How to Fix: Windows 10 Display Not Compatible when Upgrading

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader 'Davide' writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I have 7 of the exact same PCs with exact same displays: a Dell 2330 All-in-one (AIO). Some of the Dell 2330's upgraded to Windows 10 just fine; others would give me an error that 'Windows 10 will not work on this PC' because the display is not compatible with Windows 10. Can you help me fix this error? "

My response:

I have been asked this question numerous times, though I have not have had the opportunity to connect remotely to someone's computer (via my remote desktop support service) in order to troubleshoot this problem.

That said, I do recall one user emailing me in the past to say that he managed to get past the Windows 10 "display incompatible" problem. He managed to get through it by backing up his C drive, formatting the computer, reinstalling Windows 7 or 8, downloading all the updates, then ran the Windows 10 upgrade again. As such, I suggested exactly that to Davide as a last ditch effort - though, this is a rather lengthy process, requiring that user data be restored with proper file permissions.

How to Fix: Windows 10 Display Not Compatible when Upgrading

Davide emailed me today to say that he managed to resolve the issue without doing the format. He writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I was able to find a solution to the Windows 10 display incompatibility issue using a registry edit; I then disabled the Windows firewall (temporarily) as one of my machines would not work properly until the firewall was disabled. After that, I went through Windows Update to get the Windows 10 upgrade, rather than through the Upgrade Assistant. The reason: every time I tried Upgrade Assistant, it failed due to the display issue. "

Here are the steps to take based on David's email; I've automated most of the steps using the command prompt to make it as simple as possible:

  1. First, open up an elevated command prompt. To do so: click Start, then type in "cmd" (no quotes); wait for CMD.EXE or Command Prompt to appear in the list, then right click it and select "Run as Administrator".
  2. Next, copy the commands below.

    reg add "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade" /v AllowOSUpgrade /t REG_DWORD /d 1 /f
    net stop WinDefend
    REG add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\WinDefend" /v Start /t REG_DWORD /d 4 /f
    NetSh Advfirewall set allprofiles state off
    wuauclt.exe /updatenow
    echo this is a dummy line
  3. Right click over top of the highlighted text, then select Copy from the dialogue menu. Next, go to the administrative command prompt you opened in Step #1, then right click in the middle of the window and select paste. The commands you copied in Step #2 should be output to the command line and will execute immediately.

    The commands will: make the registry edit, disable windows defender, disable the firewall, then launch Windows update. If you receive a warning that your Window Firewall and/or Windows Defender has been disabled, you can safely ignore these messages, then re-enable it later (described further down). Note: it is ALWAYS recommended to disable any antivirus during a major Windows upgrade, as antivirus / antimalware, etc has a tendency to interfere with the upgrade and can inadvertently corrupt operating system files.
  4. To re-start the Windows 10 upgrade: within the Windows Update interface, select the "Install" button; if you don't see it, then click the "Show all available updates", then look for the Windows 10 Upgrade in your available updates. If you are reading this after July 29, 2016 and you are running the Windows 10 upgrade from install media (DVD, or USB media), then use the upgrade media to continue with the upgrade.

I hope that helps.

If you still receive "display not compatible" error with the Windows 10 upgrade, you may contact me for additional 1-on-1 support using my remote desktop service. In that case, refer to the "Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis" section below.

Re-enable Windows Firewall and Windows Defender

If you want to re-enable Windows Defender and the Windows Firewall, open the an administrative command prompt (as described in Step #1), then highlight the text below using your mouse:

net start WinDefend
REG add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\services\WinDefend" /v Start /t REG_DWORD /d 2 /f
NetSh Advfirewall set allprofiles state on
echo this is a dummy line

Next, right click the above text, then select Copy from the dialogue menu. Then, right click in the middle of the administrative command prompt window, and select Paste from the dialogue menu. The commands you copied above should now output to the command line and the Windows Firewall as well as Windows Defender should now be enabled.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If the instructions above don't work for you, it should be possible to get around this problem by backing up, formatting the drive, and reinstalling Windows, upgrading to Windows 10, and re-importing data / resetting permissions on files from the backup. This is a fairly involved process (very technical and time consuming) and requires professional assistance - in that case, you are welcome to contact me for remote desktop support. Simply send me a brief message detailing your problem 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.

Rate this article: 
Average: 4.8 (5 votes)


ajmdierick_5110's picture

I had the same situation, but to say the least "a bit funny". My Windows7 pro was converted to Windows10, all OK. But when the Aniversary was available a Microsoft check was done and that stated : Your Display drivers are not correct, please refer to your Manufacturer".
The screen I am using is relatively new, an IIyama Prolite.
One tip I got was to remove the drivers present, and restart the PC. To do so I started the hardware part of the PC configuration. Funny observation: there was not only a default video driver, but also a screen driver installed for Live. Two devices removed (inclusive the drivers) and restarted the PC. Went OK but surprise: the Display drivers error was gone and I could continue with the Update.

Simple solution, may help other people. Where the Live screen driver came from I do not know, I do not remember installing it.

Regards from the Netherlands,