How to Fix: Windows 10 1709 Won't Install

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Jose B. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

For the past few months, my PC has tried to upgrade to Windows 10 version 1709, but each time it fails to install. Whenever I use my computer I receive a pop up message on my desktop stating that 'Your device needs the latest security updates. Microsoft can't install important security updates on your PC until you install the most current version of Windows 10.' When I look at my Windows Update history, it says the upgrade to version 1709 failed (repeatedly). When I manually check for updates, it says: 'Your device is at risk because it's out of date and missing important security and quality updates. Let's get you back on track so Windows can run more securely.' When I click the 'OK' button it reboots and attempts to install, but fails at 33%. I have checked my disk for errors and I have all the latest drivers. Windows 10 1709 won't install! Also, do I really need Windows 10 version 1709 or can I stay on this version of Windows 10 indefinitely? Can you please help! "

My response:

This is the most commonly asked question I receive as of late.

Based on the many, many years of experience in fixing issues with Windows Update (and especially the upgrade to version 1709), I can tell you this:

... then Windows Updates will fail outright before a reboot (usually with an error code), or Windows Update will attempt to install the update, but eventually it fails and rolls back. Another possibility is that the update might succeed, but then corrupts Windows, leaving you with a half-baked operating system.

This is especially true when dealing with major Windows 10 updates, including version 1709. Think of it this way: if you are building a house on a bad foundation, then the house won't be level, causing cracks to form. Eventually things are going to break. The same is true about the operating system. If things are broken before the upgrade, then the upgrade won't work at all, or will break things even further.

Should You Update to Windows 10 Version 1709?

It is important to upgrade to the latest Windows 10 branch because each branch includes new features and security updates.

You cannot stay on an old branch indefinitely as Microsoft will stop supporting it eventually, which means you won't receive security updates. In other words, your computer will be susceptible to hackers, viruses, and malware, if you remain on an old version of Windows 10. This is a big problem - just as the Windows 10 notifications state (pic).

Important: You can see which branch of Windows 10 you're using now by clicking Start, then type in "winver" (no quotes), then press Enter on the keyboard. If you're not on version 1709 (OS Build then you are out of date. You can see a list of Windows 10 branches here.

So, to answer your question - "Yes," you should upgrade as soon as you can.

How to Fix: Windows 10 1709 Won't Install

I have previously written a guide that explains how to fix Windows Update if it won't update - this also applies to the situation where Windows 10 1709 failed to install. The guide tells you how to test your hard drive for errors, how to test the operating system integrity, and also how to clear the Windows Update queue, among other things.

The guide should be followed in the steps I have written it, as the steps are cumulative. Most of the time this will fix a failed Windows update, especially Windows 10 version 1709. If you still have issues after following my guide, you may be dealing with a corrupt Windows - which is very difficult (and time consuming) to fix. In that case, you are welcome to contact me for remote support and I can look into the problem and fix it for you.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If all of this is over your head, or if you need help upgrading to the latest stable branch of Windows 10 (currently version 1709 at the time of this writing), I can help using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me, briefly describing the issue and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question - or even a computer problem that needs fixing - please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

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gi7omy's picture

There's no point in upgrading to 1709 at the moment as the new upgrade is due in a matter of days and you'd have to do it all again next week.

That being said, one thing that most people miss is failing to disable all running apps (and this INCLUDES thje anti-virus) during the install phase. Fair enough scan the file during download if you are really worried, but disable the A/V during the installation. That did cause a lot of problems with the fast ring upgrades at the beginning.