How to: Properly Prep, then Force Install Windows 10 Anniversary Update

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Bryan B. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I've read on a few websites that Windows 10 Anniversary Update was released on August 2nd (2016), yet when I check for Windows Updates on my machine, it says I'm up to date. I've also tried to upgrade to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update by downloading 'Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1607 for x64-based Systems (KB3176929)' from the Windows Update catalog site, but the Windows Update Standalone Installer simply tells me that 'This update is not applicable to your computer.' How can I get the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to install on my computer? "

My response:

This is a very good question. Last week, I went through the exact same steps as you did, only to experience the same thing - in fact, further inspection revealed that my system hadn't been updated in quite a while. When I clicked on the "check for updates" button, Windows Update would continue "checking" for updates infinitely, never returning a result. That's when I knew my Windows Update was broken, which is when I decided to clean out the SoftwareDistribution directory. That allowed me to download some missing updates in July; however, my copy of Windows 10 still reported that I was "up to date" (when in fact, it was definitely not).

How to: Properly Prep, then Force Install Windows 10 Anniversary Update

The other day while I was connected with one of my clients, I needed to download a Windows 10 ISO (disc image) from Microsoft's website, and that is when I noticed a link on the page which read: "Download Windows 10 / Update now / We noticed you are running Windows 10. If you are looking to update to the latest version, click Update now." This link was listed just above the link I normally use to download the Media Creation Tool (which lets me download the Windows 10 ISO).

I clicked on the "Update now" link, which then downloaded a file called "Windows10Upgrade9252.exe"; once the download was complete, I launched the file, which then opened a window that stated the following: "Update to the latest version of Windows 10. One of the best features of Windows 10 is that it keeps getting better with every update. This PC is currently not running the latest and most secure version of Windows 10. This PC is running version 10586. The latest version is 14393. We can help you get the latest security enhancements and feature improvements. Click 'Update Now' to get started."

I clicked the Update Now button and it began downloading files (albeit slowly) to a folder on my hard drive in the same directory as the "Windows10Upgrade9252.exe" file was saved to - in this case, the root directory of my D drive. The Upgrade Assistant then told me I could continue working on the PC while it downloads in the background, then minimized to my clock. I did just that.

Once the upgrade was finished downloading, Windows 10 popped up with a message stating it needed to reboot and if I didn't choose an action, it would automatically reboot in the next 30 minutes (with a countdown timer); I clicked the link to delay the reboot in the bottom left corner and instead made sure my system was up to date with its disk image backups. Once I was certain things were proper, I then proceeded with the reboot.

CRITICAL: Always Backup Before Applying the Anniversary Update

Since this is a major update to Windows 10, it is HIGHLY recommended that you make a disk image backup of the system. I have already heard from numerous people that this particular update broke various features within Windows (something fierce), so please backup using a disk image in case you need to restore the PC. Forbes in particular is reporting "Massive Windows 10 Update Starts Causing Problems" - I suggest you read the next section as well, as it will is a very good indication as to whether your update will or won't run smoothly.

CRITICAL: Review the CBS Log file - Before - You Update

Based on my oodles of experience fixing people's computers that have either a corrupt Windows and a corrupted Windows Update system, I can definitely tell you that if you attempt to apply a huge patch like the Windows 10 Anniversary Update to a system that is already corrupt (unbeknownst to you), there is a very, very good chance you may encounter issues either before, during, or after the upgrade. Once sure-fire way to check if your system is corrupt is to look at the CBS log file before you apply the Windows 10 Anniversary Update.

You can check for CBS log for potential corruption errors by doing the following:

  1. Click Start, then type in "cmd"; wait for CMD.EXE or "Command Prompt" to appear in the list, then right click it and select "Run as Administrator" from the dialogue menu.
  2. Highlight the text below using your mouse:

    findstr /i /c:"fail" %windir%\logs\cbs\cbs.log >c:\sfcdetails.txt
    notepad c:\sfcdetails.txt
    echo this is a dummy line
  3. Right click the highlighted text above, then select Copy from the dialogue menu. Next, go to the administrative command prompt you opened in Step #1 and right click in the middle of the window. The text out copied in Step #2 should now be output onto the command line, and Notepad should open up with part of the CBS log file.
  4. Now it's time to examine the results. Please note that the log file you are viewing is only part of the CBS log file, which only shows lines with the word "error" in them. If you see a lot of [HRESULT = 0x800XXXXX - CBS_E_INVALID_PACKAGE] errors - like, more than 20 or so, constantly repeating - then chances are you are flirting with disaster because your Windows Update or part of the Windows system is in fact corrupt. Once again, this is based on my plentiful experience when dealing with corrupt Windows / corrupted Windows Updates and the strange things that happen when you try and run Windows when it's corrupt. If that is the case, I suggest you hold off on the update and contact me for support (described next) and I will look into it for you.

Finally, please do not paste your log file results in comments below or I will delete them - they are long, cryptic, and ugly to look at, and take up a tremendous amount of space on this page. If you need to research a certain error code, then enter the HRESULT error code in Google and do some research for yourself. If you are completely lost, you can contact me for help (described next).

I hope that helps.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If anyone needs help with upgrading to the Windows 10 Anniversary update, including: a ton of HRESULT errors in your CBS log, a failed upgrade, or disk image backup prior to the upgrade, 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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kitekrazy's picture

One system is running it. Another one is not and doesn't show in upgrades? I assumed the reason could be this was a recent upgrade from W7 and the roll back feature is still available.
I really don't gain anything from the Anniversary update anyway.