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Friday, December 14, 2018

Windows 7 to 10 upgrade Failure 0x800f0955 - 0x20003

Tech.. another techie article.  Maybe I'll go back to weird, personal, hiking, adventuring or beer brewing (and drinking) again one day.  For now, another pain in my ass with computers.  I do work with technology all day long.  Lots of different tech with servers and data centers, so I have a lot to bitch about.

This time, I've been trying to (free) upgrade windows 7 to windows 10. It seems to fail a lot.  Like fail, fail.

In a nutshell, running MediaCreationTool1809.exe (versions wil vary over time) from allows you to create windows 10 media; ISO file which can be burned to a DVD-ROM or USB drive.  You can also just upgraded right from the tool which will cache the install files on your hard drive (you need 8GB free but really 12 or so).

So, I take the easy route.  Run the media creation to and select to upgrade.  The process is pretty simple.  It download files, stages an upgrade, reboots, starts the upgrade, does some updates, fails, rolls back (very cleanly/safely every time).  The code I get is 0x800f0955 - 0x20003 and some Safe_OS and Updates message.  I use google university to find what the error means, do everything everyone suggests and it fails.

Having done this several times now and spent hours troubleshooting, I've come up empty.  If only the upgrade would log exactly what it is doing when it fails, maybe we would fix it.  But it doesn't and I can't get around that problem.  However, I've still been able to upgrade several systems.  All you do is...

First, do some cleanup of your Windows PC.  Necessary?  Probably not. Works every time I do?  Yup.

Ok, first, you will need to install from a USB drive.  Sorry. You need a 8GB drive.  These are cheap and easy to use.  So, get one, insert it into a USB slot and run the media creation tool to create the installer USB drive.  When you are all done, you can delete everything form the USB and have some portable storage. Note: Booting from USB can be slowwww on older systems or not using USB 3.0 flash drive. Like a couple hours slow. It was only a few minutes with USB 3.0 drive and interface.

You can click cleanup if you want and scroll down to see the EASY part. You should cleanup first though.

Cleanup.   Open Windows Explorer.  Navigate to C:\Users.  Double click the account name you log in as. e.g. c:\users\jomebrew\
Click in the address bar and add \appdata.  Looks like this c:\users\jomebrew\appdata.  press Enter

Open Local, then open Temp.  Now your address bar shows C:\Users\jomebrew\AppData\Local\Temp with your account name of course.

Select everything in this folder  Click inthe right panel and click Edit / Select All.
  Press the Delete key and click Yes.
  Skip any files that can't be deleted.

In the address bar, click Local

Open Microsoft, then open Windows then open WER.  Delete everything in ReportArchive and ReportQueue.  If they are empty, move on.

Open ReportArchive then select all and press delete key and yes

Click the left (back) arrow or WER from the address bar then open ReportQueue.  Select all and press the delete and then yes

On the address bar, click Local Disk (C:)

Click click in the address bar and add program data.  it will look like this C:\ProgramData
Open Microsoft, then open Windows then open WER.  Delete everything in ReportArchive and ReportQueue.  If they are empty, move on.
Open ReportArchive then select all and press delete key and yes

Click the left (back) arrow or WER from the address bar then open ReportQueue.  Select all and press the delete and then yes

On the address bar, click Local Disk (C:)

Open Windows then open Temp

Select All then press the Delete key and click Yes.
Skip any files that can't be deleted.

On the Address bar, click Computer
Locate Local Disk C:.  Right click on this and select Properties (or highlight it and select File / Properties) Same thing.

Click Disk Cleanup.  Let it scan and when done, select all the boxes

Click Delete then Delete files.  This can take a while but will finish.

Make sure recycle bin is empty.

The EASY Part
Now that things are clean, navigate to the USB drive. Double click Setup.exe.
This seems to be the important piece,  On the first screen it asks Get Updates and Optional Features.  Select Not Right Now.  Then click Next.

Now click the appropriate options to finish the install. That's it!

