• Windows 10 update taking almost forever.

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    I started yesterday (Tuesday) morning at about 11:00 am updating my 1809 version of Windows 10.  All seem to be going well and then it got “stuck” at 91% complete about 2:30 pm.  It is now  12:30 am on Wednesday morning and it is still stuck at 91% – “Working on updates” and I am at a loss as to what to do.

    When I started this update it told me that it would take a while, but I really did not think it would take over 12 hours.

    I am looking for advice on what to do.  Should I cancel it and reboot the whole system, or just let it run its course.  If I let it run, then what is a reasonable amount of time to let it run, assuming this is a “normal” process for this update.

    Any advice, insight, etc., as to what to do with this “update” will be greatly appreciated.

    In case anyone is wondering, it is my desktop that is being updated and I am using my travel laptop to enter this inquiry.

    Ron M

    Viewing 21 reply threads
    • #2021034

      I suggest forcing a restart with the power button. Sometimes it’s just the restart which is the holdup.

      Windows 11 Pro version 22H2 build 22621.2361 + Microsoft 365 + Edge

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2021038

      Well folks, it is now 7:40 am on Wednesday morning and my desktop is still sitting running with the message “Working on updates 91%…”, so I am going to turn it off and restart it to see what happens.  This is a bit ridiculous to have an “update” go on this long and then apparently stall for over 18± hours.

      I turned it off (power button) and restarted it – “Attempting to recover installation – Undoing changes made to your computer…” (7:46 am) with the little wheel going around and around.  It is now 7:53 am and it is back to booting normally and at 7:57 I have my old computer back.

      Running <winver> shows that I still have Version 1809 installed.  The question is then, how do I upgrade to the latest version of Windows 10 Pro?

      Any insight that anyone can provide will be greatly appreciated.  Thanks in advance.

      Ron M

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2021039

      Sorry b, I was typing in the previous message when yours was being entered.  I did do what you suggested and you can see the tale of what happened in my previous response.

      Ron M

    • #2021411

      Anyone have any ideas what is going on with my attempt to update?

      Ron M

      • #2021419

        Try these steps:
        + In the Settings App\Update & Security\Windows Update\Advanced settings
        Channel = Semi Annual Channel (if the setting is there)
        Defer Feature updates = 120 days for v1903 (recommended) = 0 for v1909 (recommend waiting  on this one)
        Defer Quality updates = 0
        Close the Settings App
        + In an elevated Command Prompt (search for cmd.exe, right click, Run as Administrator)
        Type chkdsk /f (it will ask if you want to run on reboot, answer Yes, and reboot)
        After reboot, in an elevated Command Prompt run:
        DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
        In an elevated Commane Prompt then run
        sfc /scannow
        +Disable you Anti-virus program(s)
        + In Windows Update, Check for updates and try the update again. If it fails

        +If that fails, in the Settings App\Update & Security\Troubleshoot  Windows Update
        +Disable you Anti-virus program(s)
        + Try the update again.

        If it fails, come back and we will try more drastic measures.

        • This reply was modified 3 years, 9 months ago by PKCano.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2021965

      Thanks PKCano.  I will give this a try.  A few questions before I do.  I am running v1809.  Can I update directly to 1909, or do I have to go through 1903 first?  Can I update 1903 directly today, or do I have to wait another 120 days?  I am afraid I do not understand why the Defer… for 1903 is 120 days, whereas for 1909 is 0 days.  What is the difference between “Feature Updates” and “Quality Updates”?

      What is an “elevated Command Prompt”?

      I am running Norton/Symantec AV program.  Is there an easy way to “disable” it?  I have never had to do this, so I am treading into unknown territory.

      Sorry to be such a newbie to this stuff, but I am used to things functioning normally (?) what ever that is.  Obviously, I am not current with the intricacies of MS products and their updates.

      Thanks for your help with this.

      Ron M

      • #2021971

        Feature updates are Version upgrades. Quality updates are Cumulative updates released each month on Patch Tues.
        Feature update deferral is the number of days after the next version is released., So the number increases as time passes. You can choose version by choosing the number of deferral days. v1903 has been out over 120 days, so the using 120 days deferral means it would no longer be deferred. But v1909 has been out only a short time, so it would still be deferred.
        You can pick the version by using the appropriate deferral time.

        What is an “elevated Command Prompt”?

        In an elevated Command Prompt (search for cmd.exe, right click, Run as Administrator)

        Don’t worry about Norton for now.

    • #2021978

      PKCano, thanks for the clarification, so I can update to 1909 by using a deferral time of 0 days, or do you recommend updating to 1903 first?

      Ron M

      • #2021990

        I’d wait on 1909, it still has too many problems.
        If you want/NEED to upgrade, I’g go with 1903. It’s a bit more stable.
        But 1809 is good until May 2020 – so what’s the rush? 1809 is solid for now.

    • #2022036

      There is no rush, so I guess I will follow your suggestion and stay with 1809 for now.

      Ron M

    • #2022185

      PKCano, there is still one unanswered question – why would my Windows 10 (1809) not update properly when I tried to do it.  As I noted in my OP, it got to 91% and seemed to stay suspended at that point.  How do I know that it will not do the same thing again when I try to update in the future?

      Ron M

      • #2022204

        The instructions here are an attempt to correct whatever was wrong.
        They may correct the problem or they may not.
        Since I cannot put my hands on your computer, I cannot try those things. I can only suggest you try them.
        They are fairly easy first steps.
        If they do not correct the problem, there are other things that can be done, but they are more difficult.

        There are no guaranties that the first thing that is tried will fix the problem. If it does not, then try the second thing. And so on.

    • #2022205

      Okay.  I will keep a copy of the instructions for later as, with your advice, I have decided to forgo updating 1809.  I have much more pressing things to do as Christmas approaches.

      Thank you for all of your help with this and all the good, detailed instructions you have provided for my use.  They are greatly and sincerely appreciated.

      Kindest regards,


    • #2040823

      I do not seem to be able to find my previous post about this problem – tried a search and got nowhere. I will start again.

      Thanks PKCano for instructions on finding my previous posts on this topic.  I will review them and see if I can resolve the problem.

      Following your advice previously, I will ignore the “reminders” from Windows for now.  Is there anyway to shut them off?  Thanks.

      Ron M

      • #2040824

        Look in the Settings app for Notifications. Some of them can be turned off. It may include notifications from Win Update.

    • #2040877

      I did check that and all the Notifications are turned off, so I am not sure what Windows is doing.

    • #2040907

      Ron, I suggest that you download the ISO of 1909, and then run it manually. Once it starts, it will ask you if it can check for updates; tell it no. Then make sure that it “saves everything” (that is, that it keeps your files and apps), and let the update run.

      It will take about 20 to 30 minutes to run, depending on how fast your computer is.

      Once it has finished, it will take a few minutes to finish up, and then you are good to go.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
    • #2041433

      Jim, pardon my ignorance, but what is the ISO of 1909 and where do I find it?  How do I make sure that it will “save everything”?

      Normally, I just let things take their natural course and they all work as expected, but this time, I really do not know, or understand, what is going on.

      Ron M

      • #2041681

        You get/create the ISO with MS Media Creation Tool.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2042205

        Another place you can go to get the ISO is http://www.heidoc.net. Once there, download and install the “Microsoft Windows and Office ISO Download Tool”. Then run the tool, find the November 2019 version of Windows 10 (i.e. the 1909 ISO file), and download it to your hard drive. Normally you would use an ISO file to create a CD or DVD; but you can open it in Windows 10 by double clicking on it. Then double click on the setup file.

        Once Setup is running, it will very soon ask you how extensively you want the upgrade to run, that is, how much do you want the upgrade to change things. The minimum is to keep your files, settings, and applications; the maximum is to not save anything (otherwise known as a “custom install”). Choose the option that will keep your stuff.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 8.1 running in a VM
        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2062422

      PKCano, I started with your set of instructions and got as far as the  run in elevated command prompt – DISM/online/cleanup-image/restorehealth and this is what I got – attached cut from screen file.


      How do I proceed.  Thanks.

      Ron M

    • #2084274

      Ron et al:

      FWIW, on December 19  my W10 Home desktop at shutdwn happily said that it was going to first do an update and proceded to go from 1809 to 1909 without a hitch and with no ill effects. Just like it’s supposed to happen.

      On the other hand, during the second half of December, my W10 Home laptop tried to update to 1903 a couple of times and failed with error 0xC1900223.   It also tried to get to 1909 but failed  with error 0x19001e0.

      You might think that those error numbers would be keys to whatever is going on, but nooooo. I searched and searched, tried what people were suggesting, and got nowhere.

      Has anybody encountered and resolved these errors?

    • #2085582

      “The error 0xc1900223 may occur if your computer is unable to connect to the Microsoft Update servers or its content delivery network. This can happen if you have earlier blocked a bunch of Microsoft server addresses manually or using a specialized program that writes to the Windows HOSTS file. This error can also occur if you leverage a specialized DNS server to block third-party web addresses.”



      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2169866

      Round 2 – here we go again.

      PKCano, I won’t bore you with all the details of what I have gone through trying to update in the past day or so – you probably wouldn’t believe it.  It involved finding out that I needed Cumulative Security update to 1809, did that and had to get them to phone me with a code to get it running again, etc., etc. (unrepeatable comments about MS in mixed company)

      The trouble shooter found nothing, anyway, I am now at a point where the Update is asking me to download and install Version 1909, but you mentioned previously that I should stay away from it for now.  If that is still the case, how do I find and update to 1903, or download and install it?  Thanks.

      Ron M


      • #2169870

        You can download the ISO Download Tool from Heidoc.net, then run the tool to download the 1903 ISO. Be sure you get the right bittage and the right Edition (Home or Pro) to match your machine.

        Then you have a choice to burn the ISO to a bootable DVD/USB. This makes Windows install media – insert the media while in your current Windows and execute the setup.exe on the media.

        Or you can mount the ISO as a drive on your computer (will get a drive letter in Explorer) and again execute the setup.exe on that drive.

    • #2169946

      PKCano, thanks for the instructions.  I am afraid that these things are getting more than a bit beyond my technical understanding.  I managed to find the Heidoc.net site and was able to download a file named  _10_1903_V2_English_x64.iso.  I put it on a folder on my C: drive.  I can only hope that this is the Pro version of Win 10 as there did not seem to be any distinction between the Home and the Pro version on the download site.  As far as the rest of your instructions, I am afraid that they went well beyond my understanding of what is happening.  How do I create a bootable DVD or USB stick from what I have now?  Can I run the setup.exe against what I have now, or does it have to be on a bootable USB stick?  So many questions, so little understanding on my part, but I am really not current with the technical aspects of what I am doing.  Thanks for your patience.


      • #2170121

        Double click the ISO file and Windows should offer to mount it for you.
        Once mounted you can use Windows Explorer to find and run setup.exe.

        cheers, Paul

        • #2170349

          PKCano, thanks for the information.  This means that  I will have to do this “update” sometime later at night as our internet and WiFi, TV and phone all come into the house on the same fibre, so I have to turn off the main modem.  That will shut down everything but the phone, so “late at night” it will have to be, maybe tomorrow.  That way, everything but the phone is shut down.

          Not sure how this reply got placed ahead of your posting????

          Ron M

          • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Ron M.
          • This reply was modified 3 years, 7 months ago by Ron M.
          • #2170375

            You can just turn off/disable the WiFi and disconnect any Ethernet cable. You don’t have to shut down the modem or router.

            Go to Control Panel\Network and Sharing Center
            Upper left “Change adapter settings
            Right click, choose “Disable”

            After you finish the install and have all your settings checked and correct (Particularly WU), repeat the above directions and choose “Enable”

      • #2170126

        Be sure you disconnect from the internet (turn off WiFi too) before you start or it will upgrade you to 1909 during the install.

    • #2170353

      Double click the ISO file and Windows should offer to mount it for you.
      Once mounted you can use Windows Explorer to find and run setup.exe.

      cheers, Paul

      Paul, thanks for the instructions, but I am afraid I am a bit confused by the terminology.  I go back to an era when Windows should offer to mount it for you implied that there was a physical unit on which to mount a magnetic tape (Yup – I’m as old as dirt), so when you say this, I am going to take it to mean that Windows will ask for me to assign a Unit letter to this file??

      Would it be easier for me to copy this file to an empty USB stick, to which Windows will have already applied a letter upon insertion into a USB port and then run it from there using setup.exe. (Still not sure how setup.exe gets pointed to the proper file) ?

      Ron M

    • #2170356

      Windows will ask for me to assign a Unit letter to this file??

      No. Drive letter will be assigned automatically.
      When you are finished using the ISO file you will have to eject the drive.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2170436

      I have had problems in the past upgrading W10 due to USB devices connected to the PC which caused things to stall part way through the sequence at certain percentage completions (and at different percentages on different occasions). So:

      1. Disconnect any non-essential USB devices such as memory sticks or external drives or whatever. If you have a laptop, but for convenience use an external mouse, keyboard or display, disconnect these and use your laptop as a “laptop” i.e. with its touchpad, and internal keyboard and display during the upgrade.
      2. If you have a desktop and need a USB connected mouse, keyboard and display, then you cannot disconnect these for any length of time, but if you get to a point when the update stalls at a percentage completion for a long time (such as your initially reported 91%), temporarily disconnect the USB devices to see if this kicks it into life. Reconnect and see if this kicks it into life. In my experience I only needed to leave these devices disconnected a few seconds and the PCs came back to life.

      I was reluctant to suggest this and distract you from the good advice you are getting above, but as these are simple things to do and can be done at the same time as the suggestions above, and such things have worked for me in the past, I decided to pass these on.

      HTH. Garbo.

      PS: Disconnecting USB devices is common advice for failing W10 upgrades to be found elsewhere online. It is not some great discovery of mine, I claim no credit, it is just something which worked for me 🙂


      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #2174491

      Well folks, sorry for not getting back sooner, but some personal things popped up that had to be attended to.  I just received Woody’s latest e-mail/Alert where he recommends installing all the February updates, including 1909, despite its potential problems, so I guess I will follow that route.  I want to thank all of you who provided their thoughts and assistance to me as it is greatly appreciated by this non-techie.  Now I just have to hope that this update goes according to Woody’s recommendations.


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    Viewing 21 reply threads
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