will need to uninstall the suite temporarily (at least until they resolve the compatibility issue).

Follow the steps below to do this:

  1. Press Windows key + R – this shortcut opens up a Run dialog box.
  2. In the box, type ‘appwiz.cpl’ and press Enter to open up the Programs and Features menu.
    Accessing the Programs and Features menu
  3. Locate the security suite inside the Programs and Features menu that needs to be uninstalled.
  4. Next, right-click on the 3rd party antivirus suite and choose Uninstall from the context menu to initiate the uninstallation process.
    Uninstall the problematic antivirus
  5. Follow the remaining prompts to complete the uninstallation, then reboot your PC and see if the “Windows 10 Installation has Failed” error is finally fixed.

If this method was not applicable or you’re experiencing this issue due to a different root cause, move down to the next method below. 

6. Rename the install folder

Windows 10 has released a few installers that might cause this behavior unless you tweak the main installation file. If you get this error while trying to install Windows 10 PRO, you should try renaming the install.esd file to install.wim in order to make the error message go away.

A bug has been found in the Windows Media Creation Tool, which causes it to rename files incorrectly. This can cause problems when trying to install a DVD, as the file named ‘install.esd’ should actually be named ‘install.wim’. However, this is easily fixed by simply renaming the file to ‘install.wim’.

Follow the instructions below for specific instructions on how to do this:

  1. Start the Windows 10 installation as usual and navigate to the last screen, just before you are going to start the installation. The screen should say just what will be installed and what settings you have chosen to use.
    Installing Windows 10
  2. Minimize the installer and open File Explorer by opening a folder and navigating to the disk where you have inserted the installation media (USB or DVD).
  3. Double-click it and open the sources folder located inside.
  4. Locate the file named install.esd, right-click on it and choose Rename.
  5. From the rename menu, Change its extension from ‘esd’ to ‘wim’.

    Change to wim extension
  6.  Try running the installation again and see if the problem still appears.

If you’re still experiencing the same kind of issue, move down to the next method below.

7. Repair the BCD Config

Troubleshooting a potential system file corruption issue? First, check that the BCD datasets are intact. BCDs are primarily used during boot, but a corrupted BCD dataset will affect an upgrade operation. If this is your scenario, open an elevated Command Prompt.

Troubleshooting Windows installation can be made much easier by running through some essential commands related to the boot manager. There are several methods you should employ in a particular order to reset and reboot the Boot Manager service, which is directly responsible for Windows update and installation.

Here’s what you need to do:

NOTE: If your computer’s system is down, you will have to use the installation media used to install windows for this process. 

  1. Insert the installation drive you own or which you have just created and boot your computer.
  2. At the first screen, press any key to boot from the installation media.
    Press any key to boot from installation media
  3. From the first setup screen, click on Repair your computer (bottom-left corner). 
  4. You will see a Choose your keyboard layout window so choose the one you want to use.
  5. Next, navigate through the different options to Troubleshoot >> Advanced Options >> Command Prompt.
    Accessing the Command Prompt menu
    1. NOTE: If you are not having problems with the system, you can use the Windows UI to access this screen. If you are using Windows 10 on your PC, there is another way to access the Advanced Startup on your computer.
    2. Use the Windows Key + I key combination in order to open Settings or click the Start menu and click the gear key at the bottom left part.
    3. Click on Update & security >> Recovery and click the Restart Now option under the Advanced startup section.
      Restarting in the recovery menu
    4. Your PC will proceed to restart and you will be prompted with the Advanced options screen.
    5. Click to open the Command Prompt from the Advanced options screen.
  6. Regardless of the way you got to the elevated Command Prompt, run the following commands in order and press Enter after each one in order to repair the Boot Configuration Data:
    bootrec /RebuildBcd
    bootrec /fixMbr
    bootrec /fixboot
  7. Finally, close the elevated Command prompt and restart your system before checking if the problem is finally resolved.

If you’re still experiencing the same Windows 10 Installation has Failed, move down to the next method below. 

8. Install in Clean Boot Mode

There are a few other programs and services which can interfere with the installation process of Microsoft Windows 10. And if you got this far, you already confirmed that your active 3rd party antivirus (if you’re using one), is not on that list

In most situations, the problem is caused by the antivirus you have installed. Try disabling it while the installation runs. However, to ensure nothing will interfere with the installation, we recommend you clean the boot.

Note: This will disable all non-Microsoft programs and services from starting up. You can return back to normal mode once you’ve finished successfully.

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Use the Windows + R key combination on your keyboard. In the Run dialog box type MSCONFIG and click OK.
  2. Click on the Boot tab and uncheck the Safe Boot option (if checked).
    Accessing the MsConfig menu
  3. Under the General tab in the same window, click to select the Selective startup option, and then click to clear the Load startup items check box to make sure it’s not checked.
  4. Under the Services tab, click to select the Hide all Microsoft services check box, and then click Disable all.
    Accessing the services tab
  5. On the Startup tab, click Open Task Manager. In the Task Manager window under the Startup tab, right-click on each startup item that is enabled and select Disable.
    Disable the Startup items
  6. After this, you will need to perform some of the most boring processes and that is enabling the Startup items one by one and restarting your computer.
  7. After that, you need to check whether the problem appears again. You will need to repeat the same process even for the Services which you have disabled in Step 4.
  8. Once you locate the problematic startup item or service, you can undertake action in order to solve the problem. If it is a program, you can reinstall it or repair If it is a service, you can disable it, etc.

If you already went through this and you’re still experiencing the same type of “Windows 10 Installation has Failed” error when attempting to install Windows 10, move down to the final fix below. 

9. Repair Corrupted System Files

One potential reason you might see the error message “Windows 10 Installation has Failed” is if a key system dependency, process, or service is corrupted and cannot be swapped out for a new one during the upgrade process.

In this case, you can try running SFC and DISM scans, using System Restore, or performing a repair or clean install of Windows 10.

We suggest doing everything mentioned above in the same order as explained below.

9.1 Deploy SFC and DISM scans

To begin, you can often fix the issue by using utilities like DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) or SFC (System File Checker).

Both of these programs will repair corrupted system files, but they do so in different ways.

Note: SFC uses a local cache to replace corrupted files with healthy ones while DISM downloads fresh copies from Windows Update.

If you believe system file corruption might be to blame, we recommend running both of these utilities in the order below.

To perform an SFC and DISM scan in quick succession:

  1. Open up a Run window by pressing the Windows key + R.
  2. Next, type ‘cmd’ and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up an elevated Command Prompt.
  3. When you see the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant admin access.
    Running as administrator
  4. An SFC scan can be initiated by typing the following command into an elevated Command Prompt and then pressing Enter:
    sfc /scannow

    Note: Stopping this scan in the middle of this can bring further harm to your system files, so don’t close the CMD window or turn off your PC unexpectedly until the scan is complete. Keep in mind that depending on your PC specs and your storage space, it might take several hours.

  5. When the SFC scan is complete, restart your computer and see if the issue is resolved once the next startup sequence is complete.
  6. If you’re still encountering the same Windows 10 installation error, follow step 1 again to open up another elevated CMD prompt.
  7. This time, type the command below to initiate a DISM scan:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

    Note: Remember that DISM needs a reliable internet connection in order to download healthy copies of the files that are tainted by corruption, so make sure that you’re using a stable internet connection.

  8. Once the procedure is complete, restart your computer again and see if the issue is resolved at the next system startup.

9.2. Restore PC to Healthy State via System Restore

If the first method wasn’t effective, it’s evident that the problem is happening for one of two reasons – either a system file corruption issue went undetected by the scans above or some software conflict.

Fortunately, if the issue only started recently, you should be able to easily resolve it just by using a system restore point to bring your computer back in time to a healthy state. If you’re lucky and have a system restore point dated shortly before the issue arose, the steps below should help you resolve the problem.

Keep in mind that this method will erase all changes made since the system restore point was created. All apps installed, system preferences adjusted and everything else will be gone.

If you’ve decided to do a system restore, here’s what you need to do:

  1. The System Restore wizard can be accessed by opening up a Run dialog box and typing ‘rstrui’.

    Accessing the rstrui menu
  2. If prompted by the User Account Control, click Yes to grant admin access.
  3. At the first screen of the System Restore wizard, click Next to continue.
  4. Click the box next to Show more restore points to enable it, then select an appropriate restore point before proceeding by clicking Next.
    Show more restore points
  5. Click Finish to start the recording process. Your PC will restart and revert back to an earlier state. Once the process is complete, check if the “Windows 10 Installation has Failed” error is still occurring by repeating the action that caused it previously.

9.3. Clean install or Repair Install 

If you got this far, the problem you’re dealing with is most likely caused by system file corruption that cannot be resolved using conventional methods.

In this case, the best way to fix the problem without doing a complete OS reinstall is to refresh every Windows component (including boot data).

There are two options to choose from:

  • Repair Install – This procedure (also known as in-place repair) is more tedious. It requires you to provide an installation media, but the advantage is that you get to keep all your personal files (including personal media, games, applications, and even some user preferences) without having to backup them in advance.
  • Clean install – This is the easiest procedure. You don’t need any installation media and you can initiate it directly from the menu of Windows 10. However, you will lose all your personal data if you don’t back it up before initiating this procedure.
Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.
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