Once Windows 10 installs, I select No to all the sharing options presented during the configuration steps.  Be sure to apply latest updates once windows 10 is done installing.

Note:  the installer spends a lot of time at 66% and 67%.  Be patient.


Anonymous said...

Hallo Jomebrew,

many thanks for that description. It works fine. It helped even me in Germany.

One more thanks.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, cured my problem.
One point to add is that running from the USB takes waaaay longer, my upgrade took around 3 hours plus a load of time to "apply updates" (yes, even though I ticked the box not to...)
Simon0362 at hotmail dot com

Jomebrew said...

thanks for the comments. I added a blurb about taking longer on some USB drives.

Anonymous said...

Thank you JomeBrew

Followed your instructions and it worked a treat
Saved me from formatting and reinstalling all my apps
Performed the online upgrade

JP from UK

Simon said...

Thanks, worked perfectly

Unknown said...

Thank you JomeBrew!
You the best!
Do you know, the update without crashing will be?

With best regards, Andrey.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Jomebrew. This worked great and you saved the date. I was about to give up trying to upgrade. Your article is very clear, very detailed and works! The amazing thing is that MS itself does not post something like this in its knowledge base and leaves it to geniuses and generous people like you to take of their own time and expertise and share it with others. Thanks again a million for the help!!

Anonymous said...

Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You saved me time and money!

Mohit Singh said...

Does it use my old windows 7 key as windows 10 key !! or should I need to buy a new key.

Jomebrew said...

It does not ask for a key. It upgrades Win 7 to Win 10 with the existing key.

Anonymous said...

Best information ever. Thanks. Tried 2 times with error. After I've fixed it like Jomebrew explained, everything works fine.

Fidom said...

thank you for your help. I did everything mentioned above and finally also downloaded 1803 version instead of 1809 and process passed successfuly.

Peter said...

Works excellent upgrading from Win10 LTSB 2016 to LTSC 2019 too!

Anonymous said...

Inspired by your description, I simply pulled the network plug after the download and a search for the updates was therefore not possible. The update worked after that anyway.
Thank your work. I was already completely annoyed after a day with lots of failed attempts. You made my day!

Greetings from Germany

Unknown said...

Wow Jomebrew !
You leave me (almost) speechless. What a smooth way to update to Windows 10. Not even Microsoft is capable of offering such a quick and good solution.
Too bad I cannot taste your beer. It must taste delicious !
Thanks for saving me time. No more headaches.


Anonymous said...

Thx dude, I tried to install win 10 three times and it always failed due to the "0x800f0955 - 0x20003" Failure. I browsed the web to get some help but was not able to find some. Then I found this post and tried your tips. Et voilà, it worked perfectly!

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much!! :-)
Your tips are working, everthing is ok.
I'm happy!!
Cya mate

Unknown said...

Great Article!!!! Thank you very much. Greetings from Germany :)

Anonymous said...

Followed your whole 'guide' and it worked! Thanks a lot,

Anonymous said...

Wow, that worked great! Many, many thanks for sharing!

Your advice saved me a lot of time and kept my blood pressure low, well done!


Didier said...

Merci Joe,
Grâce à toi j'ai juste échappé à la dépression nerveuse.
Après quatre tentatives infructueuses j'ai réussi la migration de W7 vers W10 en appliquant ta méthode.


Jára said...

Thank you, Thank you and one more Thank you
from Czech Republic!

I had almost gave up on update.


Unknown said...

I tried many solutions.
But my solution that worked was something simple ...
Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows features on or off -> Uncheck (uninstall) SNMP

After that, upgrade Win7 to Win10 went without any problems.

Maybe this help for someone


Unknown said...

Holy shit, I was struggling with this for weeks and I FINALLY DID IT. THANK YOU SO MUCH GOOD SIR

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much! After 3 tries getting this error message I found your post and it worked fine even with the last version of Windows 10. It's not required to use Windows 10 version 1803. I appreciate you share this valuable information with us! Best regards from Spain.

Giraios said...

Thank you very much for this guide.
I had tried to update a year ago without success.
I succeed following your solution.