Windows 10 Creator version update woes – Media Creation Tool stuck at 33%

Another year, another Windows 10 update.

<Humor start>Microsoft : you won ! I drank your Kool-aid, I’m onboard, I want my system to be up-to-date, I need my systems to always be up-to-date. Give me my fix ! 😉 <Humor end>

But, why, oh why must it be always so difficult ?! I’ve been trying to install that Creator Update countless of times since last week and I only just got it right it today. In the process I learned much more that I wanted to in the Windows update debugging process.

Here is what I did after several attemps of launching the upgrade and having the whole process stop and get stuck at 35% several times.

To make a long story short, don’t use the regular path to update (Start / Settings / Update & Security / Windows Update) but go the Media Creation Tool way (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10). This will download the Windows update source files and put them on a USB drive so that you don’t have to redownload them everytime there’s an error or another during the update process. After the 5th update retry you’ll be glad you did : the upgrade files total 3.5 GB and on my (crappy) connexion it took 5 hours to download from their servers.

Before you do that though make sure that the original Windows language is restored to the default option. Windows 10 allows you to install language pack and use pretty much any language for its display and menus. For example if you are in France but you prefer to use an English version of Windows 10 you can do so (Setting / Time&Languages / Region&Language / Add a language / Set as Default / make sure it is set as “Windows display language” – reboot a few times and you’re set).  This is a great option and a welcome plus in comparison to Windows 7 where this was only possible in their PRO version (I have a Home Edition). I really don’t understand why Microsoft blocked this in previous Windows versions. It is simply ridiculous to force people to use a specific language and not include English. Anyway…

What I noticed however, was every time a major Windows 10 upgrade comes along they WILL fail unless the original language Windows was sold in is restored.

Once the USB key is created, restart in minimal config mode (MSConfig – Diagnostic startup), unplug any USB device , launch the Setup from the USB key, choose NOT to download the updates, and if you use a Logitech dongle for their wireless mice and keyboards (Unify system) : REMOVE IT ! and wait…. Process should take 1 hour – 1 hour 15 in total. Process should not stop and not get stuck at any point for 15 mns or longer (for example 35%….).

Here is the detailed step by step procedure. I found that every step was important for my system to be able to get upgraded :

  1. Have an 8GB USB key handy
  2. Remove any optional language pack (Setting / Time&Languages / Region&Language)
  3. Reboot a few times until the original language is used for menus and such
  4. Install the Media Creation Tool (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-download/windows10).
  5. Launch the program
  6. Wait a couple of hours for the files to download
  7. Once the USB key is ready you will prepare the system to reboot in “minimal config”
  8. Launch MSCONFIG and check “Diagnostic startup”
  9. Choose Apply
  10. Unplug every USB device but keep the Logitech Unify dongle for now as you need the mouse to navigate the menus
  11. Reboot
  12. Launch the Setup file from the USB key
  13. Choose NOT to download updated files
  14. Let the tool run
  15. The machine will reboot several time on its own.
  16. After 1h00 – 1h15 process should be done.
  17. Replug the USB devices (including the Logitech Unify if using it)
  18. Launch Windows Update to make sure the system is clean
  19. Reboot if needed
  20. Reinstall the optional language pack if using

Good luck.

 

 

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