Common Windows 8 to 8.1 Upgrade problems.

This post includes a list of common Windows Upgrade problems 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.

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 upgrade 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 post: 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. Reboot your system
  10. Run WSReset as described above
  11. 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. “

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. Reboot your system
  9. Press the Windows + R key and type wsreset.exe and hit enter. [wsreset]
  10. 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 Common Windows 8 to 8.1 Upgrade problems. Upgrade problems
  • Now enter the following command: “net stop wuauserv” then hit enter. Common Windows 8 to 8.1 Upgrade problems. Upgrade problems
  • Now enter the following command: “net stop bits” then hit enter Common Windows 8 to 8.1 Upgrade problems. Upgrade problems
  • Now enter the following command: “net stop msiserver” then hit enter
  • Now enter the following command: “net stop cryptSvc” then hit enter
  • Now open Windows Explorer Common Windows 8 to 8.1 Upgrade problems. Upgrade problems
  • Paste the following location in the bar: C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution Replace C: with the hard disk letter which windows is installed onto. Common Windows 8 to 8.1 Upgrade problems. Upgrade problems
  • Remove all files and folders in the folder.
  • Now open Command Prompt again as Administrator
  • Run the same commands as steps 2 and 3, only then “net start wuauserv”, “net start msiserver”, “net start cryptSvc” and “net start bits”
  • Now open the Windows Store
  • 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 Common Windows 8 to 8.1 Upgrade problems. Upgrade problems
  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.

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About The Author
Yuri Pustjens
Yuri Pustjens
2014, 2015 & 2016 Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Windows Yuri specializes in troubleshooting (crash analysis and devices), system resource utilisation and system performance. He is also very interested in Customer Security. Yuri can be found as Windows Community Moderator and Wiki Author on Microsoft Answers and is active on different communities all across the web.

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