How to Fix Windows 10 Version 1903 Failing to Install Issue

Featured Image Windows 10 Upgrade To 1903

Currently, many of us are on Windows 1803, which is one of the most stable versions of Windows 10. As part of its May 2019 version roll-outs, Microsoft is forcing everyone to switch to its latest update, 1903. The deadline is November 12, 2019, which means you can only delay the inevitable so far.

However, as many have reported, the new version is buggy. The main problems are mysterious error codes such as “0x80242016” and the PC taking forever to reboot during any of its update stages.

If it seems frustrating, do not worry. The following tried-and-tested procedure will help you install Windows 10 Version 1903 updates in your first attempt. You might have to spare between four to eight hours, but the update occurs in the system tray background, which means you can continue to use your laptop for light tasks.

Diagnose Your PC for Update-Related Issues/Troubleshooting

In my experience (after two failed attempts), the biggest challenge with version 1903 lies in the automatic update itself, which is scheduled by Microsoft. You must completely ignore this warning – a cold restart will consume more time, freeze at a moment’s notice and there is no pause button if you have a wonky Internet connection.

Instead, it is better to use the Windows Update Assistant which we shall discuss in the next section. Before that, check for the most common problems, such as lack of disk space and device manager errors.

Once done, download a tiny software called “Windows Update Troubleshooter.” It will automatically detect any update problems in a few minutes.

Pending Update Problem Win10 1903

The troubleshooter will let you know if you must download and install any pending updates. Click “Apply this fix.”

Download Install Pending0updates Apply Fix

The most pressing PC problems will be addressed by the troubleshooter, such as an update of Windows components that need to be repaired. Not all errors are serious. For example, I found a few database errors, which is normal.

Windows Error Found 1903 Updates

You can view the troubleshooting report for more details of the unresolved errors.

Windows Update Error

Download the Updates – It Will Take a While

Go to the Windows Update Assistant Page and download the “Windows 10 May 2019 update.” Before you download the updates, it will let you know if your PC is compatible. If you see the below screen, you will be successful in updating to 1903.

Update Message Windows 10 For 1903

Once you run the program, you will be greeted by a welcome screen. Click “Update now.”

Windows 10 Update Assistant

Ensure that your Internet connection is running smoothly. In case of Internet trouble, do not discontinue the program or shut down your PC. Microsoft recommends that you keep the PC connected via a charging cable at all times. As soon as your Internet resumes, so will the update.

Try to use an unlimited Internet connection.

Windows 10 Update Assistant Percent 1

The first 25 percent of downloading the update will consume a lot of time. Be patient, as there is nothing wrong with the update. You can minimize the window to a system tray.

Once the download has completed, the system will automatically restart.

Verifying the Download and Finishing the Update

In the next stage the update assistant will verify the download and get your computer ready. This phase will not consume much time.

Getting Update Ready 2nd Stage

After the download is verified, your PC will restart again. In the third and final stage, Windows 10 will update itself. Generally, there are no issues, but some people have reported that they were stuck at 51 to 99 percent. It is mostly an Internet issue which you can solve by fixing your connectivity and restarting the update.

Windows 10 Update Assistant Getting Updates Ready 14 Percent Stage3

The third update stage will take a while (two or three hours), and your PC has to restart once again.

After the restart, you can see the new homepage screen for Windows 10, version 1903. In the following screen you’ll notice that Cortana and Search are now separated.

New Homepage Screen 1903 In Win 10

Additionally, there is an enhanced search mode and Windows Sandbox which is a virtual machine feature. The enhanced search option in Version 1903 allows you to search for files that you forgot a long time ago.

Enhanced Search 1903

Conclusion

Windows 10 version 1903 will be the last major update for a very long time. Sure, it is buggy, but it might lead to new functionalities in the near future. Did you face any problems with Windows 10 updates? Please share your experience in the comments.

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39 comments

  1. If I’m on version 1803 can I go directly to version 1903 or is v1903 expecting that I have version 1809 already installed? i.e., is v1903 cumulative?d
    Thanks,
    Dan

    1. Hi Dan

      You will straightaway move to 1903, totally bypassing 1809. Just use the Windows Update Assistant to be sure.

