windows-11-insider-preview-fails-install-feature-image

Windows 11 Installations Failing

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:

  1. Disable the Windows Update service
  2. 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

Windows 10 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.

BOTTOM LINE:

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.

22 thoughts on “Windows 11 Installations Failing”

  1. Why in world would anyone in their right mind attempt to upgrade to 11, when 10 is working wonderfully. Don’t need to listen to me since I’d go back to XP or windows 7 if I had my druthers. They did all I needed to do a productive days work. Spend time doing your work instead of hours upgrading from stuff that works well as is.

    1. Good for you Alan; my thoughts entirely! I’m still using Win 7 Pro (with care because of lack of security updates) but fear I might be forced to go to Win 10.

    2. He does the dirty work for us! And reports back, he is the guide or trailblazer.
      A lot of us felt this way when windows 10 launched. But here we are, using win 10.

        1. LOL, I guess I’m the one who just don’t get it. Not trying to discourage those who have the time to mess with MS’s latest. I am just to busy right now doing stuff with their earlier version, so appreciate those who have the time to debug their latest. Thanks for doing it.
          Peace,
          Alan
          [Personal details removed for security/privacy of the commenter]

    3. Not everyone is in the same boat Alan. I have three machines running windows 10 and I need to be running Windows 11 on one of them so I can write articles (guides and advice) about the new operating system for our readers. I don’t necessarily want to upgrade to Windows 11 but I certainly need to.

      I think I am in my right mind, but then, not everyone might agree. ­čÖé

      BTW: I have since managed to get Windows 11 installed successfully and will soon be publishing a video tour so our readers can preview the new operating system.

  2. I’m OK with windows 10, being free in its initial distribution, regularly & automatically updated for security updates, and does everything I need, which is mostly a home for WordPerfect, Excel, Graphic Workshop, Eudora, & my browser of preference – Brave, pdf-24 and and simple stuff like that. I don’t do gaming or other stuff needing mega-memory. Fortunately, I’m 90 so I’ll probably be gone by the time MS ends support for Windows 10. LOL, I’ll try Win 11 in my next incarnation.

    Peace,
    Alan

    1. 90! And still active with computers, how cool! Hope I never lose interest.
      Sounds like windows 11 is making a lot of people sour right now.

  3. Thanks Jim.

    We just did the online check on three of our machines – Two passed without any problems (both bought ‘refurbished’, BUT the third bought brand spanking new and supposedly up to date will not run 11….

    For us computers are tools and we just expect them to work. If I wanted another hobby I’d use Linux, but I just don’t have the time or energy.

    When did ‘backwards compatible’ disappear from Microsoft’s vocabulary?

    Smacks of the Adobe/Apple stranglehold that existed in the print industry a decade or so ago. Upgrade every year or you couldn’t process data from many trade clients.

    From what I have read the need for the specifications that Microsoft is demanding is at least questionable.

    Do you think they will change the requirements further?

    All the best and thanks for the info.

    Jonathan

    P.S. OK my new (unsupported) baby is a fan-less silent lump of aluminium but the specs and price were a lot less than half the UK sold equivalents. Does the job for me and being on a fixed income it was a bargain from China via Amazon.

    1. Hey Jonathan,

      I think “backwards compatible” has somehow transitioned to “planned obsolescence”.

      I totally agree with the view that the requirements for Windows 11 are questionable, if not downright ludicrous. And no, I do not believe that Microsoft will ease the requirements – assuming that’s what you mean by “change”.

      Cheers… Jim

  4. I created a Virtual Drive in Hyper-v. I downloaded, and installed, the Windows11 preview on the virtual drive without any problems.

    1. Hey David,

      Yes, many users are reporting the same thing… can install Windows 11 okay in a VM but not otherwise. Possibly something to do with limited drivers and auxiliary software required for a VM.

  5. Dave et al I love reading the stuff u guys put out makes understanding why
    Microsoft is so F, ed up… I still using win 10 and it works fine for ME… and
    I get the impression dat’s the general conscience I’m GETTING FROM YOU EXPERTS…
    73,s /r/

    1. Hi Rudy,

      Yes, you are correct. For most users, there is no need to rush in and upgrade to Windows 11, Windows 10 will be supported for a further 4 years and it will do just fine.

  6. I had a totally different experience. I’m on a system that I know was not ready for Windows 11. (TPM 1.1 and the processor is too old)
    I am a MS insider and was expecting an update to Windows 10 v 21H2.
    After the update and a reboot, I found Windows 11 installed. I had thought that after a while, it would roll back but, that never happened. Here’s what is currently installed on this not ready for Windows 11 computer:

    Windows 11 About Page

    1. Hey Norbert,

      Microsoft announced some time back that, following Windows 11’s official release, it would no longer be delivering Windows 11 Insider Previews on machines that don’t meet requirements and those users will need to reinstall Windows 10 to continue receiving updates: https://www.techspot.com/news/91057-microsoft-tells-windows-11-insider-build-users-non.html

      I suspect you’ll start receiving notifications to that effect after the official release date.

  7. As I stated, I wasn’t looking or expecting a Windows 11 update on that computer. I have two other systems that have Windows 11 installed but both of those systems meet the requirements.
    Time will tell.

  8. I have been using Windows 10 since it’s inception and have never had a problem with updates for it on 6 different machines. It’s been rock solid for me but then I don’t use a lot of it’s features. I never even do split screens or use widgets. I’d actually be happy if Windows didn’t have any more features than ’98 or XP did. As long as all my games would play, I’d be happy.
    Maybe the problems with installing 11 are due to the latest build being a Release Candidate and no longer in the Beta channel? I read that it was now in the release channel. I tried it on my technically incompatible laptop and it worked fine until the machine got kicked out of the Insider program about a month ago.

  9. The Insider preview caused one problem for me. I installed the 11 preview on my ACER gaming laptop in a dual boot with Windows 10. The machine qualifies for 11 except for it’s processor which is a Ryzen 5 2500U. That CPU/APU does not make Microsoft’s list because even though it’s a 2000 series in name, it is built on the original 1000 series architecture. Everything worked fine and I even got used to the Start Menu. I am one of the few who has come to believe that the Windows 10 start menu is the best one ever made.

    About a month ago, I found that the laptop had been unceremoniously kicked out of the Insider program so I got rid of 11 on it. Then I found that Windows Update was no longer operational in the Windows 10 installation. I tried every “fix” in the book but eventually had to do an in place repair installation. That went smoothly and I lost no data. I am convinced that the Insider look at 11 messed up Windows Update for 10.

    I have never used any kind of virtualization and it is actually disabled on all my systems.

    1. Hey Donald,

      I never install in a dual boot configuration, too many issues with that in the past. I always either disconnect or disable any secondary system drive beforehand. So, I believe your assessment of the reason for update issues in Windows 10 is likely spot on.

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