0xc0000017. 0xc1900101 - 0x20017 when upgrading to 10041

Windows 10 Pro, 64-bit

Dell XPS 630i, 4GB ram

Unable to upgrade from 9926 to 10041.  Errors:

  - 0xc0000017, "There isn't enough memory available to create a ramdisk device."

  - 0xc1900101 - 0x20017, "Couldn't update to Windows 10 Technical Preview"

When attempting to upgrade via Windows Update, it informs me to reboot the computer to start the upgrade.  Upon rebooting, immediately after POST a Recovery screen appears with error 0xc0000017, "There isn't enough memory available to create a ramdisk device.", with options press Enter to try again, F8 to for Startup options for F9 to load another operating system.  Enter and F8 does nothing... the screen flickers and shows me the Recovery screen again.  F9 takes me back to 9926, and once at the desktop I'm greeted with the "Couldn't update to Windows 10 Technical Preview" screen with error 0xc1900101 - 0x20017.

I attempted to do the install via USB.  Booting from USB and choosing to upgrade, it told me I had to do the upgrade from WIndows.  Back in 9926, I ran setup.exe off of the USB device and it proceeded to prepare to install, etc.  It then rebooted my PC to continue installing.  Again, immediately after POST, the sequence described above happened (0xc0000017, etc).

Doing some research, I've tried the following things based on other suggestions for this or similar errors, but none have worked:

  - Unplug all USB devices

  - Uninstall Hyper-V (I do not have that installed)

  - Uninstall anti-virus software (other than Windows Defender, I do not have any installed)

 

Doing a fresh install is... undesirable.  Any thoughts?

 

Question Info


Last updated July 12, 2019 Views 22,791 Applies to:
Answer
Answer

Fixed!

TL;DR version:

Ran the following command in an administrative command line window:

bcdedit /deletevalue {badmemory} badmemorylist

Once done, I started the 10240 upgrade via Windows Update and it installed successfully.

Theory

The error 0xc0000017 says there isn't enough memory available to create a ramdisk device, which didn't seem possible, having 4GB of RAM.

While researching the Windows Recovery Environment, I came upon tools like bcdedit which lets you see and modify boot configuration data.  When I ran "bcdedit /enum all" in an administrative command line, i noticed a number of entries in a section called "badmemory".  There were probably 50-60 of them.

I read about what the badmemory entries are and why there were in the bcd from this site:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/ff559459(v=vs.85).aspx

Windows doesn't use the RAM blocks marked as "badmemory" in the BCD in an effort to prevent memory errors down the road.

So, my theory was that the error for 0xc0000017 was slightly misleading... that perhaps what it's really saying is:

There isn't enough contiguous memory available to create a ramdisk device.

The thought is that my memory is "fragmented" because there are bad blocks scattered throughout, so there isn't one solid, contiguous block large enough to fit the recovery environment disk image into memory.

With that in mind, I used the command at the top of this post to clear the badmemory list so Windows would start using them again.  I figured, since the memory blocks are being marked bad as a precautionary measure (Windows predictively assuming they'll go bad), clearing the list would free them up for use and, if Windows wants to mark them bad again later, that's fine, as long as I get through the 10240 upgrade.

Turns out that worked.  Clearing the badmemory list in the bcd freed up enough contiguous RAM space for the disk image to load via ramdisk and allowed the upgrade to complete successfully.

Update

Found this.  The section at the bottom,"Memory Requirements" confirms that WinRE requires a large enough portion of contiguous memory in order to work.  What it doesn't mention is that the BCD's "badmemory" list also contributes to a lack of contiguous memory space:

https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/hardware/Dn938364%28v=VS.85%29.aspx?f=255&MSPPError=-2147217396

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