    2. My Microsoft go did the update and now the video card keeps crashing. My Dell laptop keeps losing ihe internet since the last update about ,3 days ago. Microsoft has been less than helpful. It has s getting very frustrating since the deadline is Nov. 12 and this update is really causing me issues

      1. Did you already finish this update? You need an unlimited Internet connection to conclude this, as per Microsoft, because the 1st stage of update requires some 6~7 GB of data. So, if you’re on some kind of daily Internet limits, schedule an update around 10 PM.

        As for the video card, well, yes, many have reported compatibility issues right here on these comments. But you should seek the assistance of Dell Support. You can also go for a “System restore’ from advanced startup menu.

  2. Windows Update Assistant worked for me, too. I keep Windows Update disabled and have a number of other things disabled in Group Policy (Win 10 Pro 1803). It was far easier to use the Update Assistant than sort out all the changes, then reset them.

  3. It killed my home laptop completely. Couldn’t restore, nothing. End up installing from scratch.
    On office laptop it slowed it down completely that I couldn’t right click on desktop. Luckily there I restored it to an earlier date and postponed updates. I’m done with Ms updates. Wasted so much time on this.

    1. Well i got as far as the final step. At the 2 hour point a message appeared indicating the update had failed. I needed to restart my computer and now the changes are being backed out, not at my request the back out started automatically. I don’t know what to do now. Wait a month and try again? Maybe microsoft will fix the problem??

      1. Carol,

        Is your backout over? Are you able to access the Windows 10 older version? Then, you need to check for problems with Windows Update troubleshooter (see 1st step screenshots). If there are any, apply and fix them.

        DId you perform a cold restart? That might be what is causing those annoying rollbacks. Avoid a restart with update and use the Windows Update Assistant in Step 2 and make sure you see the PC compatible screenshot.

        If you’re making it to the final step, you’re probably getting a 51-99% error. According to Microsoft, it’s only the Windows Troubleshooter that can solve.
        https://support.microsoft.com/en-in/help/4089834/windows-10-troubleshoot-problems-updating

        Try these steps once again, and the update should be over. If not, upload a link to a screenshot the exact moment your PC freezes. Will try to help.

  4. The last time that I updated my windows my computer crashed. Now all I have is a d os screen. No Microsoft at all.
    Now my computer is junk.

  5. Great! That was the reply I was hoping for.
    Thanks, Sayak!

    Dan

  6. I have an HP laptop with 449 GB SSD.
    The automatic update from 1803 to 1903 failed three times. I then found a website which suggested – as above – running the Update Assistant.
    It then said run services.msc; stop Windows Update, BITS and Superfetch and then clear out the folder
    C:/Windows/Software Distribution/Downloads/
    This I did – but the Delete All did not fully work and I had to delete a whole lot of stuff more individually.
    I think the idea was to let the Update process start from scratch.
    There was one more failed update – which was an odd one because it tried quite soon after I had completed the file deletions and I did not think it had had time to upload a full new OS.
    Anyway, the following day it asked to update again – and I was pleasantly surprised to have the option of ‘Shutdown’ as well as ‘Restart and update’. So I did a disc image save (AOMEI backupper) for the third time in three days and then let the update run. It took about 3 hrs – although initial estimates based on time to 12% suggested a lot longer than that.
    Anyway, this time it worked. I wait to see whether other bugs reported above surface.
    I see that a whole load of presumably redundant stuff has been stored in C:/Windows.old/ and it would be interesting to read whether or not there is any downside to deleting it – though I guess it would take quite a lot of work to do.
    How long before a practical alternative to Windows becomes available ? A classic example of misused monopoly power.
    I have have used computers at work since 1970 and at home since Sinclair’s first kit and all the versions of Windows. I have never had so much trouble and extra work to maintain my home computer as with W10. I realise that quite a lot of the problems are to do with being connected to the internet. Those computers disconnected eg for programming PLCs and running presentations seem work away with very little or no maintenance overhead. But much of the problems seem to be to do with the deliberate trapdoors built in to Windows to allow MS to snoop and pry. Hard to stop others from doing that in such a situation.

