I recently purchased a new PC which came with Windows 10 Home pre-installed. I connected an existing Windows 10 Pro system drive to the new PC in the hope of installing Windows 11 Insider Preview on that drive so I could get a handle on the new operating system. However, try as I might, I could not get the latest Insider Preview (Beta channel) to install via Windows Update. I spent hours on this to no avail. Everything would go fine until a reboot when I would then get a BSOD with the Stop Code: DPC Watchdog Violation.
Following a restart and rollback to Windows 10, checking in Windows Update displays the message that the installation failed with error code 0xc1900101. Checking online I discovered numerous Insiders reporting the exact same issue across multiple forums, including all the usual possible solutions:
- Disconnect all peripheral devices, including all drives except for the system drive
- Disable any third-party antivirus
- Update drivers
- Blah, blah, blah
I tried all of the above and more but still kept experiencing the exact same issues. My own opinion is that the most likely suspect is incompatible drivers but even updating drivers did not change the outcome for me. One of the consequences of this issue is that the upgrade will keep trying to install ad infinitum, over and over, going round in circles. There are two methods to overcome this:
- Disable the Windows Update service
- Restore to the previous state via a system image backup
I had created a full system image immediately prior to attempting the upgrade so, to make sure my system had not been damaged by the failed install, I chose option #2.
Shades Of The Anniversary Update
This all reminded me so much of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update which many users had trouble installing, including yours truly. With very similar issues and very similar possible solutions. It took me a lot of hours and effort to finally get the Anniversary Update installed and I sincerely hope Windows 11 is not heading in the same direction. Based on the number of Insiders reporting this installation failure though, and my own experience, the upgrade to Windows 11 is not looking like it will be an easy or smooth transition. Hopefully, Microsoft can overcome these issues prior to Windows 11’s official release.
What is it with drivers and failed upgrades? My new machine is only a couple of months old with an 11th gen Intel i7 CPU and all modern hardware. So, one would imagine that the drivers would be up-to-date, at least up-to-date enough to satisfy the upgrade to Windows 11. But, apparently not. I would really like to know what’s in these upgrades that always seem to require new drivers.
If you’re considering joining the Insider program and upgrading to Windows 11 Insider Preview, please be wary. Make sure to create a system image backup beforehand, back up all your personal data, and it probably won’t hurt to follow the steps listed above to help avoid any ensuing issues. It didn’t work for me on a near new PC but your mileage may vary.