The “Fall Creators’ Update” was released by Microsoft in October 2017; the equivalent of a “Service Pack”, it was well received by the PC community as a set of significant updates to the underlying Windows 10 OS.
Unfortunately, many people found that updating to the new “1709” version of the OS was not so simple; preventing them from being able to identify any of the potential benefits that it delivered (it added several key features to the system).
The most common reason for the inability to upgrade came from incompatible hardware. Systems running 8+ year-old hardware were typically very reticent to accept the update. This was compounded by the way in which most systems simply didn’t state *how* / *why* the installation failed.
This tutorial examines the common causes of the problem, and how to solve it…
Why 1709 “Creators Update” Won’t Install
The most common reason is that your system’s hardware is old – preventing Windows from being able to install the appropriate files / features that are required to get it running. The following are also problems…
- Incompatible software / services
- Damaged Windows files / settings
- Antivirus blocking the installation
- Out of date files preventing Windows from operating correctly
The typical way in which it’s unable to install is that your system will “download” the update, and begin to “install” it in the background.
After a small amount of files have been added to your system, it will ask you to restart – at which point a screen will appear showing the “progress” of the installation; giving a percentage update and ultimately allowing you to determine exactly where the update is in the installation.
At around 30%, the system will restart and will show the (“configuring”) screen again – the percentage growth typically rising to around 33%, at which point another restart will occur. After loading back up, it will typically be the case that you’ll see the “Restoring To A Previous Version of Windows” image – denoting that your installation failed.
The cause is not stipulated by the update, hence why so many people have experienced problems with it. The following should explain how to fix the potential issues inside your system, thus allowing the update to proceed:
How To Fix Windows 1709 Update Error (0x80080008)
Because of the ambiguity of the error, the only way to properly resolve it is to look through a wide array of different causes, solving them as required.
Anyone involved with Windows / PC development will likely be familiar with each step. They’re quite broad in scope – but generally work to resolve the majority of underlying problems that would be leading Windows 10 to not accept the update…
1. Run SFC & DISM
- SFC = “System File Checker”
- DISM = “Deployment Imaging Servicing Management”
Both of these are CMD (Command Line) tools which can be used to clean up a number of core Windows files. They’re mostly used for instances of Windows Update problems (such as this), whereby the system requires a “flushing” of files that may be corrupted or damaged.
The first step is to use both of these inbuilt tools to clean up any problems that Windows may have at its core. To do this, you need to use the following:
- Press “Windows” key on the keyboard + “S”
- This will bring up the “Search” box into which you should type “CMD”
- Right-click the “Command Prompt” icon and select “Run As Administrator”
Into the new window that appears, type the following:
- sfc /scannow
- Dism.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth
You’ll have to wait for each to finish before proceeding to the next. After both are complete, move onto the next step in the process…
2. Disable Windows Update Services
Next, you should disable the Windows Update services (which are *always* running on Windows 10). Whilst these are generally harmless, they’ll typically lead to a number of potential problems with the Windows 1709 update, which can be solved by using the following steps:
- Press “Windows” Key + “S” on your keyboard
- Type “CMD” and then Right-click on the listings which appear
- Select “Run As Administrator”
When it loads, type the following commands:
- net stop wuauserv
- net stop bits
- net stop dosvc
3. Delete “SoftwareDistribution” Folder
The next step is to delete the “SoftwareDistribution” folder inside C:/Windows. This is essentially where Windows stores all of the yet-to-be-installed updates for the system (the installation process starts with the update being downloaded from Microsoft’s servers and then being installed from the SoftwareDistribution folder).
It is often the case that the files within this folder will become corrupted and damaged – leading Windows to either behave erratically, or just be unable to install them properly. To this end, removing the folder in its entirety will remove any of the potentially corrupted files that may be inside it.
This is only possible if you’re able to stop the different update services from running (#2). If this succeeds (which is often not the case), your system should have to download the updates again – but they’ll be fresh…
- Click onto “FileExplorer” (click “Start” > “File Explorer” from left charms menu)
- Browse to C:/Windows
- Select “SoftwareDistribution”
- Hold SHIFT + Press Delete
- Let it remove
- Restart your PC
After the restart, you need to manually download the update again. This can be done by following the next step…
4. Windows 10 Update Assistant
The next step is to use the Windows 10 “Update Assistant” – which basically allows you to manually download the update that you need to get installed.
This can be done by following these steps:
- Browse to Google and type “Windows 10 Download”
- At the top of the page, click the “Update Now” button
- This will download the “Update Assistant” to your system
- Run it
- This will download the manual update/installation files for the update
- Let it install the update
This process will typically fail again. If it doesn’t – congratulations, you have installed 1709! If it does fail, you need to look at any further potential issues that could have prevented the system from installing it properly.
5. Remove Peripheral Devices
If the update still does not work, you will need to remove peripheral devices (USB connected printers etc).
Whilst this may seem quite draconian, it has its underlying purpose, in the sense that most people will typically have quite old “external” hardware, which may not have appropriate drivers installed.
To this end, removing these devices from the system is one of the best ways to ensure that the 1709 update can actually install.
The process do this is as follows:
- Manually remove any USB/SCSI/Firewire connections to external devices from your actual computer
- Browse through “Device Manager” and “Uninstall” the various devices that have just been removed (this removes the drivers from the system)
- Restart your system and move onto the next step
6. Disable / Uninstall Antivirus Software
Finally, you should look at disabling / uninstalling your antivirus software.
Whilst this may appear to be a dangerous step, it is not actually that big of a problem – just as long as you don’t download any malicious software from the Internet.
The reason it’s important is because it means you’re able to install files/settings/updates without them having to be scanned. A number of people have alluded to the idea that the 1709 update is prevented from being installed by various antivirus tools blocking it.
To fix this, you should right-click onto the “Start” button (bottom left of Windows 10) and select “Apps and Features”. Browse down the list and uninstall the antivirus tool you have installed. This should take no longer than 5 minutes.
After doing this, you should try using the “Update Assistant” again.
If you are successful, you should then replace any of the hardware/software you removed from the system. If not, it means you likely have some deeper problem on your computer, which can only be resolved by more specific inspection / testing.
In this position, you may wish to look at using a technical support service, or perhaps one of the “PC Repair” tools – if you can find one that’s trustworthy.