  7. I have a Lenovo all-in-one desktop PC. The latest update has totally crashed it. It just wont load. It will turn on, start loading, goes to desktop image and that’s where it sits, for hours on end. Nothing happens. Mouse will move around the desktop, but nothing can be selected, typed or anything. No icons on screen, nothing on toolbar. It looks like a very expensive portrait sitting on my desk.

    1. Hey Kate

      I too have a Lenovo laptop and the same thing has happened with my laptop
      The desktop doesn’t show any icon cannot do anything,can’t click nothing
      If you found any solution for it do share it with me too
      Thankyou

  8. On my 5th attempt last 4 always rollback about 50 t0 70 % done tried many things nothing helps. May have to ditch my nivida card … the only reason why I have this system in the first place

    1. Before ditching your graphics card, diagnose your PC for update-related issues using the tool Microsoft provides. See 1st step in this guide. Did you see the “Congratulations, this PC is compatible” message? That could be one of the factors.

  9. I have updated to each and every version when it was available via Windows update center. Last year I got a version so buggy I had to reinstall the full system from DVD. Last time (at spring) there were more than five trial to update before succeeded. This autumn update had been downloaded for five times till now, but still does not succeeded. There are “potential update database errors” – i.e. not errors, but “potential” errors by update troubleshooter I guess in the file I downloaded for five times from Microsoft. I think, these “potential database errors” is to be corrected on MS side.
    I think, the old General Motors story still exists: Car sops on the highstreet, and says: “We have some issue at 0x80070643

  10. So can you use your computer during the update process this way? I don’t understand, you say we have to have 4-8 hours to spare. How much of that time, if any, can be used for light tasks as you say?

    1. During Stage I while the update downloads in the background, you can relegate the process to the system tray. Also, during Stage II and Stage III. You only can’t work during the restart phases.

      You can do light browsing (1-2 windows open), listen to music etc. It’s better not to use programs and applications that consume a lot of system resources especially video files. Again, if you have a lot of RAM (16 GB), you will have a different experience.

      1. That sounds quite good, thanks for the reply!

  11. I have attempted at least 5 times to update to Windows 10 1903. I downloaded the troubleshooter app as advised, used the Windows update assistant, followed instructions to go into safe mode and delete files in the Windows Software Distribution folder, turned off firewalls , and VPN metering…to no avail. The update will download and begin installation until approximately 27%, then it undoes everything. Settings tells me I am updated, but there is now update history and the Windows update assistant tells me I am still running 1803. Help! I’ve about given up on this update. Been working on this for 2 days

    1. “Settings tells me I am updated, but there is now update history and the Windows update assistant tells me I am still running 1803”

      Can you see a separate Cortana button? Since 1903, it’s been separate from the search. If yes, then the update has been successful.

      You say that your computer settings tell you that your PC is updated. It really doesn’t matter what the Windows Update Assistant says.

      1. I checked the version in System settings and it is still 1803. Don’t see a Cortana button. Just checked for updates again, and still telling me it’s up to date

        1. Looks like a real pickle. Please defer your 1903 update for the time being. Check the section in the following article: “Block and Defer Windows 10 Updates”.

          https://www.maketecheasier.com/latest-windows-10-update-problems/

          Yes, you can only defer by 7 days manually which is an annoyance. But, it’s not like your PC will stop working after the due date. Better to wait for Microsoft to fix these issues.

          There have been many more complaints about 1903 since this article was published.

          Will inform you if we can find a solution.

  12. Thank you so much! Something is definitely not right. I no longer have any history in my Update History. Would it do any good to contact Microsoft Support? Or just wait this out? I will read the article you sent.

    1. The only way to get a human response from Microsoft is to go with their Assure software support plan. It is available at Microsoft Store. The cheapest plan is $99/year which gives “One year of Office & Windows software support as needed”. You can talk to their support teams on phone/chat.

      I’d rather brave it till November end and if it’s just an annoying weekly reminder, it wouldn’t bother much.

