Error 0xC1900101 – 0x20017 upgrading to Windows 10 build 10162

We are all excited about the upcoming release of Windows 10 on the 29th of July. In the meantime, you can install a preview version from the Windows Insider web page, or if you’d like to wait, you can reserve your free upgrade by following the steps here.

At the beginning…

At Microsoft, we are at the forefront of the ‘self-hosting’ ballgame. Some time back, I had installed Windows 10 preview build 10074. This week, with the newer builds being released in rapid succession, I decided to switch the Preview Build frequency to ‘Windows Insider Fast’ so that I could get hold of the latest (at the time) 10162 build:

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Everything seemed to work alright with the update to 10162…

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… till the point where it rebooted the computer:

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Ahem…

Instead of seeing the usual ‘Upgrading Windows, sit tight..’ screen, this is what I saw:

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Well. the keyboard layout screen was certainly not expected! But when I selected US keyboard, it asked me whether I wanted to Troubleshoot or shutdown; which is again quite strange:

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So I played along and tried to troubleshoot, at which stage I was basically left with options such as Reset the PC:

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And even Reset PC failed with a helpful error message that the ‘drive where Windows is installed is locked’:

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Left with no option – post reboot, I was greeted with the infamous error 0xC1900101 – 0x20017, which has plagued some users in the Windows 8.1 upgrade as well:

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Some clues

At this time, I also noticed a very strange issue: any USB mass storage device I would plug in to the laptop was not assigned a drive letter. It would show up in Disk Management, but when I would try to give it a drive letter, Disk Management would popup a cryptic message: ‘The operation failed to complete because the Disk Management console view is not up-to-date. Refresh the view by using the refresh task. If the problem persists close the Disk Management console, then restart Disk Management or restart the computer’.

Well, this was getting stranger and stranger! But somehow, it appeared that the two issues were inter-related. Internally, I was told that the error code 0xC1900101 – 0x20017 was also related to USB drivers. And the above disk management error was in the past attributed to ‘ghost’ drives.

Hide and seek

With that clue in mind, I took at look at my Device Manager screen and enabled the ‘Show Hidden Devices’ under the View menu. In my case, I found some devices under Storage Volumes which only showed up when Hidden Devices were enabled. And those were clearly not attributed to any devices I had installed on my laptop (i.e. I had nothing related to Roxio Saib in reality on my laptop):

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So I decided to delete these hidden Roxio devices (in another case where I had seen an identical problem the devices showed up as Unknown Device under Storage Volumes, in which case I proceeded to delete those Unknown Devices under Storage Volumes).

WARNING: Using Device Manager incorrectly can cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall Windows. Microsoft cannot guarantee that problems resulting from deleting incorrect devices can be solved. Use these steps at your own risk. Please note again that in this walkthrough, we have only deleted Hidden, Unknown devices which were listed under the Storage Volumes category.

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There were two of these Roxio Saib devices (which clearly did not apply to my laptop) and I proceeded to clean both instances up, followed by a reboot:

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We’re there!

After the reboot, I re-tried the Update:

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At the end of this, and post restart, lo and behold! The expected ‘Upgrading Windows’ screen appeared:

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And after around 20 minutes, the upgrade to 10162 was done successfully!

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For those of you who had the misfortune to run into the error code 0xc1900101 – 0x20017 when upgrading to Windows 10, I hope this walkthrough helps you get unblocked! And in case you are still unsure or not confident of what to do, please contact Microsoft Customer Services and Support to get more direct help on your issue.

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