HOWTO fix Windows 10 upgrade process

Once again some weeks ago, I had to upgrade an old Windows 7 notebook to Windows 10.

Up to now, it is possible by downloading the Media Download Tool, and following the program instructions.
In the end, you will have a licensed Windows 10 notebook migrated by the previous OS.

My problem this time was that Windows 10 installation met several problems and failed.

I tried different fixes like:

  • fix the file system by a ‘chkdsk c: /f
  • resize the recovery partition to 5-600Mb (by using the portable version of Macrorit Disk Partition Expert…).
  • apply all available updates…
  • temporary move some huge user data folders.

Nothing worked.

During my multiple attempts, I discovered that I can start the installation process by starting it manually from the downloaded cache.

Look for ‘\esd\windows‘ folder (usually into your drive C), and start the setup program.
I also found MS reference about the available command parameters.

My default command line is:

setup /auto upgrade

It will upgrade to Windows 10 importing all installed applications and all user data.

After several failed installation attempts, I began to consider this other option below:

setup /auto dataonly

It will install a clean copy of Windows 10 importing only the user data.  This is a perfect solution for all the scenarios in which we have a crippled OS, with outdated programs… in which we will take less time to install few updated programs than to try to heal a dying patient.

I used it, and at the end of the installation process, I had a shiny copy of working Windows 10 (with all the latest native drivers).
I only have to reinstall the missing applications to complete my task.