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Fast Ring Win10 Builds 17728 and 17730 May Require Clean Install

One week ago today, I blogged about a clean install on one of my Dell PCs (Venue Pro 11 7130). With Fast Ring Builds 17728 and 17730, another of my Dells has forced this manuever again. That machine is a 2014 XPS 2720: i7 4770S mobile CPU, 16 GB RAM, Intel HD3000 graphics, and a Samsung EVO 250 GB mSATA SSD. I’ve been unable to get past the first reboot with either of those two upgrades this past week. None of  three approaches worked. Those included: Windows Update, Windows Update MiniTool (WUMT), and a manual upgrade using a mounted ISO. Today, I bit the bullet and did a clean install. It worked like a charm, and took a major load off my mind. This raises the question: how might one recognize when Fast Ring Win10 builds 17728 and 17730 may require clean install. I’ll explain…

How to Tell When Win10 Builds 17728 and 17730 May Require Clean Install

I was never able to get past the first reboot when trying to upgrade to either of those two Builds on the XPS 2720. It would show a “Restart needed” screen in Windows Update. But one or more restarts never triggered “applying updates” and spinning balls before and after the mandatory reboot. This persisted through any number of attempts using Windows Update or WUMT. I also saw something even more mysterious when I used the UUPDump and UUPtoISO tools. I constructed an ISO for Build 17728 (it failed with UUPDump errors for .esd files from 17730). I saw a status window from the Windows 10 installer I’d never seen before. It’s labeled Windows Installer and simply reads “Windows 10 installation has failed.” Not much to go on there, I’m afraid…

This is similar to the more familiar “Something happened” message, but is a new status message from the Windows 10 installer, as far as I can tell.
Neither the message nor the underlying Panther logs gave me much to go on as to causation or cure.

If you attempt a manual upgrade from a Fast Ring ISO and see this message, I can tell you from recent personal experience that a clean install using a bootable version of that ISO will set the affected PC back to rights. I wish I knew more about how or why this was happening. But with only limited time for deep analysis and troubleshooting, after spending more than half a day trying to get to the bottom of the upgrade install issues I theorized a clean install would catch the PC up more expeditiously. Now that I’ve done it, I’m glad I was right!

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