      1. I’ve tried five times to install this update and it is not working. When my computer is turned off via the update and then I go to restart it again,it says “undoing changes made to your computer” there is now no restore point to go,back to. I have downloaded the troubleshooter and done all that it said to no avail. What would you recommend for me to do.

        1. Judith Farrell

          Some information relating to this article has changed compared to the original date. It’s no longer mandatory to go for a v1903 update unless Microsoft decides to fix the problem for good.

          You’ll be stuck with an un-updated PC for a while which is not a big deal. There are hundreds of millions of Win 7 PCs and they’re holding together just fine even though Microsoft’s ending extended support for Win 7 on January 14, 2020.

          Sadly these are Microsoft issues and there’s nothing you can do beyond a certain point. You say the Windows Troubleshooter cleared your system for an update?

          Here are some potential problem areas
          https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4089834/windows-10-troubleshoot-problems-updating

          Go to the “common troubleshooting questions” in above link and it might have an answer to your issues. I think it’s a 51-99% problem. Try the steps in this article one more time before giving up. Also, some of the readers have shared their experiences in the comments section which might be helpful.

  13. Ok..what’s the worst case scenario if it doesn’t update? System recovery? Or just keep using 1803

    1. In the worst case, Microsoft will not be able to support any new feature updates for your Windows 10 PC. But, you won’t be alone. There are still hundreds of millions of unsupported Win 7 users, 28.2% of all PCs at the moment. By far, Win 7 was the best OS. Further, I even have a Win XP notebook which works just fine.

      It’s nice to be able to upgrade to 1903, but there are no problems if you can live with a legacy system for the time being.

  14. It takes 7 hours time to update my laptop. I checked all my apps, they are working fine.

  15. Hi,

    I have been attempting to update to v1903 for the past few weeks, throughout the month of October to no avail.

    Firstly, the multiple failed installations, pending and paused downloads, “pending restarts” were enough to drive even the most sane person to brink of insanity.

    I followed methods 2 and 3 outlined in the following article, https://www.wintips.org/fix-windows-10-update-1903-fails-to-install/, clearing any corrupt files and downloading the latest update via the Windows 10 Update Assistant. Still no success.

    Now I have an Update History screen telling me that v1903 requires a restart to finish installing while Windows Update claims that it still needs to download v1903?

    I am currently running on v1803, is there any need to update to v1903? If so, how should I go about “updating”? Or should I wait it out until ALL bugs with v1903 have been resolved?

    Apologies for the long message and partial rant, but any help would be appreciated.

    Kind Regards,
    Omar

    1. I think you need to download using Windows Update Assistant only (see Step 1). If you ever saw the “Congratulations, this PC is compatible” message there shouldn’t be any problems.

      In the worst case, simply pause your update to 1903.

      1. Hi Sayak,

        Thanks for the tip.

        Just wanted to update everyone. I have successfully installed and am now running v1903. I downloaded v1903 using Windows Update Assistant, only after clearing any corrupt files via Method 3 in the article from my original post. I simply repeated what I had originally done, perhaps Method 3 was not done properly the first time.

        Regardless, all seems to be working fine for now.

        Thanks again for the help!

  16. Here’s what happened to me on an Asus laptop…

    At one time, I had a program called “Macrium Reflect” on my system. It’s a program which is used for backing up and restoring Windows computers.

    When it’s installed, it replaces a Windows device driver (used by the Windows Update program) called “wimmount.sys” and instead of the one supplied by Windows, uses Macrium’s custom version. The update (or raw install keeping files and programs) can’t swallow this substitution and gives a failure message, no matter WHAT you’ve tried from the above instructions. You must put back the pathname to the Microsoft supplied “wimmmount.sys” into the Registry “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WIMMOUNT” in order to allow the update to version 1903 to be successful.

    Shame on Macrium for substituting a custom version which causes a Windows Update to fail. I have removed Macrium Reflect from my system and will never use another Macrium product.

  17. Ive been trying to get the 1903 update since may. It fails every time at 60%. says it could not configure 1 or more components.

