03-11-2018

Escaping the Windows 10 Fall Creator's Update install loop of death

Back story: A friend asked me to look at her Windows 10 machine. It was caught in a loop where it would try to install the Fall Creator's Update, fail and roll back to the previous build. The next day, the cycle repeats. This loop rendered her pc unusable for 2 1/2 hours every day as it ran through the loop.

Checking on the manufacturer's website revealed the this particular pc had not been to certified to run Windows 10 at all. Yet the automatic free upgrade had installed itself. Apparently the Anniversary Edition had also successfully installed. That, however was where the shit hit the fan. Apparently the Creator's Edition had attempted to install, failed, rolled back and quietly went on it's way. Now the Fall Creator's update is hell bent on installing and will not take 'not compatible' for an answer.


The Fix: If the Windows 10 Upgrade Assistant is running, open the task manager and kill the process. Then open windows file explorer, go to drive c: and find the folder Windows10Upgrade.

In the Windows10UpgradeUpgrade folder, find the file Windows10UpgraderApp.exe. Change the file's name. I added two x's to the end. On your desktop, create a new text file, name the text file Windows10UpgraderApp.exe, drag the newly created file into the Windows10Upgrade folder.


Now the last step. We need to prevent windows from overwriting the file we just created with a working copy. Right click on Windows10UpgraderApp.exe. Select permissions from the drop down menu, then the Security tab.


Select the System user and deny all permissions for that user. What we have done is replace the Windows10UpgraderApp.exe with an empty file with the same name and the windows System user does not have permission to modify. Result, the Windows10UpgraderApp.exe is unable to run.


Conclusion: This is by no means a fix. It is a dirty hack to put a stop to the upgrade attempt - fail - roll back loop. You will notice that occasionally an error will be thrown at startup as windows upgrade attempts to reinstall Windows10UpgraderApp.exe. Just dismiss the error message when it appears. The nice thing about this hack is that it will prevent the automatic installation of feature updates (Fall Creator's Update, etc), but it will not interfere with security and hardware updates. One can only hope that some day Micros$oft will issue a fix that will make this hack unnecessary.