We’ve done numerous Windows 10 Build 1903 Updates, ranging from new machines just out of the box to systems that are several years old.
The biggest factor we’ve seen that affects successful completion is the update status of the machine itself. I’m not referring to Microsoft or Windows Updates here, but updates to drivers, firmware, and the BIOS or UEFI. (Some long-time users might even still think of this as CMOS – talk about a flashback! LOL)
When was the last time you checked for updates from your computer manufacturer? Thankfully, Microsoft is now starting to check systems for known updates and actually giving a message that the system isn’t ready yet.
Out-of-date drivers can, and often do, cause a “Feature Update” to fail. Normally the system is able to undo the changes and revert to the previous Build. Unfortunately, there are times where the update fails at a critical point in the process and can actually corrupt the operating system. Thankfully, Microsoft has started notifying of available Feature Updates before installing them.
One nice thing is that most consumer systems today have update utilities from the manufacturer already installed on the computer. If you don’t have one of these handy tools on your system, there’s also the “Support” section on the manufacturer’s website (there are various reasons why you may not have the manufacturers update utility installed – like security and privacy concerns or a failed update of the utility). Additionally, some have an online scan utility to check your machine for available updates. If you built the system yourself, plan for a little more time to check updates for each component.
The second issue was already known by Microsoft. If you use an external USB storage device, especially as the installation source, drive letter assignment changes may break the installation. As such, Microsoft actually blocked the installation from proceeding.
There is a partial “fix” that has been published which recommends removing all USB media devices from the system and restarting the installation. If you are using a USB device as the installation source, copy all of its content to your local drive and try running it from there instead. Hopefully, you have enough free space.
Surprisingly, that is the end of our experienced “Issues” list so far for installing Build 1903. The extra caution given to this rollout seems to be making things much smoother – though it was delayed a month. Of course, others have experienced additional problems and your own experience may vary.