How to fix Windows upgrade error 0x800F0830 - 0x20003?

Question

Issue: How to fix Windows upgrade error 0x800F0830 - 0x20003?

Hello. I finally tried upgrading to Windows 11 and I received an error 0x800F0830 – 0x20003, which said “The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during INSTALL_UPDATES operation.” I checked and I passed all the requirements for the upgrade, so I am not sure what's wrong…

Solved Answer

Understanding Windows Upgrade Error 0x800F0830 – 0x20003

When attempting to upgrade to Windows 11, you may come across the error code 0x800F0830-0x20003. The full message indicating this error states:

We couldn’t install Windows 11. We’ve set your PC back to the way it was right before you started installing Windows 11. The installation failed in the SAFE_OS phase with an error during INSTALL_UPDATES operation.

This error indicates that the Windows 11 installation could not be completed, and as a precaution, your system has been restored to its previous configuration, prior to the upgrade attempt.

What does “SAFE_OS Phase with an error during INSTALL_UPDATES operation” mean?

The SAFE_OS phase is a critical part of the Windows installation process. This phase occurs before the operating system is actually installed, during which the installer checks that all conditions are right for a safe installation.

The operations during this phase include preparing the system, configuring settings for the new OS, and applying necessary updates. If an error occurs in this phase, particularly during the INSTALL_UPDATES operation, it usually means there was a problem applying updates critical for the OS installation.

This could be due to corrupt update files, compatibility issues, or settings that prevent proper update installation, such as Developer Mode being active.

How to resolve the error

To fix the error 0x800F0830-0x20003 and successfully upgrade, consider the following steps:

  • Disable Developer Mode.
  • Ensure your Windows is fully updated.
  • Run the Windows Update troubleshooter.
  • Perform a Clean Boot.
  • Repair corrupted files.
  • Skip updates during the Windows installation.

Detailed instructions on how to perform each of these solutions are provided below to guide you through the resolution process effectively.

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How to fix Windows upgrade error 0x800F0830 - 0x20003?

Tips before proceeding with the Windows upgrade

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Sometimes, there are simple reasons why you might not be able to upgrade to the new version of Windows. Here are the tips you should check out before delving into more complex solutions:

  • Ensure you have enough space (32GB for Windows 10 and 64GB for Windows 11).
  • Uninstall any security software (or similar) before proceeding.
  • Ensure that TPM and Secure Boot are enabled.
  • Unplug all unnecessary peripherals, leaving just mouse and keyboard.
  • Try disconnecting your PC from the internet before running the upgrade.

Fix 1. Disable Developer Mode

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Developer Mode can interfere with the installation of Windows updates by allowing experimental features that might not be fully stable.

Windows 10

  • Press Win + I to open Settings.
  • Navigate to Update & Security and select For developers on the left panel.
  • Under Use developer features, switch the option to Off.
  • Restart your computer to apply the changes.

Windows 11

  • Press Win + I to open Settings.
  • Pick System.
  • Select For developers on the right.
  • Make sure Developer Mode is disabled.

Disable Development mode

Fix 2. Install all Windows updates

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  • Type Updates in Windows search and hit Enter.
  • If updates are available, click Install updates.
  • Otherwise, click Check for updates.
  • If optional updates are available, install them as well.
  • When all the update processes are complete, restart your device.

Install all Windows updates

Fix 3. Run Windows update troubleshooter

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  • Type Troubleshoot in Windows search and press Enter.
  • Select Additional troubleshooters/Other troubleshooters.
  • Find Windows Update from the list.
  • Click it and select Run the troubleshooter/Run.
  • Restart your device when the update process finishes.

Run Windows update troubleshooter

Fix 4. Repair corrupted files

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System File Checker and Deployment Image Servicing and Management are tools that repair Windows system files and restore system health.

  • Type cmd in Windows search.
  • Right-click on Command Prompt and pick Run as administrator.
  • When User Account Control (UAC) asks you whether you want to allow changes, click Yes.
  • Use the following command and press Enter:
    sfc /scannow
  • When the scan is complete, you should also run the following commands to repair Windows image files:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • Restart your computer.

SFC and DISM

Fix 5. Reset Windows Update components

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  • Open Command Prompt as administrator.
  • In the new window, use the following commands, pressing Enter after each:
    net stop bits
    net stop wuauserv
    net stop appidsvc
    net stop cryptsvc
    Del “%ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Microsoft\Network\Downloader\*.*”
    rmdir %systemroot%\SoftwareDistribution /S /Q
    rmdir %systemroot%\system32\catroot2 /S /Q
    regsvr32.exe /s atl.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s urlmon.dll
    regsvr32.exe /s mshtml.dll
    netsh winsock reset
    netsh winsock reset proxy
    net start bits
    net start wuauserv
    net start appidsvc
    net start cryptsvc
  • Restart your system.

Reset Windows update components

Fix 6. Perform Clean Boot

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A Clean Boot starts Windows with a minimal set of drivers and startup programs, which can help avoid conflicts during the installation process.

  • Type msconfig in the Windows search box and press Enter.
  • Pick the Services tab.
  • Mark Hide all Microsoft services and select Disable all.
  • Select the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
  • In the Task Manager, right-click on each of the items and select Disable, then close the Task Manager.
  • Go to the Boot tab, mark the Safe Boot option, then click Apply and OK.
  • On the System Configuration window, click OK.
  • Restart your computer.

Clean Boot

Fix 7. Choose to skip updates during the Windows installation

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Skipping updates during the installation might avoid conflicts that arise from the updates themselves.

  • Open Windows ISO to begin the upgrade process.
  • You will be asked whether you want to update Windows to the latest version – pick Not right now and click Next.
  • Accept Terms and Windows will make several checks to ensure everything is fine.
  • Click Change what to keep.
  • Here, you have several options: Keep your files and apps, Keep files only, or Keep nothing – choose what suits you the best. Click Next.
  • Finally, click Install to begin the installation process.

Skip Updates

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About the author
Jake Doe
Jake Doe - Computer technology geek

Jake Doe is the news editor at UGetFix. Since he met Ugnius Kiguolis in 2003, they both launched several projects that spread awareness about cybercrimes, malware, and other computer-related problems.

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