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Why can't I complete my Windows 10 upgrade process? Getty Images

Why can't I complete my Windows 10 upgrade process?

Q. I’ve not been able to upgrade to Win10. The process stops at 15 percent completion and displays Error 80070004-2000D. Can you help?

A. That’s a Windows Update error. The default method of upgrading to Win10 relies on the standard Windows Update mechanisms.

Under the covers, Windows Update is actually a collection of several different operating-system functions. A problem with any of those functions, or in any of the file repositories and databases (catalogs) used by Windows Update, can prevent a successful upgrade. It might even prevent routine Windows updates!

The solution isn’t hard but is a bit fussy.

You start by executing several admin-level commands to stop all Windows Update activity. That includes the update server itself, the Cryptographic Service that verifies the integrity of update files, the Background Intelligent Transfer Service (BITS) that manages the downloads, and the Microsoft Installer (MSI) that sets up and installs the updates — and the upgrades.

Next, you rename the old — probably damaged — Win Update-related catalogs and file repositories to get them out of the way. Last, you restart the update-related services, which will automatically create new catalogs and repositories. These steps usually let Windows Update resume normal operation.

You can perform the whole process with this series of commands, entered one at a time in an admin-level command window:

net stop wuauserv

net stop cryptsvc

net stop bits

net stop msiserver

ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old

ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old

net start wuauserv

net start cryptsvc

net start bits

net start msiserver


When you’re finished with these, reboot; Windows Update should be running normally again.

You can then try the default method of upgrading to Win10, again.

To completely avoid any Windows Update issues, use this alternate Win10-upgrade method: Download and run the free Windows Media Creation Tool (site). Select the “Upgrade this PC now” option when it’s offered and then follow the on-screen prompts.

At the end of the process, you’ll have Win10 up and running — and a properly functioning Windows Update, as well.

(Originally published on Windows Secrets on Thursday, October 8, 2015.)


Editor's note: We feature an abridged Q&A from Fred Langa's LANGALIST, a column available exclusively to paid subscribers of the Windows Secrets newsletter, on Wednesdays. What you see here is just a small sampling of what Langa's writing for the newsletter — go here for more information on how to subscribe.

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