    Ran the update troubleshooter no probs there. Did CHDSK no probs there. ran every diagnostics tool i have plus all the ones microsoft suggested. Still cant find any reason why it wont install.

    Tried a clean startup to see if any of the software was causing the prob but nope still wont install.
    Tried everything on the microsoft website to try and fix it but nothing works.

    1909 will be out soon so guess ill wait for that and see if that installs.

    spent the last 5 months several times a day to get 1903 to install but nope it wont install on my desktop C drive. worked on my laptop 1st attempt and on my F drive on my desktop. so guessing there is a problem on my main hard drive stopping it from installing but dont know what and cant find any probs.

    As my other hard drive had a clean install of version 1503 on it it updated with no probs and only took 30 mins. Prob is i cant add my email accounts on that drive. cant add them on my laptop either or my phone only my main hard drive.

    My desktop originaly had win7 on it and it was an acer X3400 but its been updated a lot over the years. new motherboard which is ASUS, case the lot. the only parts left of the original is the hard drive and DVD rom drive. everything else has been replaced. while the F drive was bought blank with a diff version of windows put on it that i bought from microsoft. Its been sat in my PC as a backup drive to put backups of my files onto.

    I havnt got any backups of the C: drive to do a recovery as update 1803 removed them all.

    Will using the 1503 version work as a recovery as i have that on a USB stick or will the Acer software cause a conflict?

    Might be why 1903 wont install as its no longer an acer PC but still has the acer stuff on it.

    Dont want to do a clean install cause i will lose all my stuff i have on the disk and i havnt worked out how to transfer it to the other disk. Plus i wont be able to get at my email accounts as it comes up with an error when i try to add them to the other hard drive which is why i dont use it as my main drive even though its a lot bigger. 1TB opposed to 500GB on my main drive.

    Im fine building PC’s as i find that easy. But when it comes to sorting out probs with them im stuffed lol. If hardware fails its simple to find out what broke and replace it but when its software i give up.

    1. “Will using the 1503 version work as a recovery as i have that on a USB stick or will the Acer software cause a conflict?”

      I think you might be on to something here. Since you built your PC from scratch, that too from a Windows 7, it might be a cause of conflicts. I think you should ignore the update as your system seems incompatible. 1903 means driver-level changes. It probably fails to ensure compatibility with the original Acer components. I am only guessing because even Microsoft has no clue about this.

      What you’re experiencing Microsoft calls it a 51-99% error. It’s a frustrating error and the official Microsoft solution is rather vaguely described.
      https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4089834/windows-10-troubleshoot-problems-updating

  18. Hi Sayak,
    The 1803 to 1903 update put my Lenovo 100S in a recurring loop that I can’t stop. Like Judith, I have the message “Undoing changes made to your computer…” which, in perhaps 60 seconds, leads to a blank screen, the the LENOVO restart logo, a microsecond white frame flash, followed by the Undoing message and repetition of the same sequence. No change after 12 hours, after which I powered off, restarted, and was immediately in the same loop. Troubleshooter initially cleared me for the update but directed me to use an external drive, which I did. Now, when I remove the drive, I get an error message directing me to re-insert the external storage media. Once I do, the loop begins again. HELP. Is there anything I can do to escape the loop and regain function? Otherwise, looks like my machine is junk!
    Kent

    1. Have you tried safe mode power boot option? That way you can go in and restart once in safe mode and uninstall the updates for now.

      Press Windows key + R (force Windows to start into safe mode every time you reboot the PC). But the exact steps probably depend on the make and model of your PC. Here’s links for Lenovo with detailed instructions. Do let us know later if it helped.

      https://support.lenovo.com/in/en/solutions/ht105328
      https://support.lenovo.com/us/en/solutions/msh500033

  19. I have the same problems some people have mentioned above. Followed all the steps mentioned above – then it always fails at 60% with the “cannot configure 1 or more system components” message. But then, it did that before I tried your fixes too – which suggests whatever the problem is, it’s unaffected by this method. Ugh. I have an older computer that I already updated from win7 to win10 when it bugged me about that the last time, so maybe I’ll just wait till they fix things?

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