Windows 10 upgrade experience 2 - 32 Percent ...

So, with the first upgrade experience in the pocket, we bravely march on to our second case. (Actually, the third. The second was a PITA too.)

Okay, so you’ve already guessed. The second attempt didn’t go so well. The problem is actually very easy to explain. The Windows 10 upgrade starts as any other (I think …). After downloading, the upgrade is prepared and the machine restarted to boot directly into the newly set up Windows 10 upgrade environment. There you see the familiar large circular progress indicator and below that the 3 phases. There the upgrade commences.

The first phase completes “flawlessly”. That is, it seems to complete flawlessly, but with the utter lack of information that is common to Windows products, that’s just a blind guess really. In this case, I’m fairly confident that the first phase completes as expected.

During the second phase Windows 10 is configured and the likes. When we’re nearing 32% total progress, which is (IIRC) 6% progression into the second phase, you see a quick flickering of the screen. The flickering is typically an indication that display hardware is being “touched”. Maybe the display adapter is being probed or the resolution switched (though not noticable with what is on the screen).

Directly after that, the upgrade gets stuck. It stops in its tracks. How do I know? Well, all of a sudden the harddisk led goes into a slow and steady blinking pattern and there is not the slightest sound of the harddisk (no SSD yet) moving into another position. From that point on, Windows 10 upgrade is stuck.

There are a number of other users that have the same upgrade experience. It turns out to be difficult to find a solution that works for my particular case. Especially given the little information that you get during the upgrade.

So far I have read about and tried:

  1. Remove all security-related software prior to starting the upgrade, as it might interfere. Software such as anti-virus software, firewalls, and the likes.
  2. Disable all devices (hardware) that you do not need for the upgrade itself. So any USB devices (except maybe mouse and/or keyboard), printers, modems, WiFi adapters, LAN-adapters (after downloading the upgrade, to be exact), etc.
  3. Uninstalling drivers for devices you do not need during the upgrade.
  4. Install any available Windows updates (other than Windows 10 upgrade, of course)
  5. Clean up the system, such as removing temporary internet files, cleaning temporary directories. Using the disk cleanup tool in Windows 7 or Windows 8 to remove excess Windows Update-files (installations, back-ups, old service pack uninstallers). Chances are that you need to download Windows 10 upgrade files again, but that seems to be the case for every new attempt anyways.

So far, no luck …

Furthermore, because it is the “free upgrade” you are required to upgrade your current Windows-installation if you upgrade to Windows 10 for the first time on that device. So installing a clean Windows 10 from a install/upgrade CD is not an option.

Apparently this rule will change with the Windows 10 Fall Update. So if you are experiencing the same issues, then waiting until then may solve your problems.


This post is part of the Windows 10 upgrade experience series.
Other posts in this series: