Holy crap, Windows 10!

WTF…you’ve been trying to update yourself for five months now.

You probably know that I dual boot with Linux. I do all my serious work in that reliable, steady, stable operating system. I only start you up, Windows 10, when I want to play Fallout 4 or Ashes of the Singularity.

Thanks, Windows 10. You’re really good at running games for me, but I just don’t trust you for everyday work. I used to work with your younger siblings, Windows XP, Server 2000, Server 2008, Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows 8.1. I won’t even mention Vista, your delinquent, estranged brother who liked to sniff glue behind the woodshed.

I know that your entire family is prone to catching malware like toddlers catch a common cold.

I’ve installed you THOUSANDS of times in mass-deployment environments. You see, Windows 10, I wasn’t always a science fiction writer. I was once a systems admin and desktop deployment specialist. I know your quirks, idiosyncrasies, and all the maddening ways you love to fail.

So, when your “Creator’s Pack” or whatever the fuck your handlers call it– that major April 2018 update that was an update to the other major update that failed way back in the last few months of 2017–when THAT failed, I just kept ignoring it.

You seemed to run my games just fine. We had an understanding.

I don’t surf the internet with you, Windows 10. I don’t trust you not to fall for all those nasty Malware tricks, even though I know that I won’t. All it takes is an errant click or an absent open of a compromised email message and you come down with the digital equivalent of herpes.

But now, I find myself required to use you for my work. My real work. Not my “game research.”

So now, Windows 10. Your fucking petulant, yet somehow elegant obstinance is my problem. I’m going to make you work for me whether you like it or not.

Even if I have to wipe you out and resurrect you with a system restore, you’re going to behave. Do I make myself clear?

I’ll be sharing files with several people. I’ll be collaborating. I need you to be on your best behavior and be up to date with your security fixes.

Also, as much as I love to complain about you, Windows 10, you are kind of a handsome fucker. I mean that in a dude-bro, NFL kinda way.

In short, I need you fully updated. The systems admin in me can’t have it otherwise.

So, after two days and about six hours of trying various fixes, I made you work.

This is what I did to get that pesky update to run.

First of all, more than a few of the top search results for this issue are wrong. Not too far wrong, but wrong enough not to work.

Many of the most common answers tell you to run the sfc tool FIRST. This is wrong. You have to verify the integrity of the WIM file FIRST, before sfc. Microsoft says so. If you don’t take my word for it. read this link:


Otherwise, read on. I’ll be succinct.

First, boot to safe mode. I tried to run the dism and sfc tools in normal mode and no dice. Also, it’s best to have an internet connection, unless you want to download the updated WIM file from windows and stage it somewhere BEFORE you go into safe mode. I won’t cover that here.

Just connect your computer to your router with a network cable, then go to safe mode with networking. The DISM tool will use the windows update service to phone home to Redmond and check for the latest files.

The point is that you WILL need a known-good, fully-updated WIM file to make this work.

OK, once you boot to safe mode with networking, follow these instructions.

First, click the windows button, then enter cmd in the search area. Right click on the command prompt, and select “Run as Administrator.”

Then, enter these commands exactly as they are here in the blockquote. You can even copy and paste them if you want.

The first set of commands wipes out the old update cache that may be the cause of the problem. The second set of commands runs the DISM integrity check, which will update the WIM file after checking it for issues.

Ren C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
Ren C:\Windows\System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
sfc /scannow

Remember, that it is important to run the dism.exe command FIRST. Some instructions have you run the sfc command first. That doesn’t do much for you if your  wim image is messed up.

The sfc command relies on files within the wim image. If the wim isn’t right, sfc won’t do anything.

The second set of commands will take a while. Go get some coffee or watch netflix on your phone or play with your cat or something.

When it is done, boot back into normal mode. Run the update check again. The entire update will need to download again. This will also take a while. You’re in for a few rounds of updates.

I hope it works for you. It worked for me.


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