Common Windows 8 to 8.1 Upgrade problems.

Technical Level : Intermediate

Summary
This wiki explains how to troubleshoot and solve the most common Windows Upgrade issues that consumers have when upgrading from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1. Please know that these are general troubleshooting methods, in some cases specialized help for your case is required.
Details

Situation:

You’re having one or more problems described below when upgrading:

  • You can’t see the upgrade in the store
  • You receive the following error code or text:
    • Error Code: 0x80070005
    • Error Code: 0x80240031
    • Error Code: 0xC1900101 – 0x20017
    • Windows Upgrade asks for an Administrator Account
    • Something happened and the install of Windows 8.1 can't be completed.

This Wiki also includes steps for error's that are not listed above, worthy of trying out.

First step for all cases:

Run the Windows Upgrade troubleshooter released by Microsoft using this link: http://download.microsoft.com/download/E/2/A/E2ABDAF3-5414-47CB-9AD2-5E31A10B2704/winupcompat.diagcab

If the troubleshooter did not solve your problem, then continue.

Troubleshooting steps for all situations

Make sure any third party installed program which offers security or protects system resources is disabled or fully removed from your system. These sorts of programs are:

  • Virus Protection (i.e. Norton, Kaspersky, Bit Defender and so on…)
  • Firewalls
  • Safety Advisors

Also make sure you boot clean, this means booting without loaded services and programs, except those from Microsoft. 

  1.        Open Start (modern UI), type msconfig and then press ENTER. Or press the Windows + R key and enter msconfig
  2.        In the System Configuration Utility dialog box, click Selective Startup on the General tab.
  3.        Click to clear the Load Startup Items check box.
  4.        Note The Use Original Boot.ini check box is unavailable.
  5.        Click the Services tab.
  6.        Click to select the Hide All Microsoft Services check box.
  7.        Click Disable All, and then click OK.
  8.        When you are prompted, click Restart.

Troubleshooting: You can’t see the upgrade in the store

The Windows 8.1 upgrade requires the following updates on your system KB 2871389 and KB 2917499, you will receive these automatically through Windows update, however, some cases these are installed and you still don’t see the upgrade.

First try to run WSReset to make sure the Windows Store is showing updated content, you can do this by pressing the Windows Flag + R key on your keyboard at the same time and entering “wsreset.exe” or by following method 2 in this wiki: How-to solve Windows Store starting issues.

If the store still does not show the Windows 8.1 upgrade, then follow these steps:

  1. Open the right charm bar (by moving your mouse to the top right corner of the screen)
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on Control Panel
  4. Click on Uninstall a Program
  5. Click on View Installed Programs
  6. Remove KB 2871389
  7. Remove KB 2917499
  8. Reboot your system
  9. Download and install: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2871389/en
  10. Download and install: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2917499/en
  11. Reboot your system
  12. Run WSReset as described above
  13. Re-open Windows store.

The Windows 8.1 upgrade should now have appeared in the store, if it has not open a question on Microsoft Answers and ask for help. Please refer to this guide so the person helping you knows you have already tried this.

You receive an error containing:  0x80070005

This error occurs when the installer does not have permission to write to a specific folder on your hard drive.

It’s recommended that you create a new user through the built-in Windows Administrator. In order to do this you can follow the steps below:

  1. Open Command Prompt as Administrator (open Modern UI and type “cmd”. Then right click on command prompt and choose Run as Administrator). Or press the Windows and X key at the same time and choose Command Prompt (admin)
  2. Type: net user Administrator /active: yes
  3. Reboot your system and logon using the administrator account.
  4. Create a new administrator(refer to this link on how to do that: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/create-user-account#create-user-account=windows-8)
  5. Reboot your system and logon with the new user
  6. Try to install the Upgrade again.

If this did not solve your issue then continue to “You receive an error code after upgrading which is not mentioned above. “

You receive an error containing: 0x80240031

Most users receive this error when they have winsock entries which are misbehaving, try to reset these and see if the upgrade now work.

  1. Press Windows and X key  together and select Command Prompt (admin). (Desktop mode)
  2. Type the following command and hit the enter key after each:
    netsh int ip reset reset.log hit netsh winsock reset catalog 
  3. Reboot your system
  4. Try to install the upgrade again

If this did not solve your issue then continue to “You receive an error code after upgrading which is not mentioned above. “

You receive an error containing: 0xC1900101 – 0x20017

Please refer yourself to the following post by Nirmal S from Microsoft:
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows8_1-windows_install/error-0xc1900101-0x20017-when-installing-windows/8631668d-1924-4259-8280-494f9f94f8b3

If this post does not solve your issue, then continue to “You receive an error code after upgrading which is not mentioned above. “

Windows Upgrade asks for an Administrator Account

This problem occurs when the installation of Windows Update KB 2871389 is corrupted. A reinstallation of this Update normally solves the issue:

  1. Open the right charm bar (by moving your mouse to the top right corner of the screen)
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on Control Panel
  4. Click on Uninstall a Program
  5. Click on View Installed Programs
  6. Remove KB 2871389
  7. Reboot your system
  8. Download and install: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2871389/en
  9. Reboot your system
  10. Press the Windows + R key and type wsreset.exe and hit enter.
    [wsreset]
  11. Re-open the Windows Store and try to apply the upgrade again.

If this does not solve your issue, then make a new question on Microsoft Answers and ask for help, please refer this wiki in your post, so the person helping you knows that you already tried these steps.

You receive an error code after upgrading which is not mentioned above. 

First troubleshooting method

Some errors with the Windows 8.1 upgrade can be resolved by re-installing the two required KB updates, you can read how to do this above, but in most cases this does not work, and clearing your downloaded cache might help you further. Follow the instructions below to try this:

  1. Open Command Prompt as Administrator (open Modern UI and type “ cmd”. Then right click on command prompt and choose Run as Administrator

  2. Now enter the following command: “net stop wuauserv” then hit enter.
  3. Now enter the following command: “net stop bits” then hit enter

  4. Now enter the following command: “net stop msiserver” then hit enter
  5. Now enter the following command: “net stop cryptSvc” then hit enter
  6. Now open Windows Explorer 
  7. Paste the following location in the bar: C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution
    Replace C: with the hard disk letter which windows is installed onto.

  8. Remove all files and folders in the folder.
  9. Now open Command Prompt again as Administrator
  10. Run the same commands as steps 2 and 3, only then “net start wuauserv”, “net start msiserver”, “net start cryptSvc” and “net start bits
  11. Now open the Windows Store
  12. Try to reinstall the Windows 8.1 upgrade.

Second troubleshooting method; Hidden Windows Updates

Some Windows 8 systems are having an issue with not all updates being installed the correct way some updates, stay in the Pending state which causes the installer to not work.

  1. Open Modern UI and type Windows Update
  2. Click on Windows Update
  3. Click on Restore Hidden Updates

  4. If there is any update in the list, install it immediately. If there is not an update in the list, then skip to step 6
  5. When the list is empty, try to run the Windows 8.1 installation again.
  6. If the Windows 8.1 installation still does not work, then continue to the third troubleshooting method.

Third troubleshooting method; Hardware

There isn’t really a list of known hardware which causes the Upgrade issues, but it’s a safe bet to remove all unnecessary hardware from your system and to update any hardware you have in the computer, make sure they are running the latest drivers. Then try the upgrade again.

If possible disable as much devices as possible (your WiFi card for example) in the BIOS of your system. Please know that editing the BIOS can seriously damage your system and that it's on your own responsibility. 

Fourth troubleshooting method: The endgame.

If all these steps fail to solve your issue there are only two options remaining:

  1. Make a new question on Microsoft Answers and ask for an expert to assist you further, make sure you mention that you tried all steps in this wiki.
  2. You go for the solution I like to call “The endgame”

If you go for the solution I like to call The Endgame it means that you’re going to refresh your entire system to factory settings with preserving your files. 

  1.        Open the right charm bar (Swipe in from the right edge of the screen), tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings
  2.        Tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Recovery.
  3.        Under Refresh your PC without affecting your files, tap or click Get started.
  4.        Follow the instructions on the screen.

Then try to run the Windows 8.1 upgrade again, if this does not solve your problem, then the Nuke option might solve the problem. Be aware that you lose all your files on your system if you opt to do this.

  1.        Open the right charm bar (Swipe in from the right edge of the screen), tap Settings, and then tap Change PC settings
  2.        Tap or click Update and recovery, and then tap or click Recovery.
  3.        Under Remove everything and reinstall Windows, tap or click Get started.
  4.        Follow the instructions on the screen.

If after the Endgame and Nuke option your system still does not upgrade to Windows 8.1 the only option is to ask an expert to help you further.

I hope you have solved your problem using this Wiki.

If you have any suggestion or edits then please contact me

Yuri Pustjens

 

Forum Article Info


Last updated April 6, 2020 Views 12,881 Applies to:
I can't get this far. I can go to the store, & then I receive a message that I need to run Windows updates. In spite of all the "methods", none can correct the problem. In fact, in trying one of the methods, I opened my firewall & can't close it. "Services" will not let me revert to my previous flawed position.

It's a real shame that the 8.1 upgrade from 8 is nothing short of a disaster. I tried so many times (almost 10 times, if I am not mistaken) to do this upgrade but even then after the first reboot the screen goes completely blank and then my older version of Win8 is restored.

Worse, this is not an issue that was detected yesterday. Or a week ago. This issue has been around for months now, and it is appalling to see the lack of urgency shown by MS to get a "true" fix (instead of a silly troubleshooter util that doesn't even do its job properly).

Rahul_Pradhan,

You've won the HITS THE NAIL ON THE HEAD award.  

No prize, and No solution.  

Win8/Win8.1 makes new changes to my Firewall protections, every time, every day.

I start my computer, and click, my Firewall allows all kinds of stuff through.  

It is like MSN and Bing are Leeches, sucking the blood, as they attached themselves.

Win8/Win8.1 makes new changes to my color management every time, every day. 

I start my computer, and click, it becomes too bright to use.  

Nothing I do helps. 

The damned company wants the big bucks for advice.  

I think the US government has an Inspector General for Consumer Protection. 

I am going to look to see if I get the run-around there, or if I can get some help. 

Frank Barry

ps:  Microsoft, get your act together.   Put some "Free Help" for your customers. 

We customers have not stopped buying when you have sent our information to the NSA. 

Try responding to our needs.   Even Greed has limits.

Your solution works very well. Thank you.

I was also one of many people having problems with download and installation of Windows 8.1.

After exhausting many suggestions given here and elsewhere I decided to contact Microsoft support at http://answerdesk.com/ and in tree sessions of about six hours each with two different technicians no solution to the problem was found or suggested.

On escalated level (third session) I was told that my computer was missing required drivers and that there is not possible to fix the problem.

During the first session it was recommended though to download a Windows 8 ISO file and recover from it possible missing files on my computer. I found out later that one can create a recovery media using it.

For details look here http://www.redmondpie.com/download-windows-8-iso-x86-x64-file-directly-from-microsoft/

and http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/upgrade-product-key-only

One actually doesn't need a product key unless you want to re-install Windows 8.

Here is what I did: downloaded the x86 dvd 915417 and by right clicking on it  selected "mount" option which created executable recovery media. I copied all the folders and files to an empty USB flash drive (one needs 3-4 GB space). Left the media in the USB port and from Windows 8 initiated refresh option by going to settings-change PC settings- choose general on the left side and find "refresh your PC without affecting your files" on the right.

That was it....restart your PC and from Store start Windows 8 download.