Not every day you are upgrading your Windows version. However, when and if you decide to do so, you would definitely expect a seamless, smooth, and hassle-free process.
However, reportedly some users have been facing a peculiar issue where the ‘Preparing for Upgrade’ window, which presents itself after your enter the key to upgrading the system crashes unexpectedly and renders the Settings window unresponsive.
An issue like this is very peculiar and might be due to some underlying issue in the system files of the operating system. Fortunately, since the issue is not hardware-based, it is relatively easy to tackle and resolve right from the comfort of your home.
Hence, let’s start with solutions that can resolve the issue without having a major impact on your system and then move on to a much more drastic solution for the problem.
Method 1: Run DISM and SFC Scan
Since the issue involves corrupted or damaged system files, it is recommended to run the DISM and SFC scan, as DISM will fix the image that is used to diagnose the problems present on your system, and SFC will check and repair your machine.
First, you will need to run the DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) process, and once that is completed, you will have to run the SFC (System File Checker) to check the integrity and errors of all system files.
To run the DISM on your system, first, head to the Start Menu and type Terminal to search for it. Then, from the search results, right-click on the ‘Terminal’ tile and select the ‘Run as administrator’ option.
Now, a UAC (User Account Control) window will appear on your screen. If you are not logged in with an admin account, enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button present on the window to proceed.
Then, on the Terminal window, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned code and hit Enter on your keyboard to execute the command.
The DISM command may take up to several minutes depending on the speed of your internet connection, it may also appear stuck at times and it is a normal behavior of the command. Wait patiently till the execution of the command completes.
Once completed, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command to invoke the SFC (System File Checker) that will scan your currently installed Windows image and fix the damaged or corrupted files using the one you downloaded in the previous step.
Once the SFC command is finished executing, head to the Start Menu and restart your PC. Now after the restart, try to upgrade again to check if the issue is still present.
Method 2: Change User Account Control Settings
Microsoft forum chatter indicates that some users have been able to resolve this specific issue by changing their UAC settings. Since changing UAC settings hardly demands an effort from you, it is definitely worth a try.
To change UAC settings, first, head to the Start Menu and type Control Panel to perform a search for it. Then, from the search results, click on the ‘Control Panel’ tile to open it.
Then, on the Control Panel window, locate and click on the ‘User Accounts’ tile from the grid of options present.
After that, on the next screen, click on the ‘Change User Account Control settings’ present under the ‘Make changes to your user account’ section. This will open a separate window on your screen.
Then, from the separately opened window, drag the vertical slider all the way bottom of the slider bar and click on the ‘OK’ button to apply the changes immediately. This will never bring up the UAC screen even if any apps try to change any system settings. Do remember to change this setting afterward as this might leave your PC vulnerable to unintended changes.
After you have changed the UAC settings, again try to upgrade your PC. If the problem still persists. Jump onto the next section.
Method 3: Upgrade your PC via Command Prompt
Other than the GUI route, you can also upgrade your PC using the Command Prompt on your PC. If you are not able to upgrade through the GUI method, you can try to upgrade through Command Prompt to bypass any issues coming up due to improper invoking of system files through GUI.
To upgrade this way, first, head to the Start Menu and type CMD to perform a search. Then, from the search results, right-click on the ‘Command Prompt’ tile and click on the ‘Run as administrator’ option.
Now, a UAC (User Account Control) screen will appear on your screen. If you have not logged in with an admin account, enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button to proceed.
After that, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command and hit Enter on your keyboard. This will remove the currently registered product key from your system.
After that, to clear the product key from the system registry as well, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command.
To completely remove the previous key from your operating system, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command and hit Enter on your keyboard.
Now, after that, the process will upgrade will start. Type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command and hit Enter on your keyboard to start the License Manager service.
sc config LicenseManager start= auto & net start LicenseManager
Next, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command and hit Enter on your keyboard.
sc config wuaserv start= auto & net start wuaserv
Finally, type the below-mentioned command along with your product key to initiate the upgrade of your Windows version. This will bring up the upgrade window.
changepk.exe /productkey XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX-XXXX
Method 4: Reset your PC
In case no method has been able to fix the issue on your PC, the last resort is to reset your PC. Thankfully, you will not lose your personal files and folders, however, resetting your PC will remove all the programs that you have installed and also bring all the settings to their default configurations.
To reset your PC, head to the Start Menu, and click on the ‘Settings’ tile present under the ‘Pinned apps’ section. Alternatively, type Settings in the menu to perform a search.
After that, from the Settings window, make sure you have selected the ‘System’ tab present on the left sidebar.
After that, from the right section of the window, scroll down to locate and click on the ‘Recovery’ tile to proceed.
Then, on the ‘Recovery’ settings screen, locate the ‘Reset this PC’ tile and click on the ‘Reset PC’ button present on the far right edge of the tile to proceed. This will open a separate window on your screen.
Now, from the separately opened window, click on the ‘Keep my files’ tile to proceed. In case you wish to remove all your personal files as well when resetting, click on the ‘Remove everything’ option.
On the next screen, you will need to choose a method for reinstalling the operating system on your machine. Since there could be an issue with the copy already present on your system, it is recommended that you click on the ‘Cloud download’ route.
Note: ‘Cloud download’ will require an active internet connection and will consume upwards of 4 GB of data.
After that, Windows will list the settings that you have chosen. In case you wish to change any of it, click on the ‘Change settings’ option to continue.
If you chose to change the settings, on the next screen, can choose to not restore the apps and settings, by clicking on the toggle switch present under the ‘Restore preinstalled apps?’ option to bring it to the ‘No’ position. You can even switch from the Cloud download to locate install by clicking on the toggle switch present under the ‘Download Windows?’ option to change the install method. Once adjusted according to your preference, click on the ‘Confirm’ button to proceed.
After that, from the main window, click on the ‘Next’ button to continue.
In case your PC was updated recently, you will receive a message on the screen stating that you will not be able to roll back once you reset the PC. To continue, click on the ‘Next’ button.
After that, Windows will list out all the impacts resetting your PC will have on your system. Read them carefully and click on the ‘Reset’ to commence the